I'm sharing my must-haves for keeping virtual training engagingOct 29, 2023
When leading change, training is a major part of getting your teams ready for go live. With our world still hybrid, you may not be delivering learning in person. It might be virtual. So how can you make it a bit more interesting and keep people engaged? Here are my top must-haves for keeping virtual training engaging:
MUST-HAVE #1: Break up the session
If you are delivering training virtually, you really need to be thinking about fatigue. People being in a room is exhausting enough. If you do a 2 day training, it's exhausting. It is! But you've got all those other cues and you've got the change of environment, which in and of itself gives you energy. It’s often catered so you've got food and music and stuff. You can make great experiences. I share lots of ideas on how to create better experiences and keep people engaged through presentations, training and workshops in my bonus module "Presenting Like A Pro" in my Leading Successful Change program.
Saying that when you are delivering remote, really think about breaking up the session. For example, I did an all day offsite that I helped design and run and a lot of the creative elements came from me. And so we broke up the day. People weren't on there for 8 hours straight on a video call. Instead, we had different activities throughout the day. Some of them were one-to-many presentations, some of them were breakouts into smaller groups and different hosts, one was just a buddy walk and talk by phone to get people off the screen. We broke up the full day into many little mini diverse sessions to reduce fatigue.
MUST-HAVE #2: Learn from peers
Now that was an offsite so that people could meet other people in the team. But for training, there's no reason why you couldn't bring in the 70/20/10. There's no reason you couldn't give the 20%, which is “Learning from peers” and say, “Here's somebody who's already done it, give them a call, you've got 15 minutes to have a phone call with them and find out what their experience was like.” And have that be one of your learning activities.
MUST-HAVE #3: Keep it fresh
Have a lot of different styles and versions and channels and formats so it’s not just death by a thousand PowerPoints or talking heads for 8 hours (or 2 hours - eek!). Nobody wants to sit and listen to somebody for 2 hours, sometimes even 1 hour. If you’ve been on any of my masterclasses or webinars, I bring a lot of energy, use music, show a little video, maybe do a demo. Then I might do X, Y, Z. Keeping it fresh, really short, sharp, little bits and pieces. Maximum session length should be 30 minutes. Max. Say it's a 2 hour training, you might have 4 sets of 20-30 minutes, and activities and bathroom/tea breaks in between. We call these “Learning Bites” and they are so powerful!
MUST-HAVE #4: Theme it
That offsite that I did we themed “Around the World.” It was during COVID, so everything went virtual. I created this map, which was their travel itinerary. And then there was a packing list and it was so cute. And we sent that out to everybody. Everybody received a pack in the mail that had the itinerary and the packing list and ideas for making sure they stay healthy and fresh through the day. There was food and tea. There wasn’t heaps in there and it didn’t cost that much money - maybe a few hundred dollars. But the result was great because people had something physical and tangible to link to their virtual experience that carried the theme through to home.
MUST-HAVE #5: Create FOMO
You want people to feel like if they don't come onto the session, they're going to be missing out and you want to make it so fun, exciting, interesting. Send out teasers ahead of the training, so that they're like, “I want to be there!!!”
So next time you’re running a virtual training, get those creative juices flowing and those thinking caps glowing and bring it to life with energy, variety and these 5 must-haves.
Brainstorming things like how to keep virtual training engaging is something we do all the time on my Leading Successful Change Coaching Calls. LSC is now closed for registration while I get my amazing October Group Cohort set up and on their way to change success. I’ll let you know when LSC opens again, in the meantime: happy changing!
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