February 24, 2017

First Webinar Was A Success!

Wow, I can't believe it's over! Our first official webinar was an awesome experience... and completely exhilarating! In many ways, it brought me back to the days of working in radio where you sat in a room alone, talking into the microphone and dealing with a bunch of equipment. Much like radio, you really have to keep track of several things going on simultaneously. For example, one must make sure all talking points are  covered, time allotment for each talking point & panelist has to be measured, one must remember to cover all necessary plugs and promos, as well as monitoring the chat room, switching the camera views so each speaker gets center-screen as they speak, and remaining actively involved with the conversation that is taking place. 

My Gay Wedding 411 Thumbnail

My Gay Wedding 411 aired on February 23, 2016 from 12pm - 1pm PST. As seen top right to left are: Rev. Mary Calhoun, Frank Harlan, Lani Catherine [moderator], Mauro Walden-Montoya, and Santiago A. Naranjo [host]

It's really a test of activating several parts of your brain at the same time, and a coordination of motor skills. It's kind of like delivering a speech, but imagine that you're on a bicycle while delivering this speech. Your audience is behind you, following on their bikes, and you have to make sure everyone is keeping up and everyone is safe AS you're speaking and delivering quality content. Okay, that is definitely an overstatement, but it sure felt that way. Yes, there were several little gremlins that I had to deal with along the way but I was incredibly fortunate to be joined by an amazing panel of professional wedding officiants. The title of the webinar was, "My Gay Wedding 411" and the panel was comprised of Rev. Mary Calhoun (Window to The Soul Ministry), Officiant Frank Harlan (Frank Harlan Wedding Officiant), the amazing Ms. Lani Catherine (LaniCatherine.com), Mauro Walden-Montoya (Arcoiris Weddings) , and the devilishly handsome (hehehe), Santiago A. Naranjo. Reverend Calhoun is also the author of a book titled, ":The Distinctive Wedding Ceremony," (available at Amazon and a must-read for all professional wedding officiants). We spent the good part of an hour discussing topics such as myths concerning gay weddings as well as how to deal with more conservative or non-supportive family members. It was a fascinating conversation with some really great insight from our panel of experts, especially when dealing with the issue of drawing boundaries with family and step-family. If you would like to watch a replay of the webinar, just fill out the form below and I'll send you a link. Just remember to be easy on me considering this was my first attempt at doing a professional webinar.  

My Gay Wedding 411 REPLAY

Even though this webinar was my first "official," webinar, I have to admit that I did two other "unofficial" or "practice" webinars in order to get ready for this webinar launch. Because I belong to an amazing Toastmasters Group (big shoutout to the Traveling´╗┐ Toastmasters... woot woot!), I was able to twist some arms and elicit some help from some of my fellow members. The very first time I decided to get my feet wet in the world of webinar hosting was on February 8th, 2017. The title of the webinar was, "How Toastmasters Changed My Life," and was by invitation only (even though I just embedded a link to the YouTube video right now.... hmmmm, may have to  rethink that one).

I figured if I'm going to mess up, I might as well do it in front of my Toastmaster buddies first, right? Man I really love my Toastmasters group! Did I mention they're house at Expedia World HQ? Anyway, they've been great in supporting me in this ongoing project. It seems I've been procrastinating on this project for the better part of a year, and my Toastmaster mentor (the amazing and beautiful Ms. Lani Catherine), gave me a kick in the rear end and provided me the courage and motivation to finally get this project started. My second "practice" webinar took place the day after Valentines Day and was titled, "Strategies for the Experienced Speaker," and I was joined by my childhood mentor and best friend, Jamie O'Hara, as well as our club president, Mr. Eamon Foley. This one I extended the circle of invitations to include my friends and acquaintances on Facebook and LinkedIn friends. If you want to check it out (gulp....) you'll find the link embedded above... again, something I may have to re-think. Word of advice... you may want to check it out ASAP because I may end up "chickening out" and taking down these links later. Anyway, the whole thing from beginning to end was an incredible experience. It is now my intention to create a live WEEKLY webinar to discuss a myriad of topics that deal with the wedding planning process. My next webinar is titled, "How To Structure Your Wedding Ceremony," and will be taking place on Thursday, March 2nd from 12pm - 1pm PST. I will be joined once again by local Seattle wedding officiant, Mr. Frank Harlan and we're going to discuss the essentials in creating a customized wedding ceremony. Make sure to register HERE... It's free for you guys reading this blog. If you would like to register for ALL future webinars, or at the very least be notified as I launch them (remember, they'll be weekly), then click the button below and opt-in. Again, there is no cost to anyone reading this blog... at least not yet. Let me know your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you!

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