The really strange part of delivering a ‘Webinar’


Last week I had the opportunity to deliver a ‘webinar’ – an online seminar, for the Ontario Museum Association; Introduction to Effectively Using Social Media in Museums. But this post isn’t about the social media, it is about the format of a webinar itself.

Delivering webinars is weird. At least delivering a webinar where the participants can hear you, and see you, but you can’t hear or see them is weird. As an Education Coordinator I routinely deliver lectures that are extremely two-sided, a give and take between myself and the classes who visit the museum. I am very used to asking questions and developing a lecture into a conversation. Even when I am giving tours to adults, or speaking at conferences, etc. I can still read the micro expressions (or macro expressions – yawning isn’t good) that cross peoples’ faces as I am speaking. I can then adjust to better suit the audience accordingly. In a webinar when I can’t see the participants’ facial expressions or easily converse with them, it definitely throws me off.

Hopefully this is a skill I will have more opportunities to perfect in the future, because it is also kind of fun 🙂

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About newmuseumkat

I am a museologist and an archaeologist. I love both, but they work best when mixed together.
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2 Responses to The really strange part of delivering a ‘Webinar’

  1. Dan Holbrow says:

    It *is* weird! I was thinking about this in the last webinar I was a part of. I never realized how much I rely on little cues (like body language and facial expressions) to get a sense of how a session is going — or even whether people can hear me.

    More than that (but maybe this is just me), there’s something really surreal about sitting in a room, addressing a computer as though it’s a group of people.

    Out of curiosity, what platform were you using to deliver the webinar?

  2. newmuseumkat says:

    The programme the OMA used was iCohere; very similar to the software that I’ll be using with MAS, I think.

    “More than that (but maybe this is just me), there’s something really surreal about sitting in a room, addressing a computer as though it’s a group of people.”
    –That’s why I am putting a note up on my door that that says ‘Do not disturb – Webinar in Progress” on my office door; that way anyone who walks by won’t think I’m talking to myself, lol

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