Since Covid, many trainers, teachers, and meeting leaders have had to work virtually. There are many challenges with on-line sessions. Last year Cara Gomez and Neil Cordrey provided a resource call Dynamic and Effective Virtual Training. It provides tips to increase virtual training and meeting effectiveness. We have had a good year for sales and hopefully the resource has helped many people.
One observation is that it is easy to forget about the virtual audience. Consider:
- Setting a quiet timer that reminds you to check in with the virtual audience.
- Pick a co-host that monitors the on-line audience for questions or raised hands. If you are a classroom teacher, teach some of your students to be a co-host and track those on-line. This probably works better for older groups but don’t cut younger students too short.
- One principle of effective teaching is to get the students to teach. For some sessions, prepare the students ahead to lead sections of your class. You can then work with the on-line students to check in, invite participation, and provide answers to questions.
- Some schools have teacher assistants available. Have the assistant be the on-line monitor.
Create a clear agenda so everyone sees your goals and direction. Refer to the agenda so everyone knows when you have transitioned to the next item.
Have the on-line participants lead parts of the presentation or training. You will have to prep them but often it can be done easily. For math, ask some students to be prepared to teach one of the concepts. For history, have students research one part of your topic to present.
Log in early to the session and provide a welcoming screen. List the focus for the session. Provide interesting trivia questions or quotes they can observe or answer while waiting for the session start.
Use the polling feature or ask questions periodically to keep the on-line group engaged. Actively participating at least every 5 minutes will ensure they stay with you.
Provide short breaks for longer sessions. Before the break, provide them with an interesting question or hook that will pique their interest so they will return on time.
Most online tools have a drawing feature. Ask the participants to share answers or ideas via the whiteboard and project those to those in the room.
Touch base with on-line participants outside of the meeting when possible. Check to see if they were able to follow and participate appropriately. Invite their ideas to help them maximize their learning.
Teaching, training, and leading meetings may never return to pre-covid approaches but with technology and understanding effective learning strategies, we can adapt and meet the needs of our audiences. In the end, it is about providing the information succinctly that provides the learning or information so the audience can maximize their performance.
Learn more by obtaining a paper or electronic version of Dynamic and Effective Virtual Training on Amazon.
We evaluated many training sessions. For those exceptional sessions, we identified the key reasons the training was effective and well received by the participants. We captured these approaches in a resource we are calling The Two - Minute Facilitator.
Download our draft version. Each insight is one to two pages. We are continuing to edit this resource in preparation for publishing and open to any feedback you have.