Listen to the Podcast Episode Below (20:41)

Webinar Expert Shannon Bushman (Part 2)

In this episode Shannon covers mistakes people make doing webinars, should you use Powerpoint, and Hybrid Webinars.

Shannon was sitting in Fiji when he made the decision to do webinars.  Shannon Bushman is a Business Growth Strategist, specializing in moving struggling businesses into the fast lane.  Shannon spent 30 years in direct sales and marketing for some of the largest fortune 500 companies. He experienced first hand how companies succeed and how they fail.  He firmly believes that today Entrepreneurs can not only compete with large companies but beat them in the market with better marketing and sales practices.  He loves webinars because it exemplifies the old school adage that “People do business with people they know, like and trust” and there is no better way to do that today than in a webinar.

You can connect with Shannon at PeekCustomer.com, or Shannon@PeekCustomer.com

Click here to watch the entire interview in video format

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Read Full Transcript

Melodie:
Let's change course just a little bit. I know one of the things you mentioned is you've had some horror story. What's some of the mistakes or some of the things people can avoid when doing webinars? We all have our horror stories, but I'd people to know that they're not alone out there when these things happen.

Shannon:
I think we've covered some of them, the technical problems, tidbits. A lack of understanding about the environment that you're working in.

Melodie:
Like us today.

Shannon:
It could be something entirely different. If you're doing something like this from an office environment, you don't know what's going on in the rest of the office. You don't know how much of the bandwidth is being consumed by all of the other things that are going on around you. Unless you have gone and made special arrangements, told everybody what you're doing. You may just have people who all of a sudden swamp the network. No matter what you do, you can't recover.

Understanding that what's going on in the environment. I'm sitting here looking at my computer and I really don't want it to suddenly decide it needs to a backup and start streaming a bunch of stuff across the network or whatever, because I want my bandwidth. I want to be able to use it.

There are other just simpler technical things like the microphones. One thing I notice is if people get really hangup on gear, that this is problem. I can tell why because I went through a lot of that stuff myself. I still see in a lot of the ... I've seen this in several online groups, Facebook and whatever, talking about webinars, talking about video. They're, "What's the best microphone?" I'll see all these recommendations. I'll be, "Wow! I don't think you guys have used this stuff. At least not in your standard," I don't know, "environment."

I can tell you that this particular microphone replaced studio quality, great ... This is a $50 microphone. The reason it's a $50 microphone isn't because it's $50, it's because it happens to be a dynamic microphone that doesn't pick up the road noise or things outside. I'm not in a studio. If I showed you around, it looks like a studio. I have green screens and a bunch of lights and stuff in here.

In truth, it's not a soundproof studio. Which is what a lot of those studio mics they're designed. They are fantastic microphones. You turn it on and it picks up every click and horror and then the car goes by and everybody hears all of these stuff.

A cheaper dynamic mic, this is not to plug anybody in particular. This a Audio-Technica 2100, ATR2100-USB. It's a beautiful microphone.

Melodie:
I have one of those. I actually have a Yeti on my desk, and I didn't pay for it. If anybody wants to know, I got it ... It works well.

Shannon:
I have a Yeti too. Yeti is a great mic.

Melodie:
I take the one like you have. That's the one I put on my bag to take on the road with me. [inaudible 00:03:20].

Shannon:
Yeah, it's [inaudible 00:03:22] indestructible. It's a great microphone, and it's $52 bucks or something online.

Melodie:
I think I got mine on sale for 40 or something. I got some deal.

Shannon:
Yeah. Don't go out and spend ... I see people looking at $800, $900 mics, I'm going, "Are you planning to record an album or are we just talking about a webinar?" My camera is a Logitech 920C.

Melodie:
That's what I have.

Shannon:
It's $60 or $70. It's a great quality camera. You get simple stuff like webcam setting so that you can adjust some of the brightness controls and zoom it in a little bit and you're done.

