Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Top 5 Reasons I Listen to Webinars

I love to listen to webinars.  Even though I am a speaker myself, I listen to as many webinars as possible. Here's my list why:

My Top 5 Reasons to Watch Webinars

1) Accessibility
Webinars are available around the clock.  They provide a 24/7 learning experience.  Can't see them live?  They are usually archived and made available for you to watch at your convenience at a later date. There's no driving involved and as long as you have internet access you can watch them from home.  This is ideal for genealogists who live in isolated places or have challenging schedules.

2) Affordability
Webinars provide some of the most affordable genealogy education available.  Many webinars are free and others are available at a minimal cost.  When compared to traveling to a conference or seminar the savings are huge.

3) Connections
Webinars give me the chance to connect with speakers that I haven't had the chance to meet in person.  There are lots of speakers from around the country and around the world that I haven't had the chance to see.  While a webinar doesn't provide face to face interaction in a true sense, I still take away a sense of their personality and I love to hear their accent.

4) Learning Expansion
One of the difficult aspects of attending a conference is that you have to choose only one lecture in each time slot.  At a great conference it can be nearly impossible to choose between the top notch offerings. Webinars help fill in the gaps. I get to learn about new technology or subjects that I might not spend time on at a conference.  In just an hour's time a webinar can expose me to brand new ideas that will jump start my research or get me inspired.

5) Experience
As a speaker, watching webinars allows me to learn from other speakers' mistakes.  Webinars are a new form of presentation for genealogists.  We are all still learning how to perfect this medium.  By listening to webinars I can determine what works and what doesn't by listening to other speakers. One of the most helpful things is to get advance notice about technology glitches.  If something goes awry for a speaker I can try to fix the problem before one of my talks so that it doesn't happen to me.  Watching webinars helps me to be a better webinar speaker myself.

Where to find Webinars

The complete calendar of webinars by all providers is available on the GeneaWebinars site.  Be sure to check all the information to determine when the webinar is being held, particularly note the start time and time zone and whether there is any cost associated with it.

Here are several sites that frequently provide webinars:

Legacy Family Tree

Casefile Clues Genealogist, Michael John Neill

Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree Extension Series

Friends of NARA Southeast Region


  1. Thanks Marian

    The techniques I have learned by watching the Legacy Family Tree webinars help me go back a generation or two.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this post and sharing links. I had no idea that Friends of NARA gave webinars. Fantastic! I love webinars because most times I can make them work around my schedule with my family. Pop on some headphones and I can sit in the same room with them while I get my genealogy education fix. :)

  3. Webinars are great for my "listen and learn" style. I signed up for Using Your Laptop for Genealogy webinar tomorrow. Thanks for this post.