Do you deliver virtual training or online workshops? Want to keep your audience engaged and the energy level high? Then these tips are for you! In this video, Scott Friesen shows you how to host an online training that your participants will be talking about for days!
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Are you an online trainer, workshop facilitator, or perhaps a coach? Well, if you do any type of virtual training, this video is for you because I'm going to share with you five key elements which is going to make your next training so much more memorable. So let's dive in. Tip number one, use an agenda. But wait, it's probably not what you're thinking. I don't mean just add something to your slide deck or send out a document in advance. I mean, use an agenda within your session. Now in this example, I'm using a virtual meeting tool called Butter, which is great because not only can I create an agenda in advance, but I can add facilitator notes so I know exactly where I am and what I need to remember along the way. But better yet, I can create an agenda which is visible to my participants so they can see where we are going and what is going to be happening next. So, for example, I've broken my agenda out into several different components and I've even given them an estimated time. So if I'm going to get started with my welcome all I need to do is hit this play button. And you can see that this timer has now started. I've estimated that this is going to take me about five minutes, but what's even better is at the very bottom of the screen, I can see my estimated end time that my entire workshop should finish at about 10:18. And then on the right-hand side, it's going to give me a status update. So for the time being, I'm on time, which is great. But most importantly, you want to know if you can keep things on track. So, for example, if I finish my welcome a little early and I'm going to move onto my next area, which is called check-in, it now says that I'm ahead by four minutes so I can see at a glance where I am, making sure that I can keep everything on time. Tip number two, get your participants involved and contributing as early as possible. And I recommend using a quick poll to do so. Here, again, within Butter, I can set up my polls in advance. So you can see that I have an activity here during the check-in phase. All I need to do is hit start. And now that poll is open and available for everyone to contribute. In this case, I've asked them a very simple one word answer which I can display in either a word cloud or in a standard list view. And, of course, you can choose if you'd like to make those answers anonymous, so people may feel a little more comfortable in contributing. But it's so important to get your participants involved interacting with your meeting application and interacting as a group so you can spark further discussion within your workshop. Now, tip number three is about using a timer not just to keep yourself on task but to make sure to keep your participants on task as well. Here we can see we've moved onto another section within my training, and I'd like to spend a little bit of time discussing with my participants, but in order to make sure that we have enough time for the other elements and the other activities, I've included a three minute timer. So I'm going to select start in this case. And at the very bottom of the screen you can see that a timer is now visible to everyone not just myself as a facilitator. And you can also see that there is a nice visual indicator so that people can see when we are nearing the end. Having a visible timer can encourage participants who perhaps have not contributed to the discussion to get their comments in before the timer is up. This can also be a great way to help reduce those very chatty or perhaps overly talkative participants from wrapping up their comments so that, again, we can all stay on track within the training. Now, Butter makes it very easy for us if I need to add an additional minute. Perhaps the discussion is very fruitful and we want to keep things going or I can always pause the timer or stop it at any time. But adding a timer to certain elements to your training can be a great way to keep everyone on track. Number four, include video and other dynamic content as a part of your training. Now, of course, some facilitators are often hesitant to share video during an online meeting. It forces them to have to have another tab open to queue up that video. And often the experience is rather poor for participants on the other side, but Butter makes it super easy. Here you can see that I've added this YouTube video in advance, so I don't need to remember anything. In fact, I don't even need to open up another tab. That's right. I'm not even sharing my screen. When it comes to this point in the training, all I need to do is select start, and immediately that video will open up right here within Butter, and the video will begin to play. With this integrated video player, all participants will be able to see and view your video as if they were watching YouTube on their own desktop. It's seamless for you as you launch the video and the quality is the best it can be for those who are on the other end. But don't just stop with video. You can bring in other interactive elements and other apps that you use all the time directly into Butter. In this case, perhaps I want to gather some of the key points from our discussion. Here, I've opened up a Google Doc, but you'll notice I haven't opened up another tab. Here, I can edit and get others to contribute to this Google Doc in real time, and then have something that I can send out immediately after this training session. Whether it's Google Drive, Miro, or many other applications, you can bring them in directly into Butter so it's a seamless experience for both you and your attendees. Next up, let's make sure that your attendees have an opportunity to share with one another in breakout rooms. Now, I know with some other applications, including Zoom and Microsoft Teams, breakout rooms can not only be a little intimidating, but they can be a little difficult to set up. But here, within Butter, you can set up your rooms, name them, and customize them in advance. So when I'm ready to get started with this Q&A portion of my training, I'm going to select start here. Within the breakout room overview page I can see everything that's going on. Here we are in the main room, but I've created three rooms in advance. Maybe I want them to assign themselves depending on the size of their team. So I have three rooms labeled small, medium, and large, and I'm going to give them the opportunity to join the one that's the best fit for them. Once my attendees have assigned themselves to their appropriate breakout rooms, I've got a master bird's eye view of what's going on. I can either go ahead and join each room individually or if I want to observe without making my presence known I can do so by hitting the observe button. I can also communicate directly with each room. When it's time to end the breakout room, all I need to do is come up to the top of the screen and say, yes, let's end this session. And in a matter of seconds, people will be brought back to the main room. Last but not least, the agenda and all of the components which I've been showing you in this video can be saved as a template. So if you're delivering the same training or the same workshop again and again you can access all of your materials and start that next session in a matter of seconds. And best of all, Butter is absolutely free for up to 100 participants and a 60 minute meeting. So if you'd like to get started with Butter, go to butter.us, or click the link in the description down below. And if you'd like to learn even more free websites to help you with your workday, be sure to click on this video next. Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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