Some trainers where I work have got excited about following up a face to face session with a powerpoint + voiceover for those who missed it.

I've produced one for them in PPT and Articulate presenter, very simple, and suddenly everyone wants one. I'm not that surprised as audio's been banned for so long because of bandwidth.  Trouble is the trainers have got it into their heads that this is called a webinar. As fast as I can explain what a webinar actually is, another trainer comes along with 'I really like that webinar you did for xxx, so we plan to do three over the next three months...!'

Trouble is they then say 'Well, what's this called then?'. It's not Powerpoint because it's not IN Powerpoint, it's not elearning because it doesn't have any questions (don't get me started on what they call 'interactive'!) ; I've been calling it just a 'presentation'. For some of you, I know, this type of communication is commonplace - what do you call it?

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Hi Norman
Reminds me of how we often use the terms coaching, mentoring and counselling either to mean the same thing or different things - very frustrating for all when we can't trust labels!

I don't think I have an answer to your question, but sometimes I wonder whether it really matters - I don't think the word "webinar" is copyrighted so let people call it what they like. The most important thing is that, whatever you call it, the objectives of the training are met.But perhaps this is only true within a single organisation , not so cool where you are trying to discuss what you are doing with those in other organisations who call it something else.

How exactly did you do the PPT + voiceover? Did you do an audio recording seperate to the live face to face session and then dub and sync the recording with the Powerpoint slides?

No, I just had the slide pack, stripped out 90% of it to get it to bare minimum and introduced minimal animation to put a little subtle visual interest in. I got a trainer to sit and record the talk for each slide. Used Articulate to bring the audio files in and sync them with the action and published it to swf. I'd have preferred to have recorded a live session as the language would be more natural, but all the live sessions had finished by the time I was involved and the manager was concerned to have a signed-off script rather than an improvising trainer. Control!

I'm always trying to get terminology used better in our organisation. Some of my colleagues are actively promoting the use of Live Meeting and virtual classrooms to reduce travel, and I'm trying to get the trainers to use 'webinar' to mean that i.e. synchronous sessions with real-time communication.
I'm always getting asked to make something more 'interactive' - ' like that other one where you see someone walk across the screen and then the title comes up! '. So 'interactive' doesn't mean there's interaction, it means something moves! :-)
Just suffix an 'e-' to whatever you want to call it. ie. "e-presentation on whatever" and have a title page with Audio enabled.


Good idea, Tim, thanks!
I am also interested in knowing more about what a Webinar is as I have been asked to do one as well. So I checked the internet. There are a host of definitions (see

I quote:

Definitions of Webinar on the Web:

* Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings, training, or presentations via the Internet. In a web conference, each participant sits at his or her own computer and is connected to other participants via the internet. ...

* An interactive seminar conducted via the world-wide web. Usually a live presentation, it happens in real time as users participate through chats, file share, or ask questions with a built in microphone

* short for Web-based seminar, is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar transmitted over the Internet.

* A Webinar is a transmission of an audio and visual media file scheduled at a particular time or on demand over the Internet. The content comes from a single source to multiple viewers simultaneously. A Webcast will require a headset or speakers to listen to the audio.

* An online seminar that might contain audio and video.

* A webinar is a seminar that is presented through the worldwide web.

* a conjunction of website seminar, topical information presented online in an electronic seminar format, recorded or in real time, which could include interactive components such as the ability of participants to submit questions, the ability for the speaker to receive immediate audience feedback ...

I like the questions you ask Norman about the models of web video conferencing we can mix and blend. I have done a draft research and development paper at:

I compare webcasts, webinars and a blended variation of a webinar interview with a phone call-in option. We also digitally video record the interview for editing into eLearning resources.

We were lucky enough to be nominated for the Training Journal Awards at the Informatology Conference for eLearning.
Please see our talk at:
(Note - Silverlight required)
Norman, would the terminology Screencast or Webcast work for you? Or (something)cast since ultimately you are broadcasting the presentation online..

This is fun!

From what Dieter and Skip have said I feel justified in not calling this a webinar - a 'webinar' must I think be either a live event or at least a recording of a live event. Although my piece of work has a historical connection to a live event, it's purely a scripted PPT with voiceover.

So 'e-presentation' works for me; I don't know why but 'screencast' and 'webcast' still have implications to me of a link to a live event (and something more interesting than a PPT presentation :-) ). Do others agree?
A virtual webinar? A screencast? A webcast? A canned presentation?

No interaction... I'd say a video... or screencast. :) Way to be a trend setter!

A screencast can be live or canned. You could call it an enhanced podcast, if you were using syndication. Webinars are usually live. A screen cast is less canned... usually.
screencast seems appropriate to me.
As far as I know, a slides + audio voiceover combo is called a slidecast.

And there's a useful slidecast on slidecasting on slideshare:

For me, a screencast is a recording of actions on a computer screen + audio, like a demo of how to use excel formulas or similar.



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