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Webcams: From Weird to Approachable Webinars

Nothing spices up a webinar more than adding video. Not that audio-only webinars are bad (I do lots of them), but there is something especially engaging about seeing the face of the person who is speaking to you. Now, most of the time when we think of video in webinars, we imaging nice stage sets, with professional-quality video production. But it’s time to reconsider the webcam. When webcams first arrived, nobody like using them. I hated them; it was awkward and weird. Where was I supposed to look? Why was I speaking into my laptop? It just didn’t feel comfortable. And so I, and most of you, just stopped using them.

And then something happened. Skype and FaceTime had us talking into our laptops, phones, and tablets non-stop. It was no longer weird; in fact, now, it’s quite normal. Not only are we used to talking into our devices, we are also used to seeing each other in this format too. Staring at someone talking into a webcam now feels personal and approachable.

Video webinars using webcams are great because they are cheap and easy to produce. Webcams provide you a few advantages that even studio video doesn’t, as they enable you to be agile and put together webinars very quickly to react to news, market conditions, or current events. Being the first to comment on what’s going on in your marketplace is a great way to establish your company as the thought leader and trusted advisor.

I also love webcams because they give you an easy way to brand your key presenters and help them connect to your target audience. Webcams have an intimacy that even studio video doesn’t, and they are a great way to create a bond between your presenters and your audience. What’s more, since you can webcam from just about anywhere, it’s easy to bring in presenters, no matter where they are in the world. This greatly expands your presenter pool.

Here are some helpful tips for webcam presenters:

  1. Never webcast from your desk — always go to a quiet room.
  2. Think carefully about your background. A glass conference room can look nice.
  3. Rehearse your presentation well, so you don’t have to keep staring down at your slides.
  4. Set your computer or laptop at eye level so you are not looking down at the camera.
  5. If you need a reminder of where to look, tape something above the camera. And remember, you are talking to a person.

Webcams can help you increase your number of webinars, and increase the level of engagement that you have with your audience. It’s fast, easy… and, yes, fun. So, open up that laptop and say hello to your audience.