Virtual Hired Hand - Take the Stress Out Of A Teleclass

Proceed With Caution When Using Instant Teleseminar’s New AutoPilot Feature

In the spring of this year I participated in a teleseminar series that lasted for 5 weeks. The calls were held each Saturday and for the most part appeared to be live calls. Everything was going quite smoothly and I was getting the information I desired when I initially purchased the program. However, the last call was designed to be all Q & A. We were provided with a web link and asked to post questions in advance. We were also told that we would have an opportunity to ask questions live as well.

The day of the actually Q & A call, my eyes were opened to how teleclasses can take an ugly turn.

I noticed we were not given instructions on how to ask questions, although our instructor said if you have a question raise your hand. Being the uber user of Instant Teleseminar, I started hitting *2. Nothing happened. Of course, I tried again and still nothing happened. Then, I wondered if the calls were being used by Instant Teleseminar.

I tried other combinations on my keypad and still nothing was happening. I was expecting to hear a robotic voice tell me “Raised Hand.” Something. However it never happened.

I emailed support to find out how we could ask questions on the call. The response completely shocked me:

I don’t think (cough, cough) is answering calls live on the call today.

My verbal response: What do you mean questions aren’t being answered on the call today? Really funny because the call was a Q & A call.

This experience put a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t the fact this call was previously recorded. It was that we weren’t told. Instead we were made to believe it was a live call. I have since removed myself from this person’s list and will not be purchasing anything else.

When my favorite tool to use for teleclasses, Instant Teleseminar introduced their new AutoPilot feature this week, my radar went up. I decided to ask my Facebook friends their thoughts on pre-recorded calls. Here’s what a few of them said:

Question: InstantTeleseminar has a new feature where you can put calls on autopilot. In other words, you can record a call in advance and have it set to play in the future. What are your thoughts on autopilot calls from a participants point of view?

Dawn Shafer Wilkerson – “I can see where that would be great for a training that you have no choice but to be away but I love the personal interaction you get from live calls. You could just do a video or straight recording if you are using the autopilot.”

Me – “It’s definitely a good option if you do have to be away. Otherwise, it’s a very odd thing to have Q&A and never be told how to raise your hand. Then you realize…it’s been pre-recorded.”

Victoria Gazeley – “I think I’d feel duped… unless I knew it was a recording, of course.”

Cielo Cloud – “I think it is a great option!”

As you can see there are mixed feelings on this. The biggest thing is to make your audience aware that it’s been pre-recorded. If not, it’s like watching American Idol and trying to vote for your favorite singer of the night and the phone continues to ring, only to find out later the show had been recorded the week before.

When considering pre-recorded teleclasses:

  1. Be open and honest about it.

  2. Consider playing the recorded call and then coming on live for Q & A.

  3. If your audience is used to you being live and you switch to pre-recorded calls, make sure they are informed.

  4. Listen to the recorded call yourself as an attendee first to ensure the experience is what you’re expecting.

Now it’s your turn. Share your thoughts on pre-recorded teleclasses.