As we face a world pandemic, we see it’s impact in almost every way. This includes the way we interact with our co-workers and how many of us have transitioned to a remote workspace. With all these impacts, the way we conduct training has significantly changed. With social distancing in place and many physical building locations vacant, we now need to explore virtual trainings more than ever in order to learn new skills and improve on existing ones. Below I will detail some thoughts on how best to perform virtual trainings during this time and some key concepts to keep in mind.
When starting to put training together, start off by clearly defining your goals. Ask yourself, “What will be the purpose of this training?” Once you have your goals confirmed, you can start to write out the content. Be sure to have an overview so the attendees know what to expect from this training. Since this will be a virtual training, I suggest keeping the content interactive and engaging – more on that later.
Next, think about how you will host your meeting. What meeting tool will you use? Make sure you perform a walkthrough to understand how to host the meeting. This includes how to mute attendees, share your screen, and use the chat feature if applicable. This will help to minimize interruptions and help to ensure a good meeting experience for everyone.
In order to enhance the engagement level of the meeting participants, consider having quizzes to reinforce your teachings. Prior to the start of the training, inform the meeting attendees that there will be quizzes throughout the meeting. This will result in them paying closer attention to your material as well as staying focused. Having these quizzes also provides a way to measure how the effectiveness of your training, and whether attendees are able to grasp the concepts and fully comprehend your content. The quizzes can also serve as short breaks for collaboration amongst the attendees.
During your virtual training, be mindful of the time and how long your sessions are. Generally, a 4 hour training is pushing the limit for attendees to stay focused, especially when it’s remote. A recommendation is to have shorter blocks of training time but more sessions. This will allow digestion of all materials learned and they can regroup another day when fully recharged. Another tip to note is to keep your sessions on a strict schedule. Punctuality will be important as attendees may need to drop off and attend another meeting or call right at the scheduled end time. If you are unable to answer all the questions during the allotted time, feel free to write them down and address them in a follow up email or during the next training. It’s important to be respectful of time.
Lastly, but most importantly, make the training interactive and fun. Don’t let this training be all lecture and no fun. Consider having incentives for participation. It can be as simple as winning a gift card or getting a free mystery gift. Bottom line, interactive training will help with application of the material so it will behoove the trainer to be creative and step outside of the ordinary lecture structure. So perhaps ask your participants to provide examples, their thoughts, and be sure to ask questions directed at them. And who knows, maybe in the end they will request for you to conduct all their trainings moving forward.
I hope these tips help you to not only conduct an effective virtual training session, but also help your participants feel satisfied with your training. I am sure you will learn more key points after your first session, and your training sessions will only get better from there. I encourage you rehearse your content, be confident and put out good energy for all attendees to feel. Need assistance? We would love to help out, contact us!