As most of you know, I can relate a variety of things in life back to webinars. Presenting in the virtual world has been a passion in my life for over 15 years! My latest epiphany occurred while I was competing in a recent duathlon. I knew as soon as I took my first step from the bike to run transition it was going to be a VERY long 10k after a 26 mile bike ride. The pulled muscle in my hip was not going to give me a break that day.
The same situations happen with webinars.
Have you ever kicked off a webinar and felt your voice “choke” or felt like you were going to vomit because you weren’t really prepared? Or the talk tracks in your slide deck didn’t populate and you have no idea what you are supposed to say on the next slide? Or your moderator’s audio didn’t connect so there was no formal introduction? You weren’t going to catch a break that day.
I recently provided Executive Coaching to a professional athlete who wanted to take her coaching business online. She contacted me after her first webinar failed to receive positive feedback. After reviewing her presentation and providing a full Webinar Critique I recognized she launched too soon. She did not put in the “training” time. She had not completed a Tech Check, a Dress Rehearsal, the hours of practice time nor had she designed the slides properly for the Virtual Environment.
This very intelligent and talented athlete continued to grapple with why the event was not well attended and the feedback wasn’t positive. I turned the situation around and asked “have you ever competed in a race you weren’t ready for?” Well, of course she had! We all race at some point when we haven’t dedicated the proper amount of training. What did she do after the race? She started her training again as we all do with sports we are passionate about.
This professional athlete’s deeper understanding of the webinar process suddenly started to sink in. I could see she was having an “AHA” moment. The training, practice and design time you dedicate to a sport isn’t that much different from a webinar, from a process perspective.
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Here is a quick process synopsis of the training/planning involved in each category:
Endurance Sport Training: Webinar Planning:
*6 months prior *3 months prior
*5 months prior *2 months prior
*4 months prior *1 month prior
*3 months prior *3 weeks prior
*2 months prior *2 weeks prior
*1 month prior *1 week prior
*1 week prior *2-3 days prior
Race DAY!! GoLive Presentation DAY!! GoLive