Using webinars to connect with far-flung employees

Tuesday, June 5 2012

As businesses expand their reach and locations across the nation, staying in contact with and training employees becomes more difficult. With workers dispersed across the country, many companies have been turning to webinars as a way of holding live, interactive training sessions to ensure that the message gets across.

Crafting the right webinar, however, is not always simple. To make sure that the one you create is carried out well, here are a few simple guidelines to keep in mind,

Advertise it well
Simply telling your employees that you'll be presenting a webinar doesn't guarantee that they'll attend - or that they'll be fully prepared if they do. Start by sending a synopsis of the presentation ahead of time and ask your employees to prepare a few questions in advance. By providing them with a little knowledge before you start, you'll help your workers get the most out of the webinar.

Test it out
Instead of simply going in blind, prepare for this online conferencing opportunity by doing a few run-throughs to make sure everything is working and that you know your content well. It will not only help you polish the presentation, but make you feel more confident and comfortable delivering it.

Stay focused
Instead of a web meeting that covers a wide range of topics that might get bogged down by too much information, focus on one specific, well considered topic. Aim for depth and completeness by breaking your subject into its constituent parts and explaining them thoroughly. By helping employees understand one topic completely, instead of many poorly, you will encourage them to participate and prepare for the next learning opportunity.

Use aids
One of the main advantages of a webinar over a conference call is its ability to include different media types. Take advantage of this by embracing charts, pictures and even videos. This approach will help keep your audience engaged as well as serving those with a more visual-learning style absorb the content more completely.

Questions and answers
Another major benefit of using an internet meeting as a training tool is how easy it is to have a real-time question-and-answer session. Let your attendees know in advance that you will be reserving time at the end for questions, which will help keep them involved as well as give you a better idea of what worked or didn't during the webinar.