Asking a potentially controversial question… am I alone in feeling a bit of webinar fatigue at the moment? I know, way back a long six months ago, there was an urge to fill our time productively – we chatted on Zoom, planned on Teams and booked ourselves on lots of educational sessions to ensure our continuing personal development.

Usually, at this time of the year, I find myself on trains, boats and automobiles travelling round to speak at the annual conferences held by many organisations – ranging from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations workshops to the annual Resilient Communities events. “Performing” at these sessions is always good fun – the audience interaction is generally good, you can observe the body language, see the smiles when people react to your (generally poor) jokes and get a buzz from the shared experience and feedback. Delivering training to a bunch of blank screens and people on mute is well, frankly, a bit blurgh!

So, am I being very moany, or is that just part of the world in which we find ourselves right now? I happened upon a recent article and series of tweets written by Dr Aisha Ahmad, an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, who has a wealth of experience in working in disaster zones. Dr Ahmad talks about how the six-month mark in any sustained crisis is incredibly difficult and the “6-month wall” can make us feel demoralised and lacking drive and creativity. She notes that we have worked our way through the adrenalin-filled transition phase, negotiated and found our groove when we worked out what our “new normal” looked like and now well, maybe we have all just ran out of steam?

Dr Ahmad gives us some great advice about improving our self-care, managing our expectations of ourselves and basically cutting ourselves some slack. This is not a time for being wildly creative or sparklingly happy and that is absolutely OK! She also states that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we shouldn’t fear the onslaught of round two… “You have already learned to navigate the ‘new normal’ and have all the skills you need” – I’m pretty sure she is correct too!

So, how does this help with my mission to provide cyber education to the jaded masses? Maybe it’s time I think “out of the box”. If webinars are not flavour of the month just now, what can we do to make sure the vital cyber messaging still lands and still educates?

A quick horizon scan showed lots of gems out there – the superb Cyber Security Top Trumps (ish) devised by the fabulous Lee Cramp for the British Red Cross are a brilliant and fun way to get you thinking about cyber-stuff. The Interactive Protection Simulation game by Kapersky gets you and your team thinking about how to deploy proactive and reactive security measures, whilst running your imaginary business and retaining a profit – great fun, even if it does get a little competitive at times.

Another fun session is the soon-to-be-held “Big Scottish Cyber Quiz” which is the star turn (in our opinion) of the Get Safe Online Global 24 on 15th October 2020. Spectators are encouraged to join us online at 10am, when we have a fun Scotland hour in the 24-hour world-wide cyber-a-thon.

There are many other mediums that deliver good cyber education in a fun way. The excellent “Scam You” videos from the Intellectual Property Office are brilliant and engaging. If you prefer your cyber education with less of a PG feel, the work by Cyber Off is brilliantly irreverent, a bit naughty and probably best viewed after the watershed!

So, have I managed to persuade myself out of my webinar blues? I think I have… I have to accept that the 6-month wall is a challenge shared by many of us, that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that the cyber messaging show can go on… especially if I think a bit creatively!

Box of Top Cramps playing cards fanned out on a table