Adapt training programs to a webinar environment. Identify the similarities between classroom-based training and a live webinar. Make adjustments to training programs to adapt to a webinar environment. Employ best practices for webinar facilitation to enhance participant interaction and attention. Avoid common mistakes that lead to boring webinar classes.
- A lot of webinars are boring. There's even a joke that participants tune in to the webinar and then tune out to do other tasks while the webinar is running. It doesn't have to be this way. I want to take a few minutes to give you some tips for delivering training via webinar. The most important thing to keep in mind is the principles required for effective training are the same for live webinars as they are for classroom training. The key is making just a few adjustments due to the technology. Lets start with a few things that are exactly the same.
Whether it's a webinar or a classroom based training class. You'll likely present some material and you'll probably use visual aids such as a PowerPoint presentation to help you. Participants should have handouts so they can take notes and do exercises during the class. There should be various learning activities and plenty of group discussion. Including the opportunity for participants to ask you questions. So the key is to do the same thing you do in a classroom while making adjustments to the webinar environment.
Here are a few things to consider: I prefer one way audio for webinars. This means participants can hear me talk but they don't have a microphone. If you've ever been on a conference call you can understand why. There are a lot of long and awkward pauses people try to figure out who should talk next, and sometimes multiple people start talking at the same time. With one way audio the class actually speeds up because you use features like chat and polling that allow for all participants to interact at the same time.
I've used this technique with all types of participants even company CEOs, and they've all enjoyed it. Webinars should be even more interactive than a live class to keep people engaged. I try to have some form of interaction every five minutes. You can use polling to ask for opinions. Chat is a great way to answer quiz questions, or facilitate a group discussion. And I always encourage participants to read and respond to each other's messages. Many webinar platforms have yes or no or agree or disagree buttons that you can use to quiz participants as well.
It's really important to rehearse before delivering a webinar. There are a lot of moving parts to the technology, so you want to be sure that all of the features are working properly and that you're comfortable with the technology. Some people prefer to have an assistant operate the technology during the webinar to make it easier to concentrate on facilitation. One of the great features of a webinar is the ability to record it. This allows participants to rewatch the webinar later on.
And if anyone misses the webinar, they can review it too. Through trial and error I've learned that one hour is the maximum time for a webinar. Anything longer than that and participants will become uncomfortable. Keeping your webinars short can actually work toward to your advantage. You can focus on sharing one specific skill, give participants an assignment to apply it, and then discuss the results in another short webinar session later on. Like any skill, you can develop your ability to facilitate excellent webinars through plenty of practice and a desire to improve.
- Identifying employee training needs
- Creating an individual development plan
- Developing learning objectives
- Preparing employees for training
- Evaluating a training program
- Presenting with confidence and clarity
- Facilitating discussions and learning
- Managing breaks effectively
- Delivering training via webinar