Why Webinars Don’t Work

We receive requests for webinars all the time. My response is usually a flat “No. I won’t do one.” Then the caller asks, “Do you want a fee?” Again, my answer is no.

The reason I won’t conduct a webinar ~ which is tech speak for a Web-based interactive seminar ~ is because it is unproductive as a teaching tool and isn’t the best use of the company’s money, resources and time. I understand it is a budgetary consideration and I know a lot of speakers are touting them, but I personally believe they should only be used as a building block to another event and not be the replacement for an onsite seminar.

While webinars are effective in that they get a group of people together for training, they aren’t an efficient way to conduct that training. I find they promote a cafeteria consciousness in which attendees pick and choose what else they want to do. They may eat lunch. Check their e-mails. Walk around. Talk or text on their phones. Surf the Web or play Angry Birds on their iPhones.

It isn’t surprising that their attention wavers, their minds wander and they have trouble concentrating. There are too many distractions. Research proves that people who multitask do not pay attention or retain information as well. They don’t switch from one task to another as effectively as those who focus on one thing at a time.

According to the neuroscientists, that’s because one of the brain’s core limitations is its inability to concentrate on two things at once. Doing so actually slows it down and increases the chances for mistakes.

So there you have it. I don’t do webinars because I want all that brain power focused on learning.

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