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311 ways to look bigger than you really are (lessons from Anthill’s first webinar)


On Wednesday, Anthill held its first ever webinar, with the help of Roger Courville and Citrix GoToMeeting.

At its conclusion, I invited participants to share any ‘take-homes’, as a way to reinforce lessons and share their knowledge.

While 718 people registered for the Webinar, 311 actually took part (a better than typical response, I’ve been told).

Naturally, the title of this post is my not-so-humble attempt to harness the views of these 311 participants. It’s a bold headline and extremely unlikely to eventuate. (If we get 311 responses, I’ll make a web-cam of myself singing soprano in my pajamas.)

But, as my dad once said, “If you aim for the stars, you might just reach the roof of the dunny shed!”

To get the ball-rolling, here are three take-homes’ of my own:

1. Why should you try to appear bigger than you really are?

At the beginning of the webinar, Roger questioned why it is that we even bother trying to appear bigger than we really are in the first place.

It seems that industry leadership is no longer entirely determined by the size of an organisation’s workforce or annual turnover.

Leadership comes from… you guessed it… leading!

And the easiest way for an emerging leader to get started is often by sharing wisdom and insights to become a… ‘thought leader’.

2. Exploit other people’s traffic

If you have a unique view or wisdom to share, Roger suggested building a blog, creating an ebook or offering your services as a public speaker.

However, while there are shortcuts to achieving any of these outcomes (which I hope will be presented by others as comments below), he also suggested that perhaps the easiest way to get started is to find out where your industry participants ‘play’ — not where they drink on Friday afternoons but where they go online to hang out and talk shop — and then join the conversation.

For example, leave a comment below!

If you have something interesting to say, people will listen and hopefully respond. To begin with, you don’t even need to say anything truly remarkable — it’s just important that you join the conversation. Practice makes perfect, right?

And, while helping raise a person’s profile, such dialogue can also become the foundation of other things — like a blog, ebook or public speaking topic.

3. Get curious! Examine and explore new technologies

Gratuitous promotion alert! On Wednesday, we employed a combination of technologies to reach our 311 people — from the Anthill site (WordPress) and email newsletter (Mailchimp) to social media tools, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

But this all began with an online conversation using the Citrix GoToMeeting tool. And the webinar was conducted using the Citrix GoToWebinar tool. Of course, I’ve chosen to plug our sponsors (click here to get your free trial) but the point I’m trying to make should be obvious:

It’s not longer good enough to say, “I’m not a technology person.” Or, “I’m happy with the way I’m doing things now.” Being myopic in business can be fatal.

So, put on your virtual pith helmet and get exploring.

It’s action time!

Now, it’s your turn. As promised during the webinar, we have three copies of Roger Courville’s The Virtual Presenter’s Handbook to give away to the three comments that we find most helpful, intriguing or thigh-slapping funny. In other words, it’s at our discretion to pick favourites.

If you’d like to watch the recorded webinar — because you missed it on Wednesday or just want to jog your memory — click here. Now get cracking, and share your take-homes and insights below!