wild garden

Do not forget that PowerPoint is a tool designed to augment a presentation not be a presentation. You are the presenter. You are the focus. Not your slides. Not your props. And not your handouts. You are in the lead role and you need to retain that role. No amount of “razzle dazzle” can overcome a weak presentation. If you don't do your job, PowerPoint can't save you. It only makes a bad presentation worse.

Power Point

power point

No one enjoys sitting through bad power point presentations. Power Point is a very useful program. Take the time to find out how to maximise this program so that your presentations do not put everyone in the room to sleep.

A Web 2.0 Directory

web directory

No point reinventing any wheels. The Web 2.0 Directory is something quite remarkable.



Make calls from your computer, free to other people on Skype. This program is being used to link children to schools in distant countries. Hawkesdale students are communicating with students in New Zealand and South Korea.

Anne Mirtschin from Hawkesdale, a small rural community in the Western District of Victoria, says that "Skype has opened up a whole new world - cyber and international world that is for me personally, and for our school.  Skype is VOiP (Voice over internet protocol) which allows (to put very simply) two computers to ring each other like a telephone. Such calls are then free, except for the cost of the download time which is minimal." Read the rest of her article about Skype.

Gcast - Podcast


Gcast lets you Podcast for free.

Day 17

Webinars,Talks and Professional Development


When you visit Ted and watch talks by the greatest thinkers and doers it is fuel for the imagination. Aside from the benefit of listening the whole idea of this site is worth emulating in senior classrooms. Web tools provide a whole new way for staff and students to present.

Webconference - Webinar

A webinar - essentially a web conference with audio - is a great way to conduct training, introduce new products, and conduct working meetings. In any situation where meeting participants are scattered around the country and need to share documents and data, a webinar is an effective solution. Here are some tips on how to make sure your webinar runs smoothly.

Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings or presentations over the Internet. In the early years of the Internet, the terms "web conferencing" and "computer conferencing" were often used to refer to group discussions conducted within a message board (via posted text messages) therefore not live, but the term has evolved to refer specifically to "live" or "synchronous" meetings, while the posted message variety of discussion is called a "forum", "message board", or "bulletin board".

In a web conference, each participant sits at his or her own computer, and is connected to other participants via the internet. This can be either a downloaded application on each of the attendees computers or a web-based application where the attendees will simply enter a "URL" or website meeting address to enter the live meeting or conference. These web-based applications are used either with Flash or Java technology.

A webinar is a type of web conference, that tends to be mostly one-way, from the speaker to the audience with limited audience interaction, such as in a Webcast, which is transmission of information in one direction only, like watching a concert on the internet. A webinar however, can be very collaborative, and include polling and question & answer sessions to allow full participation between the audience and the presenter. A webinar is 'live' in the sense that information is conveyed according to an agenda, with a starting and ending time. In most cases, the presenter may speak over a standard telephone line, pointing out information being presented on screen, and the audience can respond over their own telephones, preferably a speakerphone. There are a few web conferencing technologies on the market that have incorporated the use of VoIP audio technology, to allow for a truly web-driven presentation, removing the need for any external devices, such as a telephone.

Running Successful Webinars by Quinn McDonald

Writing a Webinar is similar to writing a podcast, with the exception that you are most often live and will have PowerPoint during the Webinar and questions to ask afterwards.

Create the topic first, then the script, then the PowerPoint.

The topic should be clear and limited. Most Webinars run for one hour. Write a script. If you are using PowerPoint, do NOT create slides with bulleted lists of unrelated topics. They belong in the Notes section. Tell a story with PowerPoint, keep away from bulletpoints.

Webinars don’t give the host feedback, as live meetings do. It’s more like giving a speech in the dark.

Webinars should follow speech and podcast rules for structure:

  • Introduce the topic in a broad, big picture
  • Limit the topic to what you will cover in the hour you have
  • Create an opening that uses facts, a question, or a startling statement.

Because the audience may include individual listeners (not groups), you will have to let them know if a statement is startling. Do not use humor. Humor demands feedback and Webinars don’t have feedback.

In the middle section, present your facts.
Give your reader a clue, “You’ll hear three important points for planning your retirement.”

