We run weekly masterclasses at BrightCarbon. They’re free online webinars where we can share our insights on creating great presentations – from writing the content, through to presenting (even if you’re an introvert). The events were well-received, and we get good numbers registering and attending. What’s interesting though – and I think this is pretty standard – is that only about 50% of those registering actually show up for the event.

Some of those who registered probably knew in advance that they wouldn’t make it – but wanted access to a recording of the event. Others probably expected to make it, but just couldn’t attend on the day. A good number of those who missed a masterclass asked us for a recording. So did some of those who did attend.

So, did we record the 30-minute masterclass and send out the recording? No. We took the slides that were presented, and used them to record a 10-15 minute narrated presentation, uploaded that to Vimeo, and sent out a link to that video presentation instead. Why?

  1. Because sitting through webinar recordings is boring. It takes too long. I’m not sure why this is – after all, if you don’t ask a question it shouldn’t matter if the webinar is live or not – but somehow it does. It’s harder to remain focused on a webinar recording than on a live webinar.
  2. Because we want people to know that they get something a bit extra if they attend our live events. A bit more detail, a bit more interaction – in return for a commitment of time and attention.
  3. Because the chance that someone who missed the event will watch the ten-minute recording is higher than that they will watch the 30-minute recording.
  4. Because a ten-minute summary is shareable – something people might pass on to their colleagues. This helps us build an audience for future events – in the series, but also just in general.
  5. Because a Vimeo recording is easier to navigate, and generally higher quality, than a full webinar recording.

Take a look at one example of what we shared:

We do get asked for the full recordings – but at the moment, we don’t plan to share them.

We’re always running presentation masterclasses on PowerPoint, presentation skills, and creating sales tools. Register for free and you’ll receive a nicely produced video follow-up.

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Joby Blume


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  1. Image of Greg Sweet Greg Sweet says:

    Well said. I deal with quite a few requests to host webinars just to capture a recording. I always remind people that webinar is for live events, and if the intent is to create a self-paced resource, there are better tools — tools designed to create self-paced resources — available for the job.

    I’ll be referring a lot of folks to this post!

  2. Image of Joby Blume Joby Blume says:

    Thanks for the comment Greg.

    Webinar recordings are just not a good way to view slides. Hard to navigate, often slow-paced delivery, and a weird sense of having been better live.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Image of Dean Dean says:

    Remember also, the web (your webinar) is a global market and the earth is … you know … round. So it’s not always convenient for everyone to join your webinar when it’s scheduled … for your convenience, which is fair enough.

    So I often sign up KNOWING I’m not getting up at 4:00am to watch it live.

    Regards condensing your 30 min press into a 5 min Brainshark, perfect idea. It’s analogous as to why you shouldn’t send anyone a copy of your complete slides pre or post event. Besides, if designed correctly they should be almost useless absent the context of a live presenter.

  4. Image of Joby Blume Joby Blume says:

    Dean, fair point. We run our webinars at different times – but really for the European and North American markets. Which is kind of crazy as the guy in BrightCarbon who presents a lot of them is in Singapore – maybe we should schedule some for Asia and Australia/NZ.

    They are worth getting up for – but I understand why you might not want to…

    Our slides don’t make sense without a presenter – so we couldn’t just send out the slides without narration, and nor would we want to. But we could make the entire 30-minute webinar available on-demand. We choose not to as it does conflict somewhat with trying to get people to the live event, and also because most people won’t find time to watch 30 minutes, but might find time for 10 minutes.

    Our recordings do seem to have grown. We aim for something short, but often find they are nearer to 10 minutes now for the condensed version of a 30 minute event.

    PS Dean, I found your company website and blog. You should blog again – only one every six months or so, but they are better posts than 99% of the crap that gets written about presentations.

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