9 Keys to Leading an Awesome Online Training

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We’ve all been there.

Sitting through yet another boring online training. One that easily could have been an email.

So what went wrong? Why was it so… blah?

For starters, the trainer probably didn’t follow the tips in this blog. But you are different. You can stand out from the crowd. You can be a trainer that participants LOVE learning from!

Just follow these nine keys to leading an awesome online training…

  1. Make it personal

Both for you and for your participants.

Include family photos in your slides, tell stories, ask participants about their lives, do activities such as creating name tents or name tags where they’re talking about fun things like their bucket list items, etc.

  1. Revisit, don’t review

These two things are very different.

Review is where the trainer repeats the content. A revisiter is where the participant is actively involved in remembering content. Get them writing, discussing, doing teach-backs, window-paning, etc.

  1. Follow these webinar do's and don'ts

For starters, maybe don’t wear tie-dye. Wear a solid-colored shirt or one with a subtle pattern. Look at the camera, not at the video of you on your monitor. Have an external microphone to ensure the clearest sound.

As for the don'ts, just YouTube "funny webinar fails,” and you'll get an idea of what to stay away from. In summary, make sure you are muted if you're going to have a side conversation, burp, or bring your computer into the bathroom.

Oh, and be sure to turn your video off if you need to stand up and you're not wearing pants.

  1. Respect the power of the pause

You don't have to be talking the whole time.

Pausing can actually be a powerful way to grab the learners’ attention. It’s also an important way to let reflective learners process the content. Give them silent time to text chat, draw/type/stamp on the screen, write in the handout, etc.

  1. Be descriptive

Especially when giving directions for activities.

In a webinar, when you can't as easily watch people's body language to see if they understand your directions, it's critical to repeat the instructions and create slides that offer visual support for your directions.

  1. Give a physical break every 90 minutes

Kindergarteners aren’t the only ones who get the fidgets.

Even as adults, we can only learn for 90 minutes at a time before we get antsy, and our ability to understand and retain the content plummets. Brain science tells us that ideal breaks last anywhere from 11 to 16 minutes.

  1. Engage learners every five minutes

There are various ways to break up your lectures.

Get learners typing/drawing/stamping on the screen, writing in the handout, text chatting, discussing the content in breakout rooms, etc.

  1. Create a visual experience to support learning

Great slides look like a billboard.

They have a big image with a small amount of copy. Learners will remember the image, which will help them remember the content.

For example, look at this list of statements that might appear on a slide. What image might you use on the slide to support each line of copy?

  • “Complete this matching activity.” Maybe a picture of a pair of socks?
  • “Energizers don’t need to relate to the content.” A picture of a book with a red X going through it?
  • “Variety drives engagement.” A picture of a box of crayons?

You get the idea. To find great imagery and iconography, check out handy tools like Canva, Unsplash, etc.

  1. Have a producer

Think of them like your sidekick.

Producers help with everything behind the scenes. They organize breakout rooms, answer technical questions from participants, alert you as the trainer to key comments in the chatbox, put support info and links into the chatbox, etc.

Put simply, producers allow you to focus on the most important thing: engaging learners with your content.

Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs in this series that’ll give you 13 MORE TIPS to help you present with pizazz online!

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