Most organizations are quickly coming around to the view that virtual training is a must-have — given its obvious benefits. You might be relatively new to it and find yourself doing more virtual because of the crisis times we’re living in. Or maybe you’re more experienced — but you’d love a quick primer on some fundamentals. Seasoned trainer Johnny Walker has just that — with a look at how virtual compares to in-person training and insights for how to do it well.
Virtual training is still sometimes perceived as not as effective as in-person, classroom training. But the reality is in some ways it’s even more personal, engaging and creates greater training retention.
What to know if you’re testing the waters of virtual training– and how to get clarity around the fundamentals to create learning environments that generate greater competence and confidence. We also explore with Johnny what leaders need to do, the role of the facilitator and some fundamentals for success.
KEY PODCAST TAKEAWAYS:
- Virtual training needs to be different- smaller bites of information, open-ended questions, and be responsible for sharing answers with each other in breakout rooms and debriefs. Virtual must mix information with application.
- Smaller groups of people (10-15 max) will create an intimate group setting where people are willing to share, make mistakes and developing cohesiveness. In smaller setting people that are more introverted are more comfortable engaging.
- A typical one-day in person training is best done virtually when broken up into multiple, smaller sessions spread out over several days.
- Virtual training is also a cost saver (T&E, etc.) vs. in-person, classroom training- about 30-33% less overall.
- A good facilitator is someone who enjoys watching people grow. It’s not necessarily the person who’s best in front of a room. Their mindset has to move from being a facilitator-trainer to a facilitator-coach.
- Sharing smaller bites of information, asking great open-ended questions to prompt how to apply the information and then giving opportunities to share thoughts and ideas with each other sets the stage for ‘discovery learning’ and allows application to take root.
- In deploying virtual training, you need to get trained by a professional. Learn how to use your (training) platform, how to break up training content into smaller bits and how to develop open-ended questions. Get coaching. Even though you may be a professional facilitator (in front of people) and you may know your material, this is a very different setting requiring a very different skill set and mindset.
PODCAST QUOTES FROM JOHNNY WALKER:
“Virtual training is not sitting in front of your computer on a webinar listening to someone lecture you for 30 or 45 minutes. No one enjoys that. No one retains information from that. And it’s not an effective way to train people.”
“…People think that virtual training is not as effective as face-to-face when, in fact, in some areas it’s even more personal, it creates greater retention and is more engaging.”
“It’s important that you set the stage correctly. It’s important for participants to know exactly what’s expected of them (prework, etc.). The best way to do this is to get top leadership involved- letting them set those expectations. It’s also good for them to be on that first call to reiterate those expectations.”
“In face-to-face training the trainer feeds off the audience. In virtual, they are now ‘at the table.’ You’re just one of them. You’re leading them through that conversation instead of being ‘the trainer.’”
For more on how Integrity Solutions is finding innovative, virtual ways to transform sales training for organizations committed to creating value for customers, watch this three-minute video.