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How Confident Are You With Virtual Training & Presentations?

Virtual meetings, training and presentations are now an everyday part of working life. They enable flexible working and bring many cost benefits, but how are you getting on with them? In this article, I share ways to improve your confidence during virtual delivery.

The Changing Face of Training

Lockdown changed things. As a professional trainer, I was one of many to have multiple courses and events cancelled overnight; you may have been in the same boat. The usual way of doing things was gone and we had to adapt. Fortunately, the technology was available to enable us to set up online meetings, run virtual courses and deliver those presentations.

When the rapid shift to virtual occurred, there was little time to perfect our offer. With a grasp of the technology, it was a case of taking in-person courses and delivering them remotely.

So, you may have been doing it for a couple of years now. However, that doesn’t mean you love it or feel as confident virtually, as in person. In my Training for Trainers sessions, I’ve noticed some common themes that people are struggling with.

These are:

  • Being professional when training remotely
  • Mastering the technology
  • Adapting content for virtual training
  • Maintaining delegate engagement

Addressing these is a crucial part of my courses and I want to share a tip for each of these four points.

Stand Up for Professional Training Delivery

One of the simplest tips is to stand up when you deliver your training! You most likely stood for in-person training, so stick with it. A standing position opens up the body – there’s more room for your lungs to inhale air, for your diaphragm to move and for oxygen to flow. As a result, you’ll feel more energised, your voice will be clearer and psychologically you’ll feel more in control.

Test the Technology

Before every training session, allocate time to test the technology. Is the volume audible? Is the camera at eye level? Ensure that links are working and video content plays without issues. Try out features such as break-out rooms. The final step is to turn off notifications and check what is on view if you screen share.

Review & Redesign your Training Content

One of the key issues I observed when trainers switched to virtual, was sticking to the same content and format. What works in person doesn’t always translate into virtual training and presentations. It needs a fresh approach. That doesn’t mean starting from scratch, but a content redesign will tailor it to a remote audience.
If class-based activities don’t work, explore alternative tools or ideas that deliver the same message and help delegates to apply the learning. What tools are available on your virtual technology platform?

Actively Encourage Cameras On

The starting point for maintaining candidate engagement is to include an ‘all cameras on’ policy in your sessions. As the training starts, make that request again. Welcome and thank everyone as they appear and use phrases like, ‘I’m just waiting for a few people to sort out their camera and then we’ll get started’ or ‘I can hear you clearly, I just can’t see you yet’.

As engagement is a big issue with virtual training and presentations, I’ll be covering this in greater depth in a future article.

Award Winning Trainer

You may be wondering what qualifies me to offer tips. One reason is that I’ve honed my skills over 20 years and training for trainers is one of my specialist services.

This year, I was delighted to learn I had been nominated for the SME UK Enterprise Awards. I’m still not sure who put my name forward, but the panel of judges scoured my website and social channels to research my offer. The first I knew about it was when I was informed that I was on the shortlist and had the opportunity to submit additional information.

At the end of August, I was honoured that Garner Training received the award for ‘Leading Specialists in Virtual Meetings & Presentations 2022’. This has fuelled my desire to support more individuals to share their knowledge and make the most of virtual technology.

If you would like to receive monthly training tips and related information, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter.

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