Webinars (also known as web meetings or web conferences) are great techniques for presenting EMS or fire education to a geographically distributed audience. There are plenty of free or inexpensive tools for web meetings like Skype, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, or Google+. I have also used WebEx and some other types that I can’t recall.
Webinars are also widely used for continuing education presentation. JEMS and EMSWorld.com frequently offer webinars from top international speakers. Last month I attended a webinar presented by Dr. Ray Fowler that was one of the best hours of EMS education I have ever received … even exceeding when I have seen Dr. Fowler present face to face.
Some of my tips when I present or when I help prepare another educator for a webinar presentation.
- Stay on topic as guided by the presentation title and objectives.
- Lay-out the agenda for the presentation at the start of the webinar.
- Inform attendees about how they can ask questions. I like text chat/question submission.
- Also let attendees know when they can ask or submit questions. I usually like to remind attendees about 15 minutes after starting that they can ask questions.
- Start on schedule. Yes people will trickle in and out, but honor the time of the people that arrived early and on time.
- Understand the technology. Will you be able to share your screen or will you need to load your PowerPoint slides into the web meeting software ahead of time.
- Practice! Just like a face to face presentation prepare to deliver your presentation.
Finally, create opportunities for the audience to interact or engage with you and one another through questions, polls, and even sending them links to other content and resources.
Experience a webinar – 3 remaining education methodology webinars from CentreLearn and Rom Duckworth.
Note: during a recent bout of desk cleaning I found the above tips hand written on an index card. I think I wrote these tips in 2009 for a blog post.