Before the pandemic, I was never really keen on conducting training online though I believe that learning could occur through any medium. However, I have to accept the inevitable and pivot in that direction to avoid getting stuck, waiting for things to go back to normal.
Was the transition easy? Definitely not. Change, especially sudden and radical, is never a piece of cake. The transition from in-person to online training required a lot of courage, patience, and commitment. It is not easy but successfully doing it is not impossible.
For those who wish to conduct online training, seminar, coaching, or meeting, you should put the following things into consideration to ensure achieving the goals of the activity:
- The medium (Zoom, Streamyard, Google Meet, etc.) and materials (virtual whiteboard, flip chart, virtual background, etc.) to be used should be secured, checked, and tested before the event. It would be unfortunate to discover that your Zoom application subscription, for example, can only accommodate 100 participants while your 500 participants are already in the waiting room waiting to be accepted.
- There should be a thorough preparation of the content and delivery. Although you cannot avoid mistakes, you can lessen the frequency if you are well-versed about the topic and you practice the delivery. Equip yourself with related information that the participants may ask during the event.
- Having reliable assistance from other people makes a lot of difference. As a host or trainer, you cannot possibly do all the small tasks successfully (e.g., accepting late participants, sending messages to participants) while the event is ongoing; you would be highly needing a teammate or teammates. The team can also help address participants’ concerns, especially if the host or trainer’s focus is on the main task.
- Energy is a must. Getting the full attention of an audience is much more challenging in the online setup because of many factors, including distractions. The audience will most likely feel bored if the delivery is not energetic or enthusiastic. It is a transfer of emotion, so if you want to inspire your participants to participate, you have to give them 100% energy.
- Interaction should be encouraged. Many say that what people hear, they quickly forget. Yet, when they are actively involved with the activity, they will most likely understand and learn. Thus, it is vital to encourage the participants to participate in drills, share their thoughts or ideas, and ask questions.
It is essential to focus on these factors to ensure successful online training, seminar, coaching, or meeting. Although it took my team and me several tries before we made our online training smooth-flowing and effective, identifying these factors made those challenging times all worth it.
Do you think these can help presenters, trainers, salespeople, and teachers alike?