In this blog Associate Partners, Biran Yilancioglu and Catherine Bardwell share their top tips for delivering fun and engaging virtual training sessions.

Have you been asked to deliver more virtual training since the Covid-19 outbreak but you don’t know where to start? How can you ensure you keep your virtual training effective and engaging at all times?

In this blog, we will share with you our top 10 tips on how to change from dull and boring to fun and engaging virtual workshops.

Tip 1…Plan, Plan, Plan

Plan your facilitation as if you are planning a face to face workshop. Apply the same principles such as who are you running this workshop for, what is the agenda and the outcome.

Tip 2…With the right facilitators

Get the right facilitators who are energized and fun. These facilitators should be able to grab and hold the attention of the listener, encourage participation and build connections. In other words, this person must be able to facilitate the overall audience experience and steer the session in the right direction. 

Tip 3…Start with an energizer

Have your participants engaged from the very get-go with a fun icebreaker exercise. Here are some examples: You could ask them to write their name in the whiteboard tool. Or present a picture with all 4 seasons and ask them to choose with a marker tool the best season that represents ‘How are you feeling today’ (I am feeling cloudy, sad or energised). You could also ask participants with webcams to show something interesting or share their screen. 

Tip 4…Don’t mute

Don’t allow your participants the choice to mute themselves. You want them to stay engaged. If they go mute, they have a high chance of doing something else, even worse: Having a conversation with someone else. This is not a meeting! But a training after all.

Tip 5…Rehearse!

Have a dry run, run a session with a colleague and see what works and doesn’t work. This will also ensure you are familiar with the webinar software and training platform. This doesn’t need to be long and laborious. A quick 15-30 minutes walkthrough is plenty!

Tip 6…Start early!

Dial-in 15 minutes ahead of time. You might have to deal with some unexpected technological glitches. Also, inviting participants in the virtual room always takes more time than you countered for!

Tip 7…Send slides

Send slides beforehand in case your participants can’t see the slides.

Tip 8…Pre-work 

Ask your participants to come prepared with some pre-work. The impact of pre-work on a virtual workshop can be huge as it can increase personal investment in the live session…But make sure pre-work adds value and is fun to complete.

Tip 9…Get a co-facilitator

If you’ve ever been on a webinar, you’ll notice that there’s almost always two facilitators. This is for several practical reasons, not to mention for mutual support. For instance, while one is speaking or leading, the other can monitor the chat, provide feedback, and address questions that arise, or even deal with technical glitches. If you don’t have the budget for a co-facilitator, ask a participant as a volunteer to observe the chat box or even take notes!

Tip 10…Thank them and get feedback!

Don’t forget to thank the participants for their time and ask them to provide feedback. In fact, more and more organizations make completing the survey mandatory by issuing a certificate of completion only after the survey has been completed.

For more information, or to discuss your own development, please get in touch.