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Top Tips for Effective Virtual Delivery – Engagement

In my previous blog, I provided the first three top tips for effective virtual delivery, which for me are the basics:

1. Choose a system that supports learning.
2. Keep your group small.
3. Keep sessions short.

In this blog, I want to provide three more tips that will help you begin to create a learning environment where learners feel engaged and involved in what’s going on. 

Keep it Real
This means video and microphones on. The first reason for this is it helps conversations to flow naturally. Nothing interrupts the flow of conversation like, “Sorry, you’re on mute.” 

The second reason is it enables you to hear laughter and other verbal clues that help you ‘read the room’. 

And the third reason is, a little noise brings life and energy to the session, encourages involvement, and stops your sessions feeling like they’re being delivered in a vacuum.

Of course, you’ll need to use your facilitation skills to manage conversations and to ensure people don’t interrupt others, and there might be times when someone has a lot of background noise and needs to mute themselves. But, if your learners never have their videos on and are permanently muted, you’re almost certainly presenting a webinar, not facilitating learning.

Design for Virtual Delivery
If people aren’t engaging with the learning (and having their videos and microphones off might be a strong indicator that they’re not) you probably need to look at your content. 

Virtual delivery shouldn’t simply be a case of presenting your face-to-face content over the internet. You need learner-led content that uses the capabilities of your system to maximum effect, that provides real variety, uses breakout rooms, and includes genuinely interesting activities.

Get as creative as you can. For Trainers’ Library, we’ve designed training activities for remote delivery that use drag and drop, animated stories, case studies, quizzes, virtual treasure hunts, communication without voice, and much more. Once you start exploring what’s possible, you’ll be amazed at how many different methods you can use to create varied, creative, interesting content and lightbulb moments.

(If you’d like to find out more about our engaging virtual delivery content, get in touch.) 

Switch (don’t Ditch) the PowerPoint
I know that a lot of virtual training is done by PowerPoint, and I know too that time pressures can make this feel like the only choice. 

If that’s the situation you find yourself in, you really need a Trainers’ Library membership. Because, let’s be honest, a very long presentation delivered virtually is going to be even less effective than one delivered in the classroom (where you can at least see if people are falling asleep, playing a game on their phones, or updating their Twitter feed (does anyone still have those)?

But, and this is important, PowerPoint can be a very useful tool in virtual delivery, especially when you hand ownership to the participants and use PowerPoint like a virtual flipchart pad. Ask participants in their breakout rooms to collaborate and create powerful PowerPoint slides to present their ideas back to the group. And recognise and reward those who create the most imaginative, visually compelling slides. 

Used this way, I find PowerPoint a more flexible, creative tool than inbuilt whiteboards and used well, it means participants create a useful resource that can be shared after the training. 

I hope you’ve found these tips useful. I’d love to hear yours. 

Until next time…

June 6 2023Rod Webb

Rod Webb

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