In unprecedented times, a lot of trainers are suddenly discovering that they need to completely change the way they deliver training. And a lot of us are seriously engaging, perhaps for the first time, with the concept of delivering training remotely.
This can be a scary prospect especially if, like me, you’re passionate about the importance of participation and learner-led learning. The word webinar might conjure up images of pre-recorded presentations, or live sessions delivered to an inconceivably large group of people, most of who are probably half listening whilst engaged in other activities.
Well, my message to you all, having spent a lot of time on this over the last month, is that it doesn’t need to be like this and actually, your remote training can be fantastic!
Need convincing? Consider this; since the lockdown began in the UK just over a week ago, I’ve attended virtual dinner parties, a virtual pub quiz, an online cocktail party with the neighbours and a board game night with friends. (It’s not been nearly as peaceful as I expected.)
If we can engage socially over the internet, why not with training?
Over my previous two blogs I’ve looked at the importance of Systems, and last week I looked at Method. If you know which systems to use and how to deliver training that’s engaging, there’s really only one key component left; Content.
And here’s the thing. Yes, you will need to adapt your content, but probably not as much as you think, and you certainly won’t need to scrap all of those activities and replace them with PowerPoint slides.
If you’ve got the right system (and if you don’t, getting one requires a very small investment) you can still:
Break your group into teams to complete an activity, solve a problem or discuss learning.
Facilitate group discussions.
Share slides (when it’s appropriate/necessary to do so).
Share handouts, case studies or other information.
Provide one-to-one assistance and guidance when appropriate.
Give individual and group feedback.
In fact, the only thing you can’t do easily is engage people in tasks that require working together with physical materials.
And, perhaps surprisingly, there are some things you can accomplish more easily or more effectively than you could in the classroom environment, using remote delivery methods.
Here are two examples:
Want to encourage people to share their honest views on a contentious topic or identify the real underlying issues within a team that need addressing? Easy; set up an anonymous poll.
Want participants to complete an activity alone, without being influenced by their fellow participants? Again, easy! (This is actually a key element of a brand new module I developed for Trainers’ Library last week called Miss-Communication.)
I have to be honest; I’m enjoying writing Trainers' Library materials for remote delivery more than I ever thought I would.
And the more I do, the more I realise how creative you can be delivering training remotely. It doesn’t have to be dull, it can be engaging, it can be memorable and it can be inspirational.
Now all you need to do is give it a go.
If you’ve never delivered training remotely, why not run a trial session using the free sample on Trainers' Library with friendly colleagues first?
I'm more than happy to help anyone adjust to a changed world; give me a call or drop me a message if I can be of any help.