Have you played Webinar Bingo?

If you take in enough webinars, you notice certain patterns.  The same mistakes and weirdnesses keep cropping up.

So my friend Steven Kaye and I decided to share our experiences in the time-honored tradition of turning these videoconferencing pains into… BINGO!

Bingo by martathegoodone

Yes, you too can join us for a delightful, crowd-abusing game.  Get ready to pick out:

Presenter slides won’t display. Pause for questions.
Dead silence.
Presenter reads every single word of each slide. Audience members blocked from communicating with each other. Awkward pre-webinar socialization.
Audio won’t work for presenter or audience member. Time zone confusion. Presenter asks someone else to advance slides. Despite it being a videoconference, there is no actual use of video. “This isn’t a question so much as a comment.”
Unmuted mic carries loud environmental sounds. Video won’t work for presenter or audience member. Presenter refers to shared document that wasn’t shared. Audience complain about webinar on Twitter.
Presenter photobombed by animals, children, or stray adults. People get other participants’ names spectacularly wrong. Presenter doesn’t send out materials in advance so people can come with informed questions. No actual agenda for session.

Note that we’ve left open some spaces to invite you to add your own.

(BINGO image by martathegoodone)

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13 Responses to Have you played Webinar Bingo?

  1. Roxann Riskin says:

    I have these that I’ve experienced.
    Audience participation or engagement is not encouraged or invitational.
    Forgetting to mute participants, lots of background talking or noise-
    participants eating, or coughing.
    Backgrounds are too stimulating and/ or distracting- people walking around etc.

    • Bryan Alexander says:

      Roxann, what kind of background activity avoids distraction?

      • Roxann Riskin says:

        I think simple background objects, like plants, simple wall items, like an art picture helps the webinar audience focus on the presenter and not what’s competing in the background.

        If I find a presenter boring, anything in the background might become an area of my focus. With less in the background, I’m almost forced to watch or listen to the presenter. Or I might nod off too.

  2. John Sener says:

    Participant talks over another participant while introducing him/herself (since presenter did not organize participant introductions to flow sequentially in turn).
    Participant talks over another participant during session instead of using “raise hand” icon.
    Presenter recognizes one participant to talk while ignoring one or more other participants who have hands raised.
    Participant photobombed by animals, children, or stray adults.
    Participant disappears from video view without using ‘step away’ or similar feature.

  3. Trent Batson says:

    In the Webinars we did with AAEEBL, we made sure a chat space was visible. This is not a “mistake” comment, and not even “weirdness,” but maybe more a feature — at times, the chat space got so lively that the discourse energy had really shifted from speakers to “conversationalists” in the chat space.

    • Bryan Alexander says:

      Which is fantastic, isn’t it?
      Yet I keep finding webinar setups that discourage or simply block conversation. IHE does this.

  4. My contributions to the collection:
    When a presenter thinks it’ll be fine with a laptop camera pointing upwards and we get a good view of his/her nostrils, sometimes combined with a halo-like ceiling lamp.
    The use of in-built laptop microphones can also cause irritation, especially if that person types with the microphone on, sounding like an elephant tap-dancing. Most in-built laptop microphones are terrible.
    The worst of all is a lack of preparation. Good webinars need quite detailed choreography and I always insist on a meeting of all presenters a day or two before the session to go through the schedule. Also presenters should be in the room to check sound and video at least 30 minutes before start. Without this it can be very messy.

    • Bryan Alexander says:

      Excellent points, Alastair.
      That camera angle – so many ways to go wrong.
      Prep – indeed. Most ppl aren’t at the improv stage for webinars.
      Mics – I confess to typing like an elephant myself.

  5. Kelly Dempsey says:

    Here’s a few I’ve noticed Bryan:
    Webinar is too “salesy.”
    No time for Q&A at the end
    Scheduled at 5am (If presenters are from UK or Europe)
    Don’t reward attendees with a valuable freebie. (free educational ebook, cheat sheet, template, or another digital download)

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