  • Support your facts.
  • Use PowerPoint for emotional impact.
  • PowerPoint was not designed as a report.

If you are sending a summary or a report, do not use the PowerPoint presentation. It wasn’t designed to be a report.

Create a strong ending by using a quote, a supporting fact, or a benefit to the audience.
Wrap up the Webinar by restating the important facts or by a call to action.
If you are going to send notes, tell people how—download or email.
Ask for questions.

Handling Webinar Questions

Repeat the question to make sure you know what the questioner wants to know.
Answer the question briefly. Briefly is the key.
Ask the questioner if your points answer the question.
If not, allow the questioner to rephrase the question.
Once the question is answered, say, “Does anyone else have a question?”
Wait about 10 seconds before wrapping up with the ending.
Thank people for coming and reminding them how they will receive notes.

Quinn McDonald is a writer who creates and runs business communication training programs. (c) Quinn McDonald. 2007, All rights reserved.

Setting up your Webinar by Quinn McDonald

Setting Up a Webinar
In many situations, the writer, rather than the Webinar leader, is in charge for setting up the Webinar.

Here are some tips on Webinar presentations.

Preparing for a Webinar
Webinars are virtual seminars. They are a good way to reach those who need orientation or specific-topic training. It’s easy to think that a webinar is run just like a meeting, but there are some specifics that need to be planned ahead of time.

Find the Webinar Provider That’s Right for Your Needs

There are many webinar providers, offering different services, features, prices, and extras. Start at least eight weeks before you plan on running the orientation. You’ll need some lead time.

Before you call providers, develop a list of questions and items you already know about your needs. For example, time zones involved, computer platforms (PC and Macs), ISPs (Firefox, Ubuntu, Safari, Internet Explorer get different results), number of participants in total, highest number of participants in a single location, and approximate length of program.

Almost all support PowerPoint, but if you plan on developing material you will share through Adobe Acrobat or web development programs, ask the provider if they support that software program. Webinar providers don’t know what you are planning, and may not mention other choices, so ask. You’ll get a provider better suited to your needs if you can compare products, services, not just price.

Run a Practice Webinar
Webinars aren’t difficult, but they are different from running a meeting or a conference call. Ask for a practice session if you’ve never run one before. To make the practice work well, you’ll have to prepare all your materials first. Then ask two people from sites that will be participating to help you by signing on and asking questions. Some providers have a practice session built into the price or have a practice run rate.

Create, Send and Stick to a Schedule

Most people are busy, so send a “save the date and time” email about a month ahead of time. Include instructions for downloading software and installing it correctly. Ask the provider what ISP or platform is best. Don’t assume everyone uses a PC and Internet Explorer. Provide a telephone number if participants need help. Keep the number handy yourself in case something goes wrong.

In the ‘save the date’ email, send a link to a page on your website that shows the entire schedule for the webinar. If you run one Webinar a month, at the same date (15th of the month or the closest workday in the week prior) or day of the week (third Thursdays at 10 a.m.) it will help attendees plan their time.

Send a reminder of the contents and time of the webinar one week ahead of time. Send a “see you there” reminder the day before.

If you are the moderator, be ready to go 15 minutes ahead of time. Start on time, and respect your participant’s schedules by ending on time as well.

The moderator’s job is to present fresh material that is easily understood and to answer questions. PowerPoint was not made to be a report, or to be a read-only document. PowerPoint presentations filled with lists of bullet-point that are topic headings won’t work.

You won’t be able to cover as much material in a one-hour webinar as you can in a one-hour classroom session. You will need to repeat important points more than once. You will need to give examples and show diagrams, photographs, and charts that make your material easily understood.

After the Presentation
If your service provider offers a way to record and store the presentation, the moderator will find it useful to listen to it after the presentation. You’ll get a feeling for how you sound and present, and how you used PowerPoint.

Ask for feedback from the participants. You may be surprised at the good suggestions you get from hearing from the other side of the computer and phone.

Quinn McDonald is a writer who creates and runs business communication training programs. (c) Quinn McDonald. 2007, All rights reserved.