I was one-half of a duo given the assignment of developing an online webinar series that would meet the rapidly growing education needs of global professionals. My partner handled the technical side of the production. I developed the content and hosted the program.
It was late 2008. While organizations around the globe were reeling in the wake of the financial crisis, massive shifts in technology and infrastructure had leveled the playing field for learning professionals. We needed a program that would be fast-paced and relevant to a multinational audience.
We were trying to hit two targets at the same time. Providing excellent content would prove meaningless if the technology couldn't deliver for the audience. On the other hand, we didn't want people around the globe sitting down to a program that looked and sounded great but didn't offer any substance. I also hadn't been behind a microphone in a few years and our inaugural program would feature a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur.
I tried to take a step back and consider our potential audience. As I gathered information from a network of experts beyond our national borders, I grew very hopeful that we could offer valuable content by going a bit deeper with our program. I learned from both the content creators and global professionals that people in my role had a tendency to simplify material as a means of bridging a perceived gap between cultures. It opened my eyes to say the least. I hoped that we could offer a more direct link between the experts and their audience by getting to the heart of their messages.
Thanks to the sterling efforts of my executive producer, the patience of our first guest and a little bit of technological good luck, we had an excellent debut. Based on reaction to the initial program, we helped entrepreneurs in various corners of the globe get direct input on their issues from an expert they may otherwise never have met. Within a short time, we expanded the program from monthly to weekly and now deliver more than 60 live web broadcasts each year to a devoted global audience.
Liz writes in Rookie Smarts, "Too many professionals, and entire organizations, stagnate because they can't let go." Rookies have a magic combination of purpose and vulnerability. When we started our broadcast we wanted a better pairing of message and medium to keep up with the way learning had changed. I'm thankful that there is still so much great content about which to get excited. My Rookie Self would help me make sure that it gets to the masses in the method that's most relevant to them right now. I asked a lot of questions during our first show. The trick is to never stop asking the right ones.
Do you have a great rookie story to share? We want to hear it!