Bimbo Banter

Why Most Webinars Suck

  • Trends
  • July 24, 2014
  • by Katie Sibley

Sleeping guy

Most webinars suck. Sorry, but it’s true. Over the years, we have benchmarked hundreds of webinars and they have all left a lot to be desired. We’re rarely impressed with the approach and more often than not we found ourselves distracted (checking email, taking phone calls, nodding off…) during webinars.

As a firm, we found ourselves struggling with how to create a truly engaging webinar. There are several reasons why webinars are increasingly popular. They are convenient, cost-effective and very time efficient. But, we found that important or even interesting material isn’t enough to make a webinar effective. Anyone who has been through a Spaeth training or seminar knows that our approach thrives on participant involvement, humor and lots and lots of video examples. Like our trainings, we wanted our webinars to entertain, engage and give participants immediate skills and takeaways.

When we set out to build our new webinar series, we created some simple “dos” and “don’ts.” Regardless the topic of your webinar (be it HR compliance, business updates, training, etc.), you should approach it as an opportunity to influence what your audience hears, believes and remembers. Let our dos and don’ts be your guide:

Don’t create any webinar over an hour. Average attendance duration is 56 minutes regardless of how long your webinar runs.

Do build in areas for engagement—not just polling, but solicit real feedback and discussion.

Don’t create a PowerPoint presentation and simply “narrate” it. (snore…)

Do use webcam when speaking so it appears more like a one-on-one or group discussion.

Don’t have technical errors. Easier said than done, right? Make sure you experiment and find a service provider that works for you.

Do use Spaeth’s PowerPoint Pointers. Remember, just because it comes out of your mouth does NOT mean it needs to be on a slide. Use your slides to influence what the audience members take-away.

Don’t use jargon or overload on statistics. We get it. You’re smart. You don’t have to use every static available to prove it. Haven’t you heard of KISS? Keep-It-Simple-Stupid.

Do practice! (Just like a speech or presentation, practice make perfect!)

You May Also Like


Celebrating 55 Years of “The World of Henry Orient”

Today is a special day for me. It’s the anniversary of the release of “The World of Henry Orient,” the movie I did with Peter Sellers and Angela Lansbury. Just five years ago, I was back on the… more 

8325104250 3732199178 o (1)

Amazon’s HQ2: The Real Winners and Losers

Amazon’s recent announcement of its HQ2 sites created quite the buzz and left other cities feeling like big losers. However, some city officials still won with their post-announcement communication – others, not so much. Winner – Dallas How… more 

Richard s. fuld, jr. at world resources institute forum

Lehman Brothers—Ten Years Later—One Eternal Lesson to Remember

News outlets and commentaries are talking about the tenth anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, an event that many experts believe pushed the U.S. into the worst recession since the Depression. Analysts are again debating the wisdom of the… more 

Back to Top