Evaluating a Webinar (for ILT5670)

Although all of my posts so far have been for my Digital Storytelling course, this particular post is for Webinars and Synchronous Learning Events. My assignment was to attend a live webinar and critique it using the evaluation form that you can see below.  I attended a few webinars but ultimately decided to critique the one that I had the most opinions on.

  1. Title of the webinar:  “Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success”
  2. Date, start and end time of the webinar:  February 4, 2016, 11:00AM to 12:00PM
  3. Number of participants who attended this webinar:  The chat was set so that you could only send questions and comments to a chat moderator.  So I was unable to tell how many people were actually in attendance.
  4. URL of the webinar announcement or description: (Link has been removed to avoid pingback) http://www.trainingmagnetwork.com/events/552?gref=tmnSA1-2-1-16
  5. Information about how to review the recording of the webinar, if available:  They will send out the recording to those who registered, but it will also be hosted at the bottom of this page: (Link has been removed to avoid pingback) http://www.trainingmagnetwork.com/events/552?gref=tmnSA1-2-1-16
  6. Name(s) of webinar presenters:  Introduced by Gary Vanantwerp, co-hosted by Dave Stein and Johnathan Farrington, and presented by Colleen Stanley, using her book, “EI for Sales Success.”
  7. Summarize the major topics addressed in this webinar:  This summary is from the webinar description:
    –  Learn the neuroscience behind effective selling and influence
    –  Avoid fight or flight responses when meeting with challenging prospects
    –  Bridge the knowing and doing gap by integrating hard sales skills training and soft –  skills training
    –  Learn how specific emotional intelligence skills such as empathy, assertiveness and –  impulse control directly affect successful sales outcomes
    –  Discover how to create emotionally intelligent sales cultures that are competitive and collaborative
  8. Stop!Describe the way in which this webinar included active learning strategies:  Sadly, I do not feel this webinar included very many active learning strategies at all.  The four different speakers (Gary, Dave, Jonathan, and Colleen) spoke to the participants throughout the entire hour with no real interaction, except for when Gary interrupted Colleen to present a question from a participant.  There was very little engagement for the participants but they did allow for questions and evaluation of course content on the very last slide.  But by that point, the session had hit its time limit and I had to head to a meeting.
  9. What is your assessment of the energy level and tone of voice of the presenter(s)? Were they excited and enthusiastic about the topic? Were they easy to listen to?  All four of the speakers definitely had an energetic level and tone of voice.  Gary felt like a professional webinar host (which I believe is his actual role) and Dave, Jonathan, and Colleen were extremely enthusiastic about presenting the topics.  They were all very easy to listen to, except for when they would try to speak at the same time or try to speak over each other.
  10. SlideWhat did you think about their slides/graphics? Were they easy to read? Did your eyes get tired? Describe how they addressed or did not address CARP? What would you change?  The slides were very easy to read, but they contained several distorted images that were either stretched or grainy.  Although the slides weren’t exactly ‘ugly’, they did not maintain any kind of consistent branding and I found this to be very distracting.  I began to focus more on the inconsistent fonts, headers, and colors that were used than on the actual content being presented.
  11. What did you think about their microphone and lighting skills? What worked and what would you change?  The sound was incredibly loud and grainy at first, but this was remedied when I turned the volume all the way down within the webinar platform (my computer’s volume was already quite low).  Lighting issues are not applicable to this webinar as the participants could only see slides and not the presenters.
  12. What aspects of this webinar might you want to duplicate in the webinars you develop in this course, i.e., the team project? What aspects do you want to avoid? Other lessons learned, reflections, inspirations etc.  To be honest, there aren’t any aspects of this webinar that I would want to duplicate.  It wasn’t necessarily a ‘bad’ webinar, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it either.  They spent 15 minutes (of the 60 that were allotted) in the beginning of the webinar promoting Peak Sales Recruiting, Top Sales World, and other work done by the presenters.  It felt like way too much time and if I wasn’t attending for evaluation purposes, I would have abandoned the webinar.  And because there were 4 people talking at various times, there were some uncomfortable and awkward moments of people talking over each other (“too many cooks in the kitchen”).At exactly 30 minutes in, there had been absolutely no engagement or interaction with the participants whatsoever.  The chat aspect was kept private, therefore, the participants were unable to engage with each other and could only chat to a specific moderator who was never named (it could have been Gary?).  At one point, the chat moderator interrupted the presenter to pose a question that had been sent in, but it was awkwardly timed and caught the presenter completely off-guard.
    The inconsistent branding of each slide and distorted images were incredibly distracting for me.  I found myself focusing more on that than what the presenter was saying.  But having a background and passion in graphic design, I might be coming off too harsh.  I also found myself annoyed when the presenter would stay for too long on slides with only one image to look at.  I would get bored and look to my other screen to check my email or find other distractions.
  13. When you submit this assignment, include a copy of any handouts, job aids, or other documentation you received as a participant in this webinar. Were these handouts helpful? If there were no handouts, would you have liked to have one? Why?  There were two handouts with this webinar.  The first was a Product Snapshot for Citrix’s GoToMeeting and the second was the slide deck that was presented during the webinar.  I would have liked to have a document with resources that gave more information on the actual concept of Emotional Intelligence and how to use it in the Sales environment.
  14. Additional comments, compliments, criticisms:  I may have been very harsh in my evaluation of this webinar, especially since it was free, but I have high expectations for webinars that ask for an hour of my time during work hours.  I will admit, the presenters were very professional and enthusiastic about the topics being presented and I was pleased with the tone and pace of the session.  However, I do feel that if the presentation had more engagement and interaction, I would have enjoyed this session so much more.  They need to find a way to connect with their participants.