Last Wednesday, during my “Create Kanban Systems” webinar, one of the attendees asked me about the best tool for creating Kanban systems. This is a type of question that I get quite frequently. “What are the best tools for writing?” “Which tools do you use for drawing?” and “What software do you use for presentations?” Very soon, I expect to get the question, “What kind of equipment do you use for your webinars?”
I don’t understand why people have such an obsession with tools.
What I now use for my webinars is the video conferencing software that I was using for meetings, the camera that was already mounted on my computer, and the presentation software that I’ve been using for twelve years. But the most important tool I used for my webinars is my brain.
I’ve just finished reading several books about learning and mastery, such as Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, and The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else. None of these books mention tools as a relevant topic. They all argue that’s is all about building mental models in the brain. When you’re learning the basics of a craft, the tools don’t really matter.
You can use any old bike to learn how to ride a bicycle. When you’re learning how to draw, the types of pens and pencils don’t matter that much. And you shouldn’t worry about visualization tools when you’re still a novice when it comes to kanban systems. I think a discussion about the “best tools” is often just a distraction for most people. (My spouse gave me one of the best and most expensive drones on the planet. I crashed it. My brain lacked the necessary navigation skills.)
Ignore the best tools. With any kind of effort, you need to build fundamental skills first. That requires a healthy brain and any standard tool that can get the job done.
For my webinars, I first needed to figure out how to work out presentation structure, agenda, storytelling, takeaways, videos, exercises, Q&As, and invitations. The type of camera, microphone, and green screen software mattered nothing to me in the beginning. When my webinars are boring, do you think I can win back an uninterested audience with a 4K webinar camera and a razor sharp video background? I don’t think so. I create audience engagement with my brain, not with my tools.
I completed 11 weekly webinar sessions, and the feedback so far is fantastic.
The average rating across all webinars is 8.9 out of 10. This seems to validate that I’ve learned the basics of hosting useful webinars. Now I will allow myself to buy a great camera, microphone, and green screen software. I don’t need those tools; I earned them.
p.s. I will soon offer my webinar series to businesses. Do you want to share a weekly hour of inspiration with your colleagues? Drop me a note.