23rd Oct, 2020
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Every organisation across the globe have cancelled any kind of in-person meeting since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, they have been hit the hardest, however, no organisation can afford to put training on hold. Whether the training is at the business-unit level or client training, companies cannot push the pause button on critical learning programs even as they move rapidly to put employee safety first.
Owing to the social distancing norms, either very small batches are now being formulated for training or companies are exploring other no-connect training methods. Since the first option puts in a lot of burden on companies, they are exploring the second turf.
To continue with delivering efforts, virtual training programs have seen a remarkable increase. This is the right time to rejuvenate skill development through virtual training.
Technology has changed the training landscape immensely. As per a recent study, 66% of training costs can be saved through virtual training solutions. Additionally, virtual training has been considered as one of the fastest-growing industries with a market anticipated to be $37.6 billion by the end of 2020.
Moreover, virtual training has been considered as one of the most cost-effective ways of employee training programs. As per the recent Ambient Insight 2018 Worldwide Mobile Learning Market –Executive report 42% of companies have said that virtual training results in revenue increase.
Obviously, preparing for a virtual audience is difficult when compared to the live audience or face-to-face participants. For virtual training to be successful, it needs to be effective, engaging, and interactive.
Here are 10 ways on how to make your virtual training both effective and engaging for your audience.
1) Use the right technology
Probably the most important step in conducting a successful virtual session is by researching and commissioning on a robust and reliable platform on which the session can be conducted. There are several platforms like Zoom, Teams, Hangout, GoToWebinar etc. with amazing features with can be used during the session.
Here are a few factors which should be considered before deciding on a platform:
- No. of audience
- Whether a live session or a pre-recorded one
- Is the platform designed to support learning delivery?
- Is the platform allowing us to upload shareable content to a secure location?
- Does it have a chat room, for participants to communicate
- Check out the reviews
2) Have an energetic moderator
An energetic moderator should be able to grab and hold the attention of the listener, encourage them, and build connections.
Here are some of the skills required for a good moderator:
- Great communication skills
- Should have a sense of humour to be able to keep the audience engaged with his/her quick witty sentences
- Be patient and allow people to connect with the session
- Provide great content and conversations
3) Always have an organiser
It is good to have an organiser for the coordination purpose. For example, if the presenter and moderator are speaking, then the organiser can plan a vital role by engaging with the audience in the chat section, answering their questions, managing the feedback. Moreover, it is good for the audience to engage with more people to avoid monotony.
Here are few skills required for an organiser:
- Should be ready with relevant study materials, to be able to answer the audience
- Have fast typing skills
- Should be thorough with the virtual training software
4) Pre-event engagement sessions
The best way to create a buzz around the event is by engaging with the audience before the session, in order to create an excitement for the final day. Share blogs, surveys, relevant news etc to keep them glued for the event.
5) Share a snapshot/ handbook of the information
A snapshot or a handbook of information can be created and distributed ahead of the time, this will allow to:
- Formulate questions before the event
- Conversations would have started in the minds of the audience
- Prevent them from clicking between the window during the event
6) Create a comfortable environment
Not everyone is tech-savvy, therefore choose a platform that is user friendly. Also, create a comfortable environment for the audience, as there should be no background noise.
7) Technical glitches
Technical glitches are almost impossible to negate completely. Multiple dry-run sessions and structured planning can still help in reducing the possibilities of such problems arising on the final day.
How to go about it?
- Use a user-friendly and technical-friendly platform
- Prepare participants, in case they have to download any extensions or make any kind of modifications in the system
- Ensure the technical team takes the time to troubleshoot system warnings and errors before they result in total failure
8) Leverage interesting and relevant content
Make sure that you have interesting content in your presentation. Use surveys, polls etc. to constantly engage with your audience. Use more pictures than words.
Here are a few tips:
- Have comic strips depicting a storyline
- Use relevant quotes and industrial statistics, as they are more relatable
- Play relevant videos
9) Engagement with the audience
Engaging with the audience is the key for any virtual event to become successful.
Here are some steps to engage participants:
- Ask thought-provoking questions
- Encourage collaborative learning
- Include mini-activities
- Use more barograph, histograms etc.
- Use animations
10) Sustain the momentum
After the session is over, in order to keep up the momentum, feedback is very important. Ask about their likes and dislikes with respect to the session. This can be used to improve future sessions.
Here are a few ways to collect feedback:
- Share a thank you mail
- Share a feedback form
- Share relevant reading materials
- Organise a quick survey asking about their likes and dislikes
Studies have shown that, virtual training is more effective when compared to face-to-face training, it increases the retention power of the employees by 60%. Therefore, by following these small steps mentioned above, you can surely organise an engaging and effective virtual session.