What are the benefits of an online seminar?
Face-to-face tuition is the number one method of training delivery. It facilitates greater learning and greater interaction. However, not everyone is able to get to face-to-face training sessions they would like to attend. An online seminar is a valuable substitute.
An online seminar provides a form of face-to-face delivery (OK – so you see the presenter’s face, but the presenter doesn’t see yours), but most importantly it provides a level of interactivity that itself facilitates learning. The software enables participants to see, to listen, to view presentations and documents, to ask questions by way of text (which, let’s face it, is far easier than putting your hand up in a busy auditorium) and to follow up issues with the presenter after the session by way of email or telephone.
Online seminars are inexpensive. They are able to be used in-house to facilitate internal discussion. In short sessions, they can focus upon particular specialised issues, enabling the kind of in-depth analysis that rarely occurs in large-scale conferences.
Online sessions help you avoid travel cost (indeed – they reduce your carbon emissions!) and cut out dead time travelling to and from the venue. There is no need to spend a whole day out of the office. Grab a sandwich, turn up the volume on your PC, and join the technological highway.
How does a PSL online seminar work?
An online seminar is one which is delivered live over the internet. While the presenter will be using the Webex Training Centre interactive software created by Cisco, you will simply be participating by being on the internet, through your internet web browser. (Yes – you will be participating. You don’t need to speak, and you don’t need a webcam. You just need your PC, a sandwich and a coffee, and if you want, you can just sit back and watch. But you can also participate by using some of the functionality the Webex software provides). Through your browser, you will be able to see the presenter live on screen (just a small, live video stream in the bottom right hand corner of your screen), view a Powerpoint presentation, look at Word documents the presenter displays, listen to what the presenter is saying (either through PC speakers, or over the telephone), and communicate with the presenter by way of an on-screen chat (texting) facility.
Do I need to speak to my IT person?
Possibly. Read on.
Will I be able to receive online seminars?
Unless your PC is exceptionally old, you should not have a problem since the Webex system is relying upon little more than your web browser. If you have used Webex on this PC before – for example, for a video or audio conference meeting – then your machine is probably already to go. If you haven’t, then there is a very small automatic download, as to which, see below.
While Windows XP is no longer supported for Webex services, the following operating systems are supported (for all Webex services): Windows Vista 32-bit/64-bit; Windows 7 32-bit/64-bit; Windows 8 32-bit/64-bit; Windows 8.1 32-bit/64-bit; Windows Server 2008 64-bit; Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit; and Windows 10. Also supported are Mac operating systems 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10 and 10.11. If you are unsure, run a test. See below. Or, if in doubt, ask your IT person.
Can I test a connection?
You can test whether you can view a Property PSL online seminar by clicking on the below link to join a test meeting at any time. http://www.webex.com/lp/jointest/
If you have used Cisco Webex software on this PC before (e.g. for a video or audio conference meeting), then your PC should already be enabled to view the test meeting. Your PC will run a check to see if any updates from Webex should first be downloaded. If you have not used Cisco Webex software before, the first time you try to join, you will be asked to download the Webex Training Manager plug-in. You will be prompted to do this. However, your PC/network may be firewalled by your IT people, so that you are disabled from downloading the plug-in yourself. You should therefore speak to your IT administrator who will enable your PC for you. It’s a very quick job. It would be best to download Training Manager manually, in advance of a seminar. To do this:
- Go to https://propertypsl.webex.com.
- Click on Training Center at the top (just beneath the Property PSL logo)
- Click on > Set Up in the left hand column and then click on Training Manager
- Then click on Set Up (over to the right of the screen), and Training Manager will then get installed.
It is recommended that you download Training Manager manually in advance of the seminar, so that access problems are not encountered immediately before or at the start of the seminar. Once the session is about to begin, it will be off and running with no turning back. If in doubt, ask your IT person.
When should I run a test?
If you are not sure if your PC is set up, then some time before the time comes to join the session (e.g. the day before?), you must use the Test Page to make sure that you are not going to experience problems during the session. Please do not leave this until the last minute, as there is unlikely to be much opportunity at that late stage to deal with your access issues.
When should I join the session?
You will receive an email reminder 24 hours before the start, and 15 minutes before the start. The seminar is open for up to 30 minutes before the advertised start time. You should therefore join within that period. The session will start promptly at the advertised start time whereupon video and sound will start to transmit.
What exactly do I do to join?
