The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Friday, March 30, 2012

Webinar reflections

Well, I survived my first two webinars yesterday without any major mishaps - phew! - so I thought I'd better report back as promised. I think they went okay - I've certainly had some positive feedback - and what's more, I quite enjoyed them once I got into the swing of it. It was a little bit nerve-wracking getting set up; double checking I'd unplugged the phone and the front door bell, then shutting all the windows because it was bin day and I didn't want bin men crashing around in the background! I settled myself in place in front of my laptop in my office, feeling rather like a news presenter - smart on the top half, jeans and slippers under the desk! Just for comparison with my last post, here's a webcam shot from when I got set up.

"This call may be recorded for training purposes."

Once the actual webinar got started, it felt a bit odd talking into silence. I had to keep suppressing the urge to ask "Can anyone hear me?". It was a big relief when I asked my first question and I got a flurry of responses popping up - from Ukraine, Siberia, Turkey, Portugal, Kenya ... it was a bit weird to think there were teachers all over the world sat tuning in, but quite fun too. As it was my first time, I kept things really simple and it was quite a straightforward presentation with just a few opportunities for people to participate. If and when I do one again, I'll definitely build in a bit more interaction, but I didn't want to try and run before I could walk.

At the end of the session, esp. in the morning, I got a nice selection of questions - as I've said before, always my favourite bit of any presentation. They all popped up in the chat box quite quickly and even with the help of my moderator reposting some I'd missed, I was quite aware that I didn't manage to answer all of them. I felt a bit bad that people had sat through an hour of me going on, then when they made the effort to participate, they got ignored. But then, I suppose at a face-to-face presentation, there are often people in the audience who put up their hands but who you don't have time to get round to.

When I logged off, I was exhausted and realised how tense and concentrated I'd been - it's quite an intense experience. It was also a bit odd being left alone so suddenly to deal with the adrenaline high you always get after a presentation in a quiet empty house. When you do a presentation in the flesh, there are always people around afterwards to chat to and things to be cleared up in that period when you're 'coming down'. The strange hiatus between the morning and the afternoon session was a bit odd too. I didn't quite have the concentration to get on with any other work, so I just sort of floated around, checking my email and wandering aimlessly about the house. Thankfully, it was a gloriously sunny day again, so I was able to spend a bit of time sat back out on the balcony just reflecting on a really interesting new experience - one to be repeated I hope.

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