The harsh truth about virtual training is that if you don’t work extra hard to capture and hold the attention of your delegates they’ll probably be disengaged at best and bored to tears at worst.
Entrepreneur Steve Clarke surmises succinctly what you can find yourself up against with virtual training. He refers to it as “the attraction of distraction”.
Let’s look at five steps anybody delivering virtual training should take to ensure things run as smoothly as possible:-
Zoom, Teams or WebEx are the most widely used platforms for delivering virtual training. Make sure you’re confident with whatever platform you use. Rather than leaving anything to chance it’s advisable to invest in some training yourself, to ensure you’re completely familiarised in advance with all the different functionalities and preparations for anything that doesn’t go to plan. It is also a great idea to have some tech support available on the day, so you can concentrate on running the training.
Content is king and that includes the graphics and video clips you use. Do so generously to combat those short attention spans we’ve mentioned. Minds are even more likely than usual to wander to mobile phones or just out of the window if they aren’t kept occupied and entertained during virtual training sessions. Make sure your slides are not too wordy and video clips short.
Talk with your delegates rather than at them. Ask them questions to check understanding. Encourage them to unmute at any time and ask you a question or at least to pop them in the chat box. Make sure cameras are on so people can see each other. Tools such as Mural help greatly with collaboration.
The use of polls and break out rooms for brainstorming sessions add different dimensions that help keep virtual training hi-energy. Don’t forget to encourage the use of the chat function too, where delegates can enter into discussion with each other and even exchange contact details if they’re from different businesses.
Without going into Drill Sergeant mode make it clear that delegates should switch off their devices and close their email and their browsers. Put it to them as a welcome break from everything else and their opportunity to make the most of the session without unwanted distractions. But allow for plenty of pre-determined breaks. Also make the agenda clear and what you expect from them.
We have been delivering virtually for many years now and 100% of the time for the past 18 months. Whilst we are slowly edging back to face to face, virtual training is here to stay.
At Sales Training International, we’ve got the time-honoured experience and expertise of offering virtual training courses pre-Covid, then having to make a 100% shift to virtual training for all our global clients, too.
We can also help you with our virtual train the trainer courses.