You will have received a joining email. This email gives you a link to the session. When the time comes (i.e. within the 30 minutes before the advertised start time), click on the link. You will be asked to add your name and your email address. The session’s password will have been inserted automatically. Adding your name and email address is simply so that the presenter knows who is in the session. Once you are in the session, you will receive a welcome message – a Webex session room greeting. After reading this, you can minimise it or close the message.
Can I download course materials?
Yes. Course materials will be available for each session and can either be downloaded right at the outset, or will be sent to you by email. As soon as you click on the link to join the session, (and before inputting your name and email address) scroll down to the bottom of the page and download the materials.
How do I listen?
Ordinarily, you will use PC speakers or headphones/earphones. Your PC may not have speakers attached, but you may be able to plug in earphones, such as those that come with an ipod, or a computer headset. If you have no access to speakers at all, you can listen to the presentation, whilst viewing, over a simple toll-free telephone conference call.
How do I use the telephone conference connection?
When joining a Property PSL session, the Audio Conference box pops up. You need to select an option. You will be asked whether you will be using a phone, or your computer (this means your PC speakers or headphones/earphones plugged in to your PC). If using speakers or headphones/earphones, click on the second option in the Audio Conference box – “Use Computer”.
If you need to use the telephone conference connection, click on the first option – “Use Phone”. It is easiest if you click on the “I will call in” option in the drop-down menu. Calling in is easy and the call is free over a landline. Call the number given (which will be 0800 051 3810) and follow the instructions. These include inputting the access code (followed by the hash # key) and the attendee ID code (followed by the hash # key). Both of these codes can be found on your joining email.
I am using PC speakers, but why can’t I hear the presenter?
- Are your speakers connected to your PC?
- Are your earphones/headphones properly plugged in?
- Is the volume on your PC turned up?
- Is your PC on mute?
- Occasionally, poor volume may be caused by a poor internet connection at your end. It may be that your own internet connection does not give you enough bandwidth at all times throughout the day to both view and hear the online seminar at the same time. If there are other people sharing your bandwidth, (especially at busy times of the day) this can affect your reception of the seminar.
Do I talk?
No. Although the Cisco software is used for two-way internet conferencing, the system used for Property PSL seminars will automatically mute participants upon entry into the session. If you need to speak to the presenter, use the chat box on the right of the screen to send a text message.
Can I ask questions during the online seminar?
Yes. During the online seminar you can type a question and send it to the presenter. Just type your question into the Chat screen in the bottom left of your screen and press enter. (Note that there are three white boxes in the chat screen. You type your question into the bottom box).
Do not feel that the end of the session is the end of your opportunity to ask questions. Feel free to follow up after the event by way of email. Just use the Contact button at the top of this page.
Where is the chat box?
It is on the right of the screen. If it does not appear, or disappears, note that there is a chat box icon (a speech bubble) at the top of the right hand column on the screen. Click the icon to rediscover your chat box. Note that there are three boxes in the chat screen – the large box at the top shows ongoing chats; the middle one is for you to indicate to whom you wish to send your question (send it to the presenter, rather than to everyone); and the bottom one is where you type your question.
Where is the video screen?
It is on the right of the screen in the 'Participants' panel. If it does not appear, or disappears, note that there is a Participants button at the top of the right hand column on the screen. Click the button to rediscover your video screen. Indeed, maybe you want to get rid of the video and just listen. Again, just click the button to make the speaker disappear from view.
What seminars are being held in the near future?
Click on Forthcoming Seminars to see what seminars are upcoming. For cost, see below.
How do I book to attend?
Easy. You can reserve a place at a Property PSL online seminar simply by emailing. Just use the Contact button at the top of this page.
What if there’s a problem?
Problem? What problem? During an online seminar, the speaker will not be able to rectify any IT problems at your end. But rest assured: if it all goes wrong, you won’t be charged, or you will be given a free ticket to another show.
Do I get a copy of any notes or slides?
Yes. Course materials will be available for each session and can be downloaded right at the outset. As soon as you click on the link to join the session, (and before inputting your name and email address) scroll down to the bottom of the page and download the materials.
Can I view it again?
Are you sure you want to? Perhaps you were called away just as the session was reaching its climax? A link of the event will be sent to you via email after the end of the session. The link will take you to a video stream of the seminar. You have the opportunity to watch the seminar again within the next 12 months.
What is the cost?
The cost of a seminar is £75 (plus VAT). This is for a single viewer. If you want to sit around a table in the boardroom and view the seminar as a group, or colleagues want to view separately, a reasonable additional charge is also payable, but I trust you to tell me you intend to do this.
Alan Riley Property PSL Ltd