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Webinars!

Am I alone

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Am I alone in my detestation of this lazy loathesome "Innovation".

They seem to exist purely for lazy educators to make money for pretty much bugger all outlay.

Almost without exception they are dull and droney, the lack of tangible interaction is noticeable: that is when they work, I frequently have issues with sound and vision, assuming I can actually connect to the session in the first place. 

I really do not see the point, the presenter has no feel for the audience so cannot moderate the presentation to suit and largely consists of them just reading out what will appear on my screen immediately they have said it.

I frequently find I have zoned out (gone to sleep) and missed a chunk, or find that boring task I have been putting off suddenly becoming very tempting and end up completing that with half an ear on the drone, so I suppose that is a positive!

Of course some are free, but they tend to involve putting the fear of the living God up you about some new law change, then offering salvation in the form of a miracle peice of software available at a "Bargain" price for attendee's, which when disclosed is such it would make Midas wince.

Hey ho, back to work

 

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By Briar
03rd Aug 2017 15:42

It's one advantage of having lousy Cumbrian broadband speed (500kps this week!!) - I can't watch webinars so can do some chargeable work instead.

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03rd Aug 2017 15:43

All your points are valid ones. Especially the last big paragraph, though those are really sales pitches instead of webinars.

But the big advantage of webinars is (subject to technical issues) you can do them whenever and wherever you like. It is preferable to see a lecturer in person, and be able to ask questions. However, doing so involves you fitting in with their timing, and incurring additional time and financial costs getting to the lecture location.

For keeping up general CPD a good webinar supplier can be a real boon, especially for a time-poor practitioner.

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03rd Aug 2017 15:53

Don't like them.

I've done a few - exclusively when there was no option of a face to face seminar - but I find them uninspiring.

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By NoirTie
03rd Aug 2017 18:03

Boring, mostly. When it leads to a sale pitch=angry

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03rd Aug 2017 18:48

Yes, they are sales pitches and the anger comes from being made to feel like they were doing you a big favour in giving you a free webinar to explain, I don't know, say the new MLR requirements, or the GDPR rules, then finding out the content skims the topic and says you don't need to know, just buy this over-priced software and stop worrying!

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to Smokoe Joe
04th Aug 2017 08:13

Smokoe Joe wrote:
..... a free webinar ....

Here's where you're probably going wrong, Joe.

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03rd Aug 2017 21:28

A fairly typical response on the internet. There is one bad webinar ergo all webinars are rubbish.

Of course there are duff webinars, and others that are simply the basis for advertising. However we find the format very useful for CPD, and most of the webinars that I watch are excellent. Most of them come through 2020 membership and it is evident that the presenters put the same thought and preparation into their webinars as they would do for a face to face presentation. Describing them as lazy educators after a fast buck is entirely unwarranted.

For us, we get first rate material with no travel time or costs and the webinars are the basis of our annual CPD programme. A classroom presentation is probably better in terms of feedback, but at least a webinar spares us from listening to the all too frequent bore who has an axe to grind, or who asks a question in 100 words when 10 will do.

And at least with the boring ones you can sign out, or keep it going in the background while you get on with some work. :-)

Not all webinars are the same and I wouldn't be without them.

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By mbee1
04th Aug 2017 11:20

They're useful if, like us, you're a practice in a small market town and have a trek to a city to attend a course in person. Yes they can be dull and boring or are just a sales pitch but you can be choosy about the ones you watch and can watch them when you want.

There's always the advantage that, if it isn't what you thought it was going to be, it's easy to press the top right hand "X" and leave rather than the embarrassment of walking out mid talk.

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04th Aug 2017 11:36

Agreed webinars are terrible things. God send for those that don't like interacting with other people - and there are many out their! However I would much rather spend time with real people at a course despite the travel hassles that can crop up.

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to paulgrca.net
07th Aug 2017 09:40

Thety're better than nothing and they're sometimes the only option for a specialist course. But I'd rather be there having a day out.

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04th Aug 2017 11:38

I've just launched a webinar on how to choose webinars if anyone is interested.........

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By Locutus
04th Aug 2017 13:18

I actually quite like webinars as a medium. You can do it at any time and don't need to lose valuable time in your working week.

Sure, you get good ones and bad ones, like all courses. And it is true that some companies offering free webinars *cough* Iris are little more than sales pitches, but the proper ones seem fine to me.

You say "I frequently find I have zoned out (gone to sleep) and missed a chunk" [of a webinar]

I can't remember how many times that has happened to me in a face-to-face course. At least with a webinar, you can rewind, which I have frequently done.

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07th Aug 2017 09:24

Interesting discussion. I too have been caught out by webinars that were oversold in the past - and I also dislike the 'Every accountant MUST [do something]' promos.

I much prefer speaking live to a group of accountants when proving tips and tricks to get more out of your practice, or how to stand out from your competitors. The challenge is reaching enough people in one venue and keeping the venue costs down.

I run a monthly webinar programme for sole practitioners precisely because of the benefits of this approach. Convenience, no travel, watch live or later, direct interaction with and access to the speaker, ongoing programme of advice and insights to help you breakthrough to greater success.

Just as with live events though, I cannot wave a magic wand. Participants have to commit to take action themselves if they want things to change. This is why I also encourage 'homework' and offer worksheets, guides and checklists too.

Webinars are not for everyone of course. And the over sold ones with little valuable content, may put off some audiences. That's a shame.

But I wouldn't write-off the concept just because some presenters get it wrong. That's the same as writing off all live CPD events because some speakers fail to deliver value. It's always worth treating each presenter individually.

Mark Lee
www.bookmarklee.co.uk/savvy

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By Alex_T
08th Aug 2017 10:59

I think webinars have their place and I don't particularly mind them. There is no doubt some are better than others but then again you could say the same for some classroom type presentations. It's all about the presenter IMO. A good presenter should be capable of making a webinar or classroom style presentation engaging.

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