By Matt Murdoch and Treion Muller, FranklinCovey
Have you ever seen, or better still, been part of a group that decides to jump off a cliff at the local swimming hole? There are at least two interesting things to watch. One is approach and the other is execution. Experience and skill affects how each prospective diver approaches the edge. Some are confident, some are cautious and some are hell bent on just lettin’ ‘er rip.
While each individual has their own experience and perceptions about both approach and execution, there is one thing that all share in common – the platform. Whether you’re new at it or it’s old hat for you, you’re jumping off the same cliff – the same platform.
Adobe Connect is just that – a platform. It offers the same launching pad for the inexperienced and the expert. It provides a place to try something new (and a little bit scary) or something you’ve done a thousand times before. The platform itself is not what shapes either approach or execution. That is the province of the person on the platform and what they will do with their launch pad.
Don’t default and abandon control and creativity to the platform. Don’t let your approach, your plan or your execution be controlled solely by the platform. It’s a jumping off point, nothing more. Your job is to shape Adobe Connect to your ends. It’s the place you start from. It’s the jumping off point. Adobe Connect has far more potential than is usually tapped if you understand how to shape it to your ends rather than being contained by it.
There are four steps you can take to ensure you don’t default:
1. Awareness: Read the Manual
We know, almost nobody starts with the manual, but a detailed awareness of what the platform offers is THE starting point. Once you know what it CAN do you can start worrying about getting that platform to do what you WANT it to do.
2. Attempt: Try the Manual
After you’ve got a reasonable familiarity with the basics of what the platform can do, put it through its paces. Design a webinar but stick to the fundamentals – don’t get fancy yet.
What you’re looking for at this phase is a clean presentation – designed to deliver a message and stimulate an engaging conversation. And, create a presentation that is simple to deliver – not too complex or too technically convoluted. Just get off the cliff and into the water – and do the same jump a dozen or so times to get comfortable with it.
3. Assimilate: Apply the Manual
This is where we begin to break away from the simple default options of the platform. This is where we start to get fancy and, more importantly, where we start to make the platform our own. We make it our own when we get the platform to work WITH us and FOR our audience. It’s where you separate and prioritize what you’ve learned in the first steps into tools and techniques that you’ll keep and use and those that you’ll ignore or discard.
4. Author: Write Your Own Manual
Now, throw away the manual and never (or at least, hardly ever) look at it again. It’s time to experiment with new jumps and tricks and to author you own handbook. This is the most important method to avoid defaulting back to the same old way of doing things.
One final thought. Conducting a webinar is as different from live in-person training or a face-to-face meeting as jumping off a cliff is to jumping off your bed. You mustn’t default to traditional approaches because good-quality online events must be designed and delivered much differently to be truly effective.
You can learn more about this and other key principles in our book, The Webinar Manifesto: Never Design, Deliver or Sell Lousy Webinars Again.