Over the last few months, we have had to learn to deliver online training better.  Online training delivery uses modern technology and the ability to deliver training using information technology can reinforce key messages and therefore make it a great way of getting your message across.  

Unfortunately, poor use of information technology can add to the confusion and if we are not careful training can be tedious and highly non-effective.

Some key points regarding effective virtual or online training

Still ask questions – Really important we still ask questions for group involvement and engagement.  Unless checking understanding keep poll or multiple choice type questions to a minimum.  Use questions that have a good open technique to get delegates to think such as “Here we see a problem with …., how could we solve this”?

Don’t just offer an information dump – Like all training, it is essential that you just don’t tell.  If you're doing a webinar have a series of mini activities and participants will stay with you.  The alternative will be that they will be surfing the web or booking their next holiday or worse, you could be talking to an empty room.

Keep animations to a minimum –  Remember what you think looks really funny or cool may be taken on board by an audience in a totally different manner.  There has been many a training course ruined by ‘over the top’ animations.

Have a large public chat window – On webinars essential to engage with the audience so that any questions can be answered.  It is good to stop now and again to answer questions or any comments being posted.  Additionally, if being recorded, ensure you read the question our aloud so anyone listening to a recording doesn’t miss out.

Remember the rules on slides -  Don’t make slides too busy or over complicated.  Keep transitions simple and animations to a minimum (see above).  Remember a picture paints a thousand words.

Structure is still important -  We should still be having an effective Introduction with training aim and objectives and why it's important we watch or listen.  We should then bring in the main body using questions and activities to stimulate thought.  Finally, an effective summary is needed to reinforce the key points and to check understanding.  We should always link to the next session too to stimulate and motivate learning.

Still should evaluate – It is still important that we evaluate training to ensure the training is working.  Effective internal and external validation is still required.

Online training does get a negative response from many people.   However, we have received some great reviews from individuals on our Train the Trainer and Personal Development courses.  Follow some simple steps and you will see delegates comment positively.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.