How to Use Collaboration Tools in Webinars

By Sharat Sharan, John Carucci

Do you want to know the secret to engaging your webinar audience? It lies in the interactivity of the presentation. That’s where the audience feels like they’re an important part of the process.

There’s a concerted effort to move away from the day when webinars were in broadcast mode to webinars that enable a real conversation with the audience. That conversation is where most of the real engagement takes place during the event.

Basically collaboration tools can be anything and everything that help people communicate with each other. In the analog world, it could be as simple as passing a pad and pen from person to person in a small group. You could also refer to a conference call over phone lines as a collaboration tool. It doesn’t matter as long as it works in getting the group to share information.

Webinars use their own unique brand of group collaboration and communication tools. Although they are similar to one another, they are also slightly different.

Group collaboration tools provide the means for people to submit ideas, vote on them, rank them, or collaborate on those ideas as the webinar is going on. This can be done for training webinars and learning sessions, but it can also be done for general topics or conversations.

Group communication tools deal with chat and social media. Participants can tweet about the presentation to an external audience, or post comments on Facebook. You can have a live chat between participants going on during the webinar, as if your audience members were “talking” to each other.

Although there are a lot of different ways to create a more engaging webinar experience, sometimes you have to look no further than your own audience and dazzle them.