10 Engagement Strategies for Bringing In-person Content to Online Delivery

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Last Monday I wrote about questions you’ll want to ask yourself as you prepare to transfer in-person content to online delivery.

On Thursday, I facilitated a webinar on this topic (here’s a link to the recording if you want to see it in its entirety). For those who may have missed that webinar, here are the 10 engagement strategies I shared.   Continue reading

“What web conferencing software do you use?”


Connected World

Last week I was in a conversation when someone asked: “What web conferencing software do you use? What’s the best one, especially for work in the international arena where bandwidth can be an issue?”

This question comes up a lot, and I’m not sure there is a “best” web conferencing software. I responded by sharing what I’ve used in the past as well as the web tool that is my current favorite.   Continue reading

3 Reasons to Swap Out Your Slides for a Google Doc in Your Next Webinar

Over the last week, I’ve had several virtual meetings in which I’ve chosen to forego slides and instead use a spreadsheet that I had set up in my Google Drive and shared with participants.

Google Drive

Depending on the purpose of a webinar or virtual meeting, there will always be room for a variety of visual aids, including slides, here are three reasons I plan to use more Google documents and fewer slides (or white boards or chat boxes or other standard virtual meeting tools): Continue reading

Attending a Webinar? For Best Results, Try This…

Yesterday I had a chance to attend an eLearning Guild-sponsored webinar entitled “eLearning Visual Design Trends for Non-Designers.” It was facilitated by Bianca Woods (if you’re looking for graphic design resources and ideas, be sure to check out her website).

I confess that I normally multi-task while “attending” webinars. I’ll check email. If a colleague walks by with a question, I’ll take out my ear buds and happily respond. I generally approach a webinar hoping for some nugget of inspiration, but a lot of times I’ll disconnect completely after 20 minutes or so. This is why yesterday’s webinar was so impactful on me that I decided to write about it.

I walked away from the experience thinking that it was one of the most helpful webinars I’d ever attended. After one hour, I had three concrete, actionable next steps that I planned to take.

Was it her slide deck? No. Although she did have a very well designed deck of slides (if you’re looking for an example of a clean, effective set of slides, please scroll through her deck and steal some of the design principles she used).


Was it the polls or opportunities to type questions into the chat box? No. Although those instructional design elements did help break up the presentation and give me an opportunity to interact with everyone else in attendance.

The key moment for me came before I even logged on yesterday. Just by happenstance, I asked a co-worker if she was interested in attending the webinar after I had enrolled. She was. I blocked off a conference room and we huddled around my laptop.

As Bianca walked us through the content, my co-worker and I discussed (in real time) how we might apply some of the concepts to our work. We walked out of the conference room having brainstormed ways to better integrate video into our training, identified a specific storyline for an infographic we will create for an upcoming meeting and we were pointed in the direction of a free online tool to create said infographic.

Sometimes when I’m designing and delivering presentations, I forget what it’s like to be in the learners’ shoes. Sometimes I forget that learning truly is a social activity. Two heads are better than one.

As presenters, it’s crucial to allow learners an opportunity to interact and discuss the ideas we’ve presented. They’re more likely to come up with ways to use our content that will be most meaningful for them.

Yesterday I also learned that for best results when attending a webinar, invite a friend or two. Who knows how you might be able to apply the content when you start putting your heads together.

How Bob Pike Would Help An SME Out Of A Jam

On Monday, I put out a desperate plea, seeking advice for an SME who had a tough time in the preparation and delivery of a presentation (click here to see the full post). Training legend Bob Pike read the case study and decided to weigh in on this particular situation. Following is what he suggested.

Agree? Disagree? Have other ideas? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

“Here are questions I would ask in order to respond to the situation:

1. How many in the audience?

2. Are they all eye doctors?

3. Why did they need this presentation?

4. What is the outcome of the presentation supposed to be?

5. Why were you asked to do this presentation? What do you bring that is unique?

Then, given that it is only 30 minutes and that there is probably a huge amount of expertise in the audience I might approach it this way:

1. I’ve given each of you a piece of paper. Working with a partner you have two minutes to draw an eyeball and label as many parts of it as possible. Begin. At the end of two minutes I would say, “familiarity doesn’t mean competence.”

2. Then, I would allow them two minutes to confer with those around them and add/subtract/correct anything they want to.

3. I would the use this as a springboard into pulling from them the anatomy starting from macro to micro, maybe with a large poster of the eye rather than a PowerPoint just to change it up.

One thing we constantly talk with our trainers about is having at least two ways to present each piece of content so that we are not dependent on technology.”

Bob Pike CSP, CPAE, CPLP Fellow, MPCT

Chairman Emeritus/Founder, The Bob Pike Group

Founder/Editor, The Creative Training Techniques Newsletter

Past Chairman of the Executive Board – Lead Like Jesus