Well, I just finished my first webinar. It was a very interesting experience. I’ve attended a number of webinars but never presented one before. I’m quite comfortable with presenting in front of a group. I like being able to read the audience and adjusting as necessary. Webinars remove this important aspect from the presenter. I talked into a phone for 45 minutes, hoping that all was technically right and that everyone could here me and the ppt was moving well. I opted to leave questions until the end which meant lines were muted while I talked. It’s very difficult to tell if you’re connecting with your audience.
The experience reinforced one of the advantages of Second Life. The webinar made it difficult to connect properly with the participants. I find I have the same problem with distance education – chatting and email are fine but very impersonal in a way. Second Life allows me to connect a person with a physical representation through their avatar. It makes a profound psychological difference for me as it creates a different connection than chat alone can not allow – I can picture someone/something when I think of the person. If Second Life was robust enough, the webinar could have been much more personal and interactive. I can only hope that Linden Labs will reach the point where webinars can be held their effectively (I know that there are some offered now, but there is room for improvement).
All in all, the webinar was interesting experience and one I hope to do again. Thanks to all who joined me today!