Whether you have employees working from home or offices scattered across the globe, it’s possible to transform in-person training into interactive, informative, and engaging virtual training that your participants will love.
Often in-person training is delivered in full-day sessions; however, this approach is not optimal for virtual training. It’s best to structure virtual training in a way that enables participants to learn, retain information and be engaged. This means focusing on the most relevant topics required to perform the newly desired tasks and breaking up the agenda into smaller digestible chunks. Any supporting information that doesn’t make it into the virtual session can be made into training resources, handouts or eLearning.
When designed correctly, virtual training can help your company save valuable time and resources. So how do you ensure learners listen, and even better, retain their knowledge?
1. Begin with engagement.
By acknowledging learners and encouraging them to participate, you’ll make them feel involved. This can be done very simply by setting aside a few minutes at the beginning to get to know your attendees better.
Start by going over the basics, such as how to use chat for responding to questions, whiteboards for writing, how to raise their virtual hands, and vote in polls. Then practice by asking a couple of yes/no questions and have everyone answer in the chat or raise their hand for a yes.
2. Set clear goals, ground rules, and expectations.
Having web cameras on can help you ensure everyone is attentive and participating. Ask everyone to shut down all other programs, including their emails, and put away their devices. Let your attendees know beforehand if there will be questions or quizzes during the training, so they can be prepared to be focused.
3. Follow with an interesting icebreaker to help build connections.
For example, create a trivia game on the training topic and see what participants already know. This is a great way to get the conversation started and settle people's nerves.
4. Use slides to support discussion, rather than as the primary focus.
Slides should have minimal information, emphasizing key points or takeaways, with high-quality images that are applicable to the topic. Present material in an engaging way, telling stories and giving examples, to help bring the topics to life.
5. Offer opportunities for interaction at least every 10 minutes or less.
While there are many ways to connect with your audience, such as polls and questions, the key is to do it at regular intervals. If you don’t engage with your attendees every 10 or so minutes, they will have the tendency to lose interest.
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