Continuing experiments with Slideshare’s Zipcast web conferences

I did a quick presentation of Six Steps to Sharing on Slideshare’s Zipcast this Saturday.

I haven’t done enough audience/list development to invite lots of people to sign up, as most of my internal and external talks are organized and promoted by other people. As an experiment, I decided to think of this more like informal office hours and the bonus of being able to review and think about some of the presentations I’ve shared. That worked out well.

I’ve been using this to test video setups around the house, too. This time, I tried the kitchen, sitting on the floor near the back door. I got good light, a clean background, and the right height for the webcam – things that are more difficult to arrange when my laptop’s on the table. However, sitting on the floor made breathing slightly more difficult, and it changed the way I spoke. Downstairs is still my favourite setup, but it requires a bit of work – foldable background, three lights. The kitchen is the easiest to get up and running.

I couldn’t get my hair to stay still, so I wore a hat. They’re handy for that. =)

If I want to get better at this, here are the key areas for growth:

  • Connecting with more people who might find these presentations interesting
    • Mailing list?
    • Event registration system?
  • Figuring out a way to record the presentations: I’ve been having problems getting audio+video through Camtasia on the same computer, but I could record video and system audio if I can log in on a separate computer.
  • Developing material, of course
  • Doing this during the week

Is it worth investing time into this? Considerations:

  • PRO: Reviewing and presenting previous material is useful for confidence, flow, and constant improvement.
  • PRO: It would be good practice in building an audience and creating more value.
  • CON: Slideshare Zipcast pricing could change soon. Shift to advertising-supported Freebinar? (No webcam, but has screensharing and recording.) Webinars aren’t useful for me in terms of lead generation or revenue, so I won’t be going for the for-fee options. =) Really doing this more for fun and learning. Hmm, maybe if I think of it like
  • CON: I could spend the time and effort writing, recording videos, and helping people learn, and I would probably get better ROI from that.

I think I’m going to keep tinkering around with this, but I might not spend the time right now to make the most of Zipcasts or other webconferencing tools. It’s good learning, though, and I’ll be around every Saturday in case people have questions or ideas.