How to Become a Virtual Trainer (And Excel at it)
There is more to being a virtual trainer than taking your training slides and presenting them online via a virtual platform. There are a host of nuances and skills that virtual trainers employ in order to obtain successful learning transfer.
But some organizations are unsure how to get started. How to get seasoned in-person trainers to the level of confidence and competence that we require for virtual delivery and in a time efficient manner?
Find a Train the Trainer Program
At VTT, we recommend finding a Virtual Train the Trainer program to enroll in. These courses are specially designed to help traditional, classroom trainers transition to virtual delivery.
Many in-person training sessions can be easily adapted to the virtual environment, but it takes the skill and knowledge of how to change them to suit their new environment that can catch new virtual trainers out.
At VTT, we offer our own Virtual Train the Trainer Program. It is made up of six Masterclasses; -
- Delivery Masterclass
- Design Masterclass
- Creating Interaction Masterclass
- Platform Masterclass
- Practice Masterclass
- Practice Masterclass
Check out this short playlist of videos, where Catherine goes through what each module entails in our Virtual Train the Trainer Program Masterclasses?
During the course of this Virtual Train the Trainer Program, we focus on building up the core skills needed to run successful virtual training such as: -
We help trainers learn the importance of engaging their learners throughout virtual learning workshops. We coach new virtual trainers how to build interactivity and conversation into their workshops, to maintain high levels of participation and to create true learning transfer.
Energy from the Group
We coach trainers to bring fun and flair into their workshops; how to use the energy of their virtual learners to fuel engagement and interactivity, just as they would in a physical classroom.
Building confidence in the technology involved with virtual training is a large part of the Program. When trainers know how to make the most of their tech in order to deliver successful virtual training, then they can enhance the experience; ensuring all virtual workshops involve, enthuse and inspire their learners.
Converting F2F Content
Designing a virtual workshop is more complex than just taking the physical training slide deck and delivering it online. We coach trainers to carefully sequence and structure content to maximize learning transfer.
For more information on this Program and the modules within it, please download our Virtual Train the Trainer Program brochure here.
Why Use a Train the Trainer Program?
We have seen it often; when a company tries to take their training virtual by themselves. This tends to lead to limited success as they are unsure as to where to start and try to just take existing content online, unaltered.
This can color the view of virtual training for the participants who attend, as their first experience can be a poor one.
We have a recent Train The Trainer (Recovery Approach) case study of a previous client who faced this same challenge. They took the leap into virtual training, the concept wasn't successful and they then asked The Virtual Training Team for assistance; not only to train the company trainers in virtual delivery, but to re-energize the Learning & Development team and help them to recover from their previous setback.
Here is a short video with some honest reviews about what it's like to go through a Virtual Train the Trainer Program from some of our recent participants.
How to Excel as a Virtual Trainer
With the right tools, anyone can excel as a virtual trainer. Once trainers have the base fundamentals that a Virtual Train the Trainer Program can give them, it is down to practice and refinement.
Each individual trainer brings something unique to their virtual workshops and everyone finds their own way of working, but in the meantime, here are a few tips we find useful.
Greet every participant as they enter
Giving an initial greeting is essential. It helps participants to feel more connected, it ensures that their audio is all set up correctly and it gives everyone the opportunity to practice speaking in the virtual space. Plus, it's good manners.
Offer important information several times to help participants remember
Repeating key concepts, using visual slides, interactive engagement and handouts can help to make information stay with participants. Content needs to be engaging and memorable, so that the information stays fresh.
Get comfortable with the tech before your workshop
Coaches who take time to learn and completely familiarize themselves with the platform will find the investment worthwhile, so they can feel prepared and equipped to use the tech and all its functions, to the fullest ability.
Take advantage of the chat function
Facilitating conversation in all its forms is key to virtual training and the chat function can be a key component in this. It gives participants a place to respond to each other and the coach in the middle of other discussions, pose questions and keep the flow of participation going in a natural way.
Be conscious of tone; be uplifting and positive
Voice is what sets the tone of the training. Keeping the tone light and positive will help cultivate an interesting and engaging environment for the workshop. Keeping the tone even and well enunciated will also ensure participants have a positive experience.
Get regular feedback; check in with the participants at the end of the workshop
Getting regular feedback from participants and even other trainers can be really beneficial for workshop growth. By asking for feedback, the workshop stays up to date, current and clear. Using polls, or a short survey can give some important insights into what is working well in the workshop and which areas need to be improved.
Use the webcam
Being able to see the face of their trainer makes a huge difference to participants. Leaving the video running as much as possible allows learners to see facial expressions and deepens the human connection between coach and cohort.
Have a drink nearby
Tripping over words, suddenly dry throats, or coughing fits catch us all by surprise. By keeping a glass or bottle of water nearby, trainers can limit the impact that these sudden onslaughts can cause.
Have a participant list handy
Having a participant list makes it much easier to facilitate a positive experience for learners. It ensures that the trainer has access to everyone’s name prior to meeting them, allowing for a smoother, more intimate learner experience, right from the start.
Keep a learner log
A learner log is where a trainer can keep track of the levels of engagement taking place in the virtual workshop. This allows them to easily monitor who has been answering questions and participating the most, so they can keep it level. This helps to reduce any social loafing and ensure everyone gets an equal amount of interaction.
If investing in a Virtual Train the Trainer program would benefit your organization or you would like help boosting your internal trainers to a level of confidence and competence in their own delivery, get in touch with us today.
Additionally you can arrange with us to have your own demonstration where we will run part of a real workshop so you can experience our coach-led live delivery.
We would be pleased to help get that journey started for you. You can contact us by using the details below.