Can You Make Virtual Instructor Led Training Fun?
Many of us can say that at some point we have endured a long, drawn out training session where it seems that not much gets accomplished.
Now that most classroom training is postponed and is being converted to Virtual Instructor Led Training (ViLT), you should ensure that these sessions leave your team feeling excited, invigorated and motivated.
If you are planning to make your Virtual Instructor Led Training engaging, interactive or even fun, the answer is that you may not be able to make it ‘fun’ exactly, but you can definitely inject it with some much needed energy so that people feel involved, engaged and motivated.
Virtual Instructor Led Training Best Practices
Once you begin, stay on topic. Virtual Instructor Led Training can ramble on like in-person training, and no one has the time or patience for that. You should, however, start off by making some time to talk casually with your attendees. This allows participants to have a relaxing, enjoyable experience and they will be more receptive to the training material. Then, you should outline your key objectives at the start of the session followed by reviewing the training schedule with your participants. That includes discussing each item for a certain amount of time, stating who has what role, and what the objective of the training session is. This puts everyone at ease, as they can understand what to expect. ViLT will be more fun just because the participants know that their time is respected, that you have a clear agenda with achievable tasks, and they understand what is expected of them.
Interaction is one of the most important ways you can make Virtual Instructor Led Training more engaging and even fun! Make use of breakout rooms, polls, and whiteboards to encourage people to share what they know and what they want to talk about. You can also have participants type their questions during designated points into the chat box and have a virtual producer take those questions and present them to the main speaker one at a time. If you don’t have a producer, then you can simply read the questions out that you want to answer. You can mention the person’s name who asked the question or who made a statement to make them feel heard.
Get people talking and moving throughout the session when they need a break. Energizers can get creative juices flowing and relieve tension. One creative idea is to have people touch an object of a certain attribute. For example, say, "Touch something made of wood!" The last person to touch such an object (getting up out of their chairs is likely) picks the next object. Another idea is to have people turn off their cameras and have someone make a sound, maybe of the ocean, or perhaps they imitate their favorite actor. Then everyone guesses who or what the sound is, and then the next person goes. You can also have participants play charades by making use of breakout rooms to put people in pairs. They then decide what they will act out together. When it is their turn, they can share their antics with the group so that others can guess what they are acting out.
Of course, these ideas won’t be suitable for all types of training, but it’s a great way to start off with a 10-15-minute ice breaking section to get your participants loosened up and ready to go.
At the beginning or during a rest period, have activities on-hand that you can do to get people feeling more comfortable with one another. For example, have everyone upload or send a picture of their shoes before the meeting. Then, at the beginning of the meeting, have each person tell the story behind their shoes. Are they wearing sandals because it's warm where they live? Are they wearing slippers because they want to be comfy at home? Another option is to have people take a picture of something on their desks and share a bit about it. How about asking people social questions? You can have them share a word about what they would do if they were not in a training session, a clue word. Then have others guess what the activity is.
Why not ask participants to change their display name to their favorite celebrity (real or fictional) and explain why they choose that person. Whatever energizer or ice breaker you choose, make sure your platform, like Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Skype, has the technical capacity to handle it, such as having two people act out their charades game or the capacity to handle uploaded photos to share with the group.
Have an Organized System for Speaking
If you want to hear from each person, ask them to share their thoughts. Turn on their ability to speak and to share their video (if they choose) and give them a couple of minutes to share their ideas. Remember, not every participant is going to want to share their thoughts. It’s important to give each person a designated amount of time and online space to share what they think on a topic so that the introverted don’t get overshadowed by the more extroverted participants.
You can make space in an online shared document for people to add their ideas and suggestions once the training has ended to encourage more participation, and make time to meet one-on-one with those you know didn’t feel comfortable speaking up during the larger group. By making your Virtual Instructor Led Training more engaging, they will be more interesting and much less tedious to attend. These tips will help you the next time you wonder how to make Virtual Instructor Led Training fun.
If you require assistance in building a successful Virtual Instructor Led Training program, contact TrainingFolks to help!
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