Three Tips to Transform Live Training into Virtual
As a trainer, you thrive on audience interaction. When you are in the room with your learners, you know whether or not you have their attention. You can read their reaction and change your presentation as needed based on their feedback. It’s what you do best to ensure your learners walk away with the information they need.
Whether you like it or not, the times they are a-changin’. Budgets are cut, travel is limited and many of your face-to-face training initiatives need to take place virtually. You try to get a feel for what your attendees need from you, but virtual training creates a disconnect that is difficult to overcome. Even though it seems difficult now, I’m here to tell you that you can conduct dynamic virtual training sessions. The following tips will get you off to a great start:
1. Use your vocal energy to keep the audience interested.
Since your learners can no longer see you, your voice becomes your only physical connection with them. Your voice will need to be strong and energetic. One way to make that happen is to stand while presenting. It will be easier to project your voice. To keep your energy up, keep your hands free while communicating. The more your body gets involved, the more energized your voice will be. Consider having someone in the room with you while you present. Have them sit about three feet away from you and talk directly to them. These tips will help you create some live interaction to keep your energy high.
2. Set guidelines for focused participation and state the agenda.
In the first two minutes of your presentation explain the guidelines for focused participation. This may include how to ask questions, how to stay engaged and how to handle technical problems. For example, state: “I will be calling out to you individually for feedback.” This lets people know you need them to pay attention.
Within the first two minutes also state the topics you will cover and how much time you plan to spend on each. This will help people focus their attention on the information that is most important to them. Lack of guidance makes it easy for learners to tune out.
3. Adjust your PowerPoint slides.
When delivering web-based training, your PowerPoint slides are often the only thing your learners see. Therefore, the slides must be simple, visually appealing and easy to follow.
To maintain their attention, consider changing to a new slide every 60-90 seconds. This means you’ll need more slides than in a face-to-face event. Each time you advance a slide, state the topic of the slide, list the highlights of the topic, then provide the detail.