Ryan VanSickle is the Director of Advisor Development at LeadingResponse. He’s seen his share of webinar mistakes.
Funny How Things Work – Or Don’t
While webinar mishaps are inevitable, some are preventable. Here are two quick blooper-reel stories from the trenches. I’ll refrain from mentioning any names, so don’t worry (you know who you are).
Blooper 1: In early June, one host decided to do some light reading as she waited for her webinar to start. The book must have been incredible, because as the event went live, there she was, her face four inches from the camera, determined to finish that chapter. Meanwhile, 20+ attendees had filed in from the virtual waiting room to watch this particular webinar mistake. They posted in the chat, “Hello! Are we starting?!” and she was clueless.
About 12 minutes later, I reached her on her cell phone. After a few minutes of sheer panic (on camera), she proceeded to deliver some great content to her audience. She laughed it off, and I’m sure she wasn’t the only one.
The good news: Most of our webinar hosts have begun to use pre-recorded, automated webinars. To the audience, it appears to be live. This approach helps reduce the risk of internet connection issues, and well…whatever you want to label this webinar mistake.
Presenting Until You’re Blue In The Face
Blooper 2: A seasoned webinar host was delivering a presentation I had seen him do dozens of times before. Toward the middle, I noticed him pause several times, for five to 10 seconds between thoughts. He gulped water like he’d just ran a marathon. He tried to push through, but realized something just wasn’t right. His throat seized up, his face turned blue (I’m talking Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory blue), and he turned his camera off in a panic.
Did I just witness the ultimate webinar mistake – a host choking to death in front of a group of investors? Luckily, I was dressed appropriately and also logged in as a host, and I jumped in to save the day.
After three or four minutes, he returned. His face was now red – probably from choking and embarrassment – but he proudly declared he was ready to finish. (The public chat feed went crazy during that webinar.)
The good news: That night, we learned why having a co-host is so important. Even if they aren’t slated to present, an emergency backup can help prevent a webinar mishap like this one. Since this incident, our consultants have made this a part of their webinar coaching strategy with virtual hosts.
You live, you learn. Our hosts have had some stressful moments, along with some downright hilarious ones. We’ve all make a webinar mistake at one time or another. At the end of the day, these hosts have all gotten better at making a big impact on a small screen.