8 signs you’re unknowingly demotivating your online learners

You know the participants.

The ones who distract themselves and others during your training.

We call them “difficult participants.”

Difficult behaviors manifest themselves in a variety of ways, from showing up late to texting to sleeping to excessively chatting to acting like a know-it-all.

It’s easy to get frustrated with these folks, but they’re not entirely to blame.

Believe it or not, most of these difficult behaviors can be prevented.

If you as the trainer do one thing.

Motivate your learners.

But until we know what exactly that looks like, we might unknowingly be training in ways that demotivate our learners.

So how do we motivate them, prevent difficult behaviors, and encourage all participants to stay engaged and excited to learn?

Beware of these 8 factors that demotivate online learners…

1. Interruptions

Close your door and use a door hanger that encourages the people around you (relatives, roommates, coworkers, etc.) to remain quiet while you’re leading a webinar.

2. Lecture

Lecture breeds boredom. Interaction breeds engagement, retention and application of your content.

Keep mini lectures to 5 minutes or shorter.

3. Not having a point

Help learners tune in to WII-FM…

What’s in it for me?

Help them see how the content you’re about to share will give them more emotional health, physical health, financial success, etc.

4. Lag time

Make sure your computer and webinar software are updated.

Use a hard-wired ethernet cable, which is more reliable than Wi-Fi.

Providing physical breaks every 90 minutes (of between 11 to 16 minutes) will give people a chance to get caught up in case they, heaven forbid, experienced technical issues.

5. Tests

Tests are scary and intimidating.

Instead, play games, conduct surveys, and use polls that gauge their existing knowledge.

Frame it within the greater purpose of helping you as the trainer understand how to tailor your training to best meet their needs.

6. Ignoring questions and comments

The chat box can get busy.

Especially on a highly attended webinar.

It’s easy to miss important questions or observations that learners share.

Meanwhile, you’re busy trying to be an engaging teacher, facilitator, keep up with your leader guide, stay on time, manage music, start your timer, control your slides, clear the screen of annotations… AND intently read every comment in the chat box?

That’s one of the many reasons it’s so important to have a producer to help you make sure you don’t miss your learners’ comments and questions.

7. Being repetitive

If you’re doing the same exact activities, in the same exact sequence, using the same exact webinar tools for every segment of content, learners will get bored and tune out.

Instead, mix up which activities you use, how you use them, and what tools you incorporate in order to keep your learners guessing and spark their curiosity.

8. Fear of technology

Learners who are new to webinars might be intimidated by the idea of stamping, typing, drawing on the screen, etc.

And getting them to turn on their webcam or unmute their mic? Good luck.

Try doing soft openers beginning 15 minutes before your webinar starts, and give learners the chance to practice various webinar tools on ice-breaker topics.

You can also give learners choices of which tool they want to use.

If they’re not comfortable stamping, typing or drawing on the screen, invite them to text chat or unmute, etc.

Which demotivator was most eye-opening for you?

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