I’m Jennifer Dziura, founder of GetBullish. Our symbol is a bull with a unicorn horn on it — a bullicorn, if you will. GetBullish provides feminist-minded work talk — and an annual conference — for young, often irreverent women.
We use PGi’s iMeet to power our webinars, a monthly series on topics from, “Multiple Income Streams: Cutting Through the Bullsh*t” to “Negotiate Like a Woman (Without Bullying or Tricks!)”
I’ve noticed that a lot of other organizations’ webinars are more like sales presentations. The presenter tells her own engaging success story for five minutes, gives 35 minutes of information, and ends with a 10-minute sales pitch. It is, as they say, a proven formula.
At GetBullish, though, the webinars are a product in and of themselves, and are the main way that members of the GetBullish community reconnect in between conferences.
Here are 4 ways we’ve changed the webinar script.
Bullicorns are often former straight-A students, now transitioning to being more aggressive and iconoclastic in their careers. That is, we’re used to homework. As such, we’ve combined our webinars with a bit of a book club.
This month, we’re reading Julie Morgentstern’s SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life. Last month, we “hate-read” Tim Ferriss’s classic The 4-Hour Workweek (a “hate-read” in the sense that pretty much all of us were appalled outsourcing your dirty work to underpaid virtual assistants, and by achieving your light workweek by tricking your coworkers into doing your work for you — but there were still enough useful life and business hacks that it was worth reading the book with a community of equally skeptical and social-justice-minded friends).
2. Personal Slide Contributions
When people haven’t met in person, it’s helpful and interesting to provide a little context — when someone has a fascinating perspective, you want to know what she does for a living and how you can follow her on social media right away!
Before each webinar, we create a slide template in PowerPoint and send it out to those who have registered. Attendees add their photo, job title, and social media links, and answer questions related to the month’s topic, like “When was the last time you should have negotiated but didn’t? What was stopping you? And when was your last negotiating victory?”
3. Contribute Questions Ahead of Time
When I’m presenting a webinar, of course I answer questions as they come in. But sometimes people have a hard time articulating a complicated question on the fly, and sometimes I’d like a little time to think about the answer. So we ask for people’s questions in the weeks leading up to the webinar, and each becomes a slide in the webinar.
When running a webinar, it’s also important to remember that most people are going to have other applications open on their computer, or perhaps be on their second glass of wine (we encourage this). Any time you give a presentation, assume that people are constantly drifting in and out. So it’s helpful to signpost: having the asker’s question on a slide helps people keep their place, thematically, in the webinar, and keeps them from perceiving a whole segment of the webinar as “just talking.”
4. The Yearbook
After the webinar, we send each new attendee an invite to our secret Facebook group, and then we send everyone the “yearbook” — a PDF export of all the slides submitted by everyone who attended.
We even have a recommended etiquette for getting in touch with people from the yearbook. Send anyone an email with, “Hey, this might be weird, but I saw you in the webinar yearbook and thought I’d get in touch.” The bullicorn community is very helpful — you can expect a “Not weird at all!”, and a new friend and career ally.