When the lockdown (or MCO – Movement Control Order in Malaysia) started in Malaysia on the 18/3/2020, at first we were in a state of shock. We were unsure how to utilize the extra time available to us. As a health care provider, I could still go to work. However I had very few patients and a lot of time at work. I was spending most of my time preparing teaching videos and writing blogs, something I enjoyed doing. Then one day Myendosis an organisation for endometriosis in Malaysia asked me to be their speaker on their webinar. It was a great success. The reach I received was far and wide, much more than giving a lecture in a major city like Kuala Lumpur. The public had a lot of time and locked in in large numbers to watch the webinar. Since April 2020, the number of webinars exploded in numbers and variety. The reason is that there was a receptive audience for these webinars. I have been getting invitation to speak in a webinar almost every week. For me, there is an interesting webinar to watch almost everyday.
There are many advantages of learning from a webinar.
- They are mostly free
- You can watch it from the comfort of your home and save a lot of time by not travelling.
- You can learn from experts from different parts of the world even though sometimes the time zone can be troublesome.
- You can watch recorded versions of the webinar and learn more from it.
As more and more webinars are being offered, the problem is to find the time to watch them. At times I could not find the recording of that particular interesting webinar I watched before.
Here I am outlining 10 tips you should do when watching webinars
1. Have a note book – In order to make sure that you can watch a recording of a good webinar, get a notebook.
2. Write down the URL of the webinar, the name of the speaker and the date and time you watched the webinar. In this way you have a chance to watch it again if it is a good lecture. I think using a notebook is better than writing it in the computer or mobile phone. Webinars are watched on different platforms at different times (laptop, computer, ipad or phone) so a book is the best place, I think to write it down.
3. Find out whether the webinar will be recorded and will be available for you to watch again. Many companies say they will record it but you will not get the URL to watch it or the recording is only for a limited time or for a selective audience.
4. Consider recording the webinar yourself if you find that the topic is interesting and you want to watch it again. I use screenflow for my iMac to record webinars. You can choose any screen recording software for this purpose
5. Take down notes as you go along. Just like attending a live lecture, it is important to take notes. Since webinars are recorded, you may feel that you can watch it again. This only occasionally happens. It is better to think that you will never go back to watch that webinar (just like listening to a live lecture) and take notes on what you have learnt during the webinar.
6. Ask your friends for the URL if you cannot find a recording of a webinar. Many people keep a record of the webinars they have watched.
7. Ask your colleagues and friends who have watched a webinar whether it is good and what they have learnt from that webinar. Since there are so many webinars available, it is difficult to find the time to watch all of them. Some webinars you learn nothing even though you have spent an hour of your time watching them. By discussing with your colleagues you can select the webinars from which you can learn the most.
8. Make a list of the webinars you have learnt the most from and watch them again.
9. Watch recorded webinars when you think you are wasting time. There are times when you do not have the focus to do anything and just feel like lazing around. This will be a good time to watch webinars. If you have a list of recordings of webinars you can plan to watch them at these times. For me these are just after lunch when I feel sleepy, when I am walking on a treadmill, after dinner when I usually watch tv and so on. These are good times to watch a webinar. The important thing is that you must have planned before hand the list of webinars you want to watch so that you do not have to search for them.
10. After watching a webinar, write down what you have learnt from it. Write down how you can utilize what you have learnt into your daily practice. Most of the time what we think we have learnt never gets implemented because we forget. By writing it down and revisiting the pages, you have a better chance of implementing what you have learnt into you daily practice.
These are some of my thoughts on webinars. I think that these webinars will not last forever. It is available now because many experts have a lot of time during the lockdown and are able to talk to us. Once they have gone back to their practice it will be difficult to get them to give free webinars. We have to pay to listen to them at some conference in some part of the world.