Melodie:
It's the same camera I use. My husband has it too, because it works, it does [crosstalk 00:04:07].

Shannon:
You don't know how many clients ... We start talking about, "There's no going ..." They think they've got to go buy a DSLR. Hey, I got a DSLR right over there in a box. It stays in the box 90% of the time unless I go outside. It's really turned into more my fun camera. It has nothing to do with this work. It's a nightmare by comparison. This is much more having a car that starts every time than going ... Trying to get all that to work.

Melodie:
That's the part of the reason why when I'm doing these interviews, I record them on Blab because it's a lot less setup. I use Webinar Jam Studio, I love it, and I do some of these interviews on Webinar Jam Studio. It just depends on we want. Other than issues, either that, it's a lot less setup. It's a lot less time. It's a lot less overhead.

I guess it's the same thing you're saying with the equipment. Unless you're going to be an expert and you're putting on a studio quality. You don't need to make it harder. I think that's how I look at it. You don't need to make it harder or more complicated than it is.

Shannon:
I think there's a lowered. You get on something like Blab, they're expecting you to be using your iPad or something to use that. If I go to some slick looking webpage, I expect a better quality video, or I don't know.

This is real time and people expect real time problems like we did getting started. They don't really expect the sound is perfect. They don't really expect that everything is perfect and the kind of things that ... I'm not saying that expensive gear doesn't produce a better product. It does. It is necessary? I don't think it is.

Melodie:
Don't let it prevent you from getting started doing webinars. Stop think you have to have ... To me, for a webinar, the most important thing for a webinar is high speed connected internet, because that will cut your issues that you have with webinars tremendously.

If you're going to have high speed, up and down speed, [nitbug 00:06:19], most of your issues technically will go away or be minimized.

Shannon:
I've attended plenty of webinars where somebody is using their built-in webcams, they're using earbuds microphone. You know what? It's great, because if the content is there and I can get what I wanted out of it, that's what I really care about. I don't care about your green screen and your DSLR look and all of that.

If it's not annoying. If there's not a constant noise in the background. In fact, here's a perfect example. There's a heater, just come on. Can you hear it?

Melodie:
I cannot. Actually, my laptop, the fan has been running the whole time and it doesn't pick that up.

Shannon:
That's why I got this microphone is because it can't hear that heater when it comes on. It doesn't pick it up, but it picks me up just fine. My studio mic where that would come in and people would be, "What's that? What's that sound?" "That's my studio microphone getting in the way of what we're doing here. I think I'll go get something cheaper."

Melodie:
It's interesting, I think you do need to test. I had a ... Oh! What's the other one?" It's another Yeti. It's not a Yeti mic. The blue ... I'm trying to think the other one. I had another blue mic, and it was terrible. In my office, it picked up everything. I tried every setting. I rearranged by office. It was awful.

Shannon:
Every time you shift in your chair, it makes a noise and it comes through the mic.

Melodie:
It picked up everything. I'd switched it with my husband's. I'm the technical person, so he gets my hand-off. He had my Yeti because this was a newer mic. I switched them back. He has no issues with it in his office. He does Skype and stuff like that all the time, and I got the Yeti back and it works fine here.

Sometimes you will see stuff like that. I do say, whatever you get test it, test it in your environment, because you will see ... Like you said, you'll see the fan getting picked up. You'll see the heater pick up. I have a ceiling fan in here and I have to be careful because I forget it's on. When I'm on Blab or something, you'll see this big shadow and it looks like birds are circling or something over my head.

That's the other thing I'll point out. When you're doing webinars and you're on the camera, don't give distractions to people that you don't want, because they'll be going, "What is that?" Instead of listening to what you have to say. Be careful.

I did see Rob [Hicks 00:08:50] on here put high speed internet, number one. Number two, stop using PowerPoint. I like PowerPoint. I think there's a place for it, but I do think people rely on it way too much and it takes away from the ... Sometimes it can takeaway from the content in what you're trying to do.

