A Trainer’s Responsibility: Staying On Top Of Current Trends

If you’re anything like me, you find some cool tools and techniques that work for you, and you incorporate them into your daily practice. Once you feel like you have enough tools and techniques, there’s no need to learn about anything else!

I’ve realized recently that I seem to have stopped learning about new tools, techniques and trends sometime in 2015 or so (Kahoot was totally cutting edge back then!). Recently I had an opportunity to talk with Training Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Lorri Freifeld, about the importance for learning professionals to stay on top of trends, how to differentiate between a useful trend and a “shiny object”, and where learning professionals can get the biggest bang for their professional development buck.

As L&D practitioners, we can’t be like the Cobbler’s children who have no shoes. We can’t go around helping others to do their jobs better, and never think about how we can improve our own craft.

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Virtual Training Lessons Learned

I have been trying to get my family to do a Zoom meeting for holidays for years now. Every year prior to this one, I have seen a lot of resistance to holiday gatherings via a webcam. Many arguing that if we weren’t actually together, why should we sit in front of a computer and stare at each other. Fast forward to 2020, and I have regular Zoom happy hours with friends, I met my sister’s new puppy last week via Zoom, and I have helped my in-laws pick out a webcam so they can see their granddaughters more often.

Many of us who have worked remotely had little to get used to with the new virtual meeting culture. Fast adapters are common with any technology, and those adapters will sing the praises, and even write books on the application of these tools before they are heavily used by everyone. Kassy LaBorie is one of the early adopters for virtual tools like Zoom, Teams, etc… as a remote training tool. On this week’s Train Like You Listen podcast, Kassy joins us to share some insights on virtual instructor-led training after a year where many of us were unexpectedly thrust into adopting these tools.

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Keys to being an effective “producer” in your next virtual training

How many people does it take to put on a successful webinar? A facilitator is obviously necessary to present the content and facilitate activities. If you want to present information while using polls, having participants white board on the screen and getting people into small groups using the breakout rooms feature all while responding to private messages in chat – both about your content and about technical difficulties – then you’re going to want a “producer”.

Unlike in-person sessions, this role isn’t the same as “co-facilitator”. An effective producer can make the difference between top-notch virtual training and a well-intentioned virtual train wreck.

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Lessons Learned in Quickly Shifting to Virtual Training

Things have changed for many of us very quickly. Many of us are at home, but we haven’t stopped working. As we get used to a new way to interact with one another, the dynamics of our interactions need to change. As many people have probably experienced, an online meeting or training is a different experience than in-person and it takes a lot of creativity to engage participants.

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Which virtual activities should you be using to help people learn?

Several weeks ago, I asked readers to share how confident they felt in delivering virtual presentations. This was the result:

Over the past week we offered a series of webinars to share some thoughts on how to more effectively convert programs from in-person to virtual delivery and hundreds of Train Like A Champion readers participated in these webinars. From conversations that took place during these webinars, it appeared that one of the biggest sources of anxiety for people entering the world of virtual training delivery is their unfamiliarity with which virtual tools to use, when.

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Converting from In-person to Virtual Training? Here are a few considerations.

Several weeks ago I asked how comfortable people were with virtual training delivery. The vote tally broke fairly evenly with about 51% saying they weren’t very comfortable with virtual training delivery and 49% saying they were indeed comfortable.

This week, we at Endurance Learning began offering a short virtual session on some key concepts to keep in mind as you deliver virtual training. If you’d like to sign up for one of these sessions, there is space remaining in our final four offerings (click here for more information).

To help those of you who are working hard to put together virtual programs, we’ve come up with a document that may help you figure out which feature of your web conferencing platform will best help you design an activity to engage your learners.

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Designing Webinars with Kassy LaBorie

Recently, Brian had a chance to sit down with Kassy LaBorie  of Kassy LaBorie Consulting to discuss her approach to designing and delivering Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT). They discussed how to make webinars more engaging, where she finds inspiration, and a few tips you can bring to your next live, web-based session.

If you want to know more about Kassy, check out her book Interact and Engage! which is chalk full of activities for virtual training sessions, meetings, and webinars.

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Webinar Engagement Strategies

It’s been a while since I’ve had to deliver a webinar, but over the next several weeks I’m working with a client on instructional design and visual design skills. We have a series of webinars that we’re working with them on, and I’d forgotten how different it can be to deliver content virtually.

Most of the credit for the activities in today’s post really should go to my colleague, Lauren Wescott, who helped me plan this series of webinars.  Continue reading