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Teleseminar Tactics - Who, What and How?
By Chris King

We are surely in the middle of an information explosion - and, between you and me, I love it. We are bombarded with content, some helpful and some a waste of time. One of the newer approaches to sharing information is the use of interactive teleseminars. These are live seminars conducted over the telephone using TeleConferencing bridges and handled just like a telephone conference call.

The advantages are that there are no long commutes to a central meeting location, because participants may connect over the telephone from all over the world, plus they provide an incredibly cost effective and time efficient way for callers to enjoy all of the benefits of traditional, in-person seminars but with the added value of convenience, in terms of money and time.

I have attended many, listened to tapes generated during teleseminars and read the transcripts from others. In this article I will highlight how to reap the rewards of attending a teleseminar with tips on teleseminar etiquette; what makes a teleseminar worthwhile, with tips on keeping a teleseminar on track and meaningful; and resources for finding great teleseminars and how to plan and give your own teleseminar.

Teleseminars I have attended vary in cost from free to around $60. In all attended, however, I have paid for the long distance charges. Most last from an hour to an hour and a half, and with the competitive long distance phone charges today this adds up to very little (less than parking downtown for a couple of hours). Usually, one signs up and pays on-line - if there is a fee - then receives the phone number to call (the Bridge line number) and an access code. Most I have attended have been led by professionals who know the value of sending an e-mail reminder the day before. Several send handouts before and after, so the knowledge sharing is tremendous.

This week I will be attending another teleseminar given by the E-zine Queen, Alexandria Brown (www.ezinequeen.com). She sends a confirmation e-mail when you sign up which also includes her 12 tips for getting the "Most Out of the Class." Here are sone highlights from her tips and other tips of mine, which apply to all teleseminars:

  • Don't use speakerphones, cell phones, or computer/Internet telephony.
  • Schedule uninterrupted time, and do not multi-task while on the call in order to benefit fully.
  • Disable call-waiting. Use your mute button except when making a comment or asking a question.
  • Call in on time, or just a couple of minutes ahead. And, if you need to leave before the end of the teleseminar, let the leader know. Simply hanging up is equivalent to walking out of the class.
  • When commenting and/or asking a question, announce your name and where you are from, "Hi! I'm Chris from Cleveland, and I wondered …" Always be brief and to the point.
  • Avoid cross-talk between class members which interrupts the flow of the class.
  • Pay attention, take lots of notes and have fun. This is a great way to learn!

Just as with all seminars and presentations, some teleseminars are better and more helpful than others. If you are planning to hold your own teleseminar, you will want it to provide top value to your participants. Following are some of my suggestions of what produces an excellent teleseminar:

  • Structure: As with any presentation, pre-planning and a complete outline are imperative for a smooth tele-class. With the large number of people on the line (I have taken part in some with more than 200 participants), structure provides control. Know when to ask for questions and/or comments and how long to allow for them.
  • Consider having one or two guests and treat the teleseminar as an interview. Some of the most interesting and enlightening teleseminars I have attended have followed this format. Rebecca Morgan and Ken Braly offer some of the best of the best using this approach. You will find their upcoming teleseminars along with audio tapes of past ones at www.speakernetnews.com.
  • Provide handouts and/or a follow-up report or web page that reinforces the topics covered at the teleseminar. Even though listeners are furiously taking notes receiving a follow-up enhances the whole experience. My favorite marketing guru, Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing, always goes the extra mile in this respect.

At this point, you are probably asking, "With all of the work involved, why would I ever want to offer a teleseminar?" Yes, there is work involved, but the benefits are incredible. You will gain credibility and definitely sell products whether or not you charge for the teleseminar. Even if you don't charge a large amount per person, your costs are low and the income for the expenditure of time can be rewarding. You will have income from those attending, and then, if you tape the sessions, you will have a fine audio product to market.

My suggestion is to attend many teleseminars. You will not only gain a huge amount of information and network with others from all over the world, you will also discover the good, the bad and the ugly of the teleseminar platform, and whether or not it is something you want to tackle for a way to share your presentations.

Some resources to check out are www.teleseminarsuccess.com, www.budgetconferencing.com, and www.greatteleseminars.com, where I have just purchased and am reading in depth the 85-page e-book, "21 Days to Making Profits with Teleseminars and Teleclasses" by Daniel Janal. It is interesting to note that Dan suggests to start by attending a teleseminar. Let me know if you find some good ones and when you plan to give yours. Remember, I love getting your FEEDBACK.

 


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