Are Webinars THE most effective way to Learn?

In years past, outside conferences, external training, and onsite workshops were the most common means for companies to enrich the skills of their employees – especially technical ones.  It’s no surprise in today’s economy that external travel to conferences or training has been all but eliminated.  The problem is that the need for training is still as prevalent as ever and employees are forced to become more resourceful in acquiring new skills.

One of the most common ways to distribute information (especially about new products or services) is by webinar, which can take various forms including the following:

– Teleconference which is an entirely audio presentation.  Callers dial in to a central phone station and listen to one or more presenters talk about a topic (similar to a radio show);

– Videoconference where there is both an audio and a visual aspect – and the presenter is displayed as if they were presenting in front of a live audience.  The presenter cannot see the audience and there may or may not be powerpoint slides presented;

– Webinar where there is an audio and a visual component. The presenter calls into a central phone center or taps into an internet site such as webex or net meeting (just a couple of proprietary hosting sites) and talks using voice over internet protocol (VOIP) and presents powerpoint slides. Often there are several window “panes” presented to the audience, one of which can include a webcam broadcast of the presenter speaking as the slides are presented. More commonly, the voice of the presenter accompanies the powerpoint slides as they are presented on the screen.

– Online training which is a variation of the above but which usually lasts for a longer duration of time. (The above 3 types run typically from 30 to 90 minutes).

Any of the above types can be presented “live” (as in a realtime presentation while the audience listens) or as pre-recorded content.

What is your experience with webinars?  Are they a useful expenditure of your time? What is the most effective length of time for a webinar?  Are the topics covered suitable for your purposes?  What is missing from webinars today?  Would a webinar series be of interest in your company?

Are webinars THE most effective way to learn new skills today?  If not, what do you think is THE way to learn in today’s world?

Let me know what you think and I’ll publish the results in an upcoming blog posting!

Have a great week!


Carol Dekkers

Contact Carol to keynote your upcoming event – her style translates technical matters into digestible soundbites, humorously and forthright. View also Carol Dekkers’ general blog at The Dekkers Report
=======Copyright 2009, Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED =======

Close Comments

Comment (1)

  1. webinars work well, especially when they are recorded and can be reviewed. I also think a webinar tied to a message board where people can subsequently discuss what they see would be very valuable.

Leave a Reply to Neil Murphy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *