Yesterday I really walked the talk when it comes to the expression ‘Progress over perfection’. I presented my first ever webinar via Zoom.
Cringeworthy in some senses (oh who I am kidding, cringeworthy in many senses) but absolutely exhilarating in others.
This experience illustrates certain of my personality traits in vivid detail. When I was invited to do the webinar by my friends at AIOP (Australian Institute of Office Professionals) I immediately said yes. In fact I think it was an emphatic YES. Nothing like a bit of external accountability to get me over the line when it comes to running a webinar. It was a task that would potentially have stayed on my to-do list for infinity if I had relied on internal accountability.
Why? Because I’m an Obliger in the parlance of Gretchen Rubin.I meet or respond to outer expectations but resist or struggle with internal expectations. Gretchen sums me up this way:
“You can count on me, and I’m counting on you to count on me”
In her recent book on the four tendencies she shares a joke submitted by a reader
How do you get an Upholder to change a lightbulb?
Answer: He’s already changed it.
How do you get a Questioner to change a lightbulb?
Answer: Why do we need that lightbulb anyway?
How do you get a Rebel to change a lightbulb?
Answer: Do it yourself.
How do you get an Obliger to change a lightbulb?
Answer: Ask her to change it.
Yep. That just about sums me up! As an obliger I struggle to motivate myself but give me a firm deadline and by hook or by crook I’ll get it (whatever the ‘it’ may be) across the line.
What I hadn’t shared with the lovely lady from AIOP was that I hadn’t ever run a Zoom webinar before. I’d used Zoom as an attendee but had never been at the control panel so to speak. Now an Upholder would probably have prepared for the live event by conducting a run through (probably multiple), roping in a couple of people to act as attendees so they could test out all the various elements of screen sharing, switching between presentation and browser to share videos etc. That person probably would have had their presentation completed at least twenty four hours ahead of the scheduled time and made arrangements to be seated and set up well in advance of the start time.
Yes well that person is clearly not me!
I was still editing my presentation until about 5pm (start time was 6:30pm). I then decided that I should create a free download to provide to attendees to practise some of the skills we would be discussing. So that involved creating a two page PDF in Canva, setting up the document in Mailchimp and then creating a dedicated page on my WordPress site to point people to for this tool. Oh and did I mention that I was doing this all whilst whizzing around in the car from one pickup to another and then finding myself stuck in traffic at 6:10pm considering that I may need to pull into the nearest petrol station and fire up my computer to run the webinar from my car (with two children sitting out of screen).
Screaming into the driveway of 6:25pm I bolted into the house and got my computer plugged in and managed to launch the webinar on time at 6:30pm. As I’m watching the attendee number whizz upward I realised that I hadn’t actually trialled switching to slideshow mode on my presentation. Indeed I spent the first portion of the webinar trying to present and work out how to switch between my slideshow and the ‘chat’ sidebar.
I think I mentioned the phrase ‘progress over perfection’ at least half a dozen times. It was only when I was playing my second video clip that someone alerted me that attendees couldn’t see it because I hadn’t ‘switched’ the screen to the browser I was playing YouTube from!
Today I downloaded the recording of the webinar so I could see exactly what I looked like. It was only when watching the recording that I realized that for a good portion of the webinar my head was captured from the nose down….I thought people could see my brilliant facial expressions and in fact they were getting my mouth and chin most of the time!!
I could have found this deeply demoralising. I can gladly say that I’m quite philosophical about the litany of things that I stuffed up in the course of doing this. I think the reason why I feel this way is that I feel really comfortable that my intention was good and I was coming from a place of sharing. I worked really hard to make the content of the webinar helpful and informative and I know that I did deliver on that intention. I will re record it for my own purposes and put it up on my website but I’m also going to keep this screen shot of the reality of my first attempt at a webinar….far from perfect but definitely progress!
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I work with executive assistants and administrative assistants to equip them with the skills and confidence they need to influence more effectively and demonstrate the leadership and interpersonal skills to make them a 'linchpin' to their boss and organisation.