Keeping participants engaged and interested throughout a virtual training session can be a challenge. If you suddenly find yourself delivering virtual training because of the Covid-19 restrictions, you may be wondering how on earth you can manage it.
Wonder no more! In this blog, we will share several insider tips from our training team that will help you wow your audience and ensure your next virtual training session is a huge success.
Facilitate rather than teach
Effective trainers know that in training the delegates should be the focus of the session. Nobody is there to watch the trainer show off their knowledge and best (/worst!) jokes.
To put it simply, “speak less and ask more.”
Ask questions and challenge your delegates to help them create new connections, consolidate their learning and find those coveted “AHA” moments. And whatever you do, avoid boring them to death with PowerPoint.
Use the chat window
To keep delegates engaged during virtual training you must adapt your communication skills. To achieve this with a large group, the best way to maximise two-way communication is by actively using the chat window.
Try asking delegates to answer a simple “yes” or “no” to statements you make, or get them to list their top 3 ideas about a topic.
An essential feature at the start of any successful training is to clarify with delegates what challenges they face related to the topic. The chatbox is a perfect way to record these challenges, because at the end of the training you can go back as a group and reflect on whether those challenges have been addressed.
Use participants’ names
By simply using delegates’ names when interacting with them or asking questions, it can not only help you to build an emotional connection but also keeps their interest and attention. It also means they can’t fall asleep!
Test and check understanding
Use quizzes/polls or ask the group questions to double-check understanding and to ensure the key learning points really stick. It’s ok if participants feel a bit of pressure at times, as that will push them outside their comfort zone and help them to learn. Don’t be afraid to put them on the spot!
Use the power of your voice
There is nothing worse than listening to a trainer with a monotonous or flat tone of voice. Be sure to vary the tone, speed and volume of your voice throughout the session. Try to emphasise keywords, and use the power of pauses before and after key points to help your audience to process the most important messages.
Virtual training might seem like a whole new world, but in reality, it requires many of the same skills as face-to-face training. A good rule of thumb is to ask the delegates to engage and interact approximately every 3-5 minutes. Follow this rule, and our techniques above, and your virtual training delegates will be blown away!
If you want to practise your virtual training skills and get real feedback and coaching on your delivery skills, take a look at our Virtual Train the Trainer course, or our Virtual Training Delivery Skills for more experienced facilitators.