I use PowerPoint, but I do a lot software demos. PowerPoint is there because people ask for it afterward. I spend more my time demoing in software than I do in PowerPoint.

Shannon:
When I use PowerPoint, it's not to make Fancy stuff. It's bullets, two, three bullets on a slide and I talk to those ... I put it up there so that they can have something to look at rather than just my talking head.

Melodie:
I put it up there if it's a list. I also put it up there if I have links, because a lot of times that's something people ask for is the PowerPoint. It's a good giveaway. Good way to add them to your list. There are different ways to use that.

Like I said, I always put a lot of resources when I'm doing the software, my real job thing. That's where it comes. I really struggle, because there was a lot on there, it didn't need any PowerPoints at all, I just did on software demos. What I found is people wanted something to take away.

What they do with it, I don't know. I get to say ...

Shannon:
It doesn't matter.

Melodie:
Yeah, it doesn't matter. They want it.

Shannon:
To me, it's another one of those ... It's any good ... If they want your business card, give them a business card. I guarantee, most of them ended up in the trash, but I've given out thousands of business cards to people.

Melodie:
Me too.

Shannon:
Great. By the way, it does give you something to give them at the end, so that you can say while you're wrapping the whole thing up, "By the way, go to this link and you can download the PowerPoint. There's all those micro-commitments that people make to you in a sales process and doing something like clicking the link you gave them and going and getting the PowerPoint that they're even looking at live right now, part of it. It's part of the thing.

I'm sure I have lots of PowerPoints I've downloaded that way that I never opened. Probably never looked at again. I probably should start throwing them away. Still, it's another micro-commitment that they can make. I'm a big fan of queuing up a lot of micro-commitments. I like my customers to say yes to me many, many, many, many times.

Before, I say, "Okay. Now, I'm looking for the big yes. I want you to buy. I want you to commit."

Melodie:
I think it's just listening to them. Like I said, in my case, people were asking for them. I'm, "What do you want these?" I'm, "But you're asking, so I'm going to start doing it." I did. That's one of the key things I get asked.

I will say, I'll comment to Rob as well, that I have seen a lot of people now doing a split-screen, and I don't think Webinar Jam Studio does this very well. You probably could use XSplit or something like that and do it with a split screen where they're on one-half and their PowerPoint is on the other half or something. I think that's a good way about it too, because I do think seeing you ... This goes back to your point of them learning to know if I can trust you. Making that connection.

I even encourage people, people that are brand new to webinars event, brand on the camera that are afraid of. I'm, "At least get on it for a minute or two so they can see and connect with you." If you want to do PowerPoint ... I'm with you Rob, I don't necessarily believe in PowerPoint for the whole 60 minutes or however long you're doing. To get somebody started, I want them to be comfortable and get going.

Shannon:
One of the things that I do run into is, let's say that you've got a customer and they want to give their PowerPoint five days a week, do their webinar five days a week, and they can generate the traffic and fill rooms. After a fashion, they lose the momentum, the zeal for presenting it. You know what's it like. After you've given the presentation 48 times, you lose some energy in their.

One of the values of a PowerPoint component is that you could start the ... I did this today. I started the webinar live. I called it a hybrid setup. I started the webinar live. It's me talking. "Hey, can everybody hear me? Where are you all from? Let's talk a little bit. Let me set this up for you. Okay, great. Let's rock it. I'm going to switch over to my desktop."

When I switch to my desktop, what I'm really doing is switching to a video. It's usually a screen flow of video that I made in advance when I was really on my game, doing the PowerPoint. I play the video. That can go for an hour. I'm sitting there the whole time. I typically tell people, "Go ahead and ask your questions, we'll answer them all at the end. Just put them in there."

I'm making notes the whole time, or even answering people's questions as we go. I'm making sure that things like the popup offers happen when they're supposed to. If there's a download that they're supposed to get at a certain point in the webinar that that happens. I don't need staff to manage that thing if I'm not doing the live presentation. It preserves my energy. When I got a good version of that, of that presentation.

I'm live, I'm recorded, and then I'm live. I sandwich on both ends so that they're getting enough of me, me, but not an hour plus of this face and all of my hand movements and stuff.

Melodie:
I suspect more of the webinar if you watch online, or that way, from automated to that way where people have recorded at least a portion of it, and there's some of the big names do it. If you watch long enough, you can pick it up for most people, because you know what you're looking for. Most people in there can't. That's the truth.

Yeah, I have no issue with that either. I think, especially if you're on there live, because you're answering their questions. That's really, at the end of the day, what's important to me is that they walk away with their questions answered and they don't have additional ... They're not going, "I don't know. Blah-blah-blah." Wishy-washy, they know what they know.

Shannon:
You only come to a presentation with a certain amount of energy. It takes it out of you. You've just done an hours worth of live presentation and people are now bombarding you with questions. Do you really have the energy left to answer all those questions or not?

There's some value in preserving a little bit of that using the presentation, or the PowerPoint component. Coming in at the end, still full of energy.

Today, I started a webinar. I launched it off live. I knew that I had an hour and seven minutes of video. People were asking questions and made notes about the questions. I answered a few of them that were simple, that I could say yes, no, whatever inline. I don't need another staff person to do that or to keep track of what's happening while that all is playing.

When I get to the end, I haven't missed a bunch of people's questions if they scrolled off the screen. I don't want to have a whole process where I'm sitting there, going back down through a list, trying to identify who said something, because sometimes there's just a lot of comments, like Rob's free donuts question there.

Melodie:
That was his giveaway when we're talking about the PowerPoint [crosstalk 00:16:48].

Shannon:
I look at that, I'm, "Gee! Do I have to answer something about free donuts?" No.

Melodie:
Exactly.

Shannon:
I do like that process. I wish we had free donuts for you Rob. I'm sorry. I like that the way that translates into preserving some of my energy for the end. The content is there. I can address the questions that came up in the middle of it, and I'm there. I'm there to kick it off. I switch to the desktop. People don't expect necessarily me down in the corner. Some people do that. I don't know whether there's a value in that or not.

As long as you didn't include a shot of you in the video portion wearing a different colored shirt than you had when you started the thing out. You really haven't given a whole lot up. Things that do give it away are, like our audio levels aren't equivalent. You started the thing out and you're way too close to the microphone. It cuts to the video and it sounds right, and then you come back on the end and you're too close to the microphone again. There are things like that that ...

Melodie:
Or you have the problem that a lot of people are guilty. Sometimes I got accused of this which I don't see it, but evidently I have a presentation voice versus my normal voice. When I'm live, I think maybe have a different ... I don't think it's true, but I've been told this, that sometimes that I have that different.

The same thing as if you get on, you're talking about live and then you're recording as your professional voice versus your normal speaking voice. That would [crosstalk 00:18:32].

Shannon:
Your radio voice.

Melodie:
Exactly. I don't think I have a radio voice, but that's okay.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Shannon:
Thanks for having me on. This was great. I enjoyed it just tremendously. Yeah, very much.

Melodie:
Yeah, I learned stuff. Between you and I and the people on here, I do this because I learned from what other people do. That's how I learn. I decided to do my podcast and get the groove, the dynamics from everybody so we can learn from each other. That's why I do it. That's how I came about this.

Shannon:
Great plan. Great job.

Melodie:
I appreciate your time. Thank you for connecting. I'm sure we'll see you on Facebook. I should say that I will add it on here. I have a Facebook group for webinars, [all thing 00:19:14] webinars. The name of the Facebook group is We Deliver ... Let's see if I can say it right. I know what's it's called. Deliver Webinars Like a Pro. That's the name of the group.

If anybody on here wants to join, you can do that as well. We just ask questions. People ask questions and post things if they want feedback, stuff like that. Thank you guys. Have a good one.

Shannon:
Great. All right. Bye.