Working remotely and following online training courses has become prevalent since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020. The times when remote working or training was considered a perk or privilege are long gone. Nowadays, more and more people are enjoying the freedom of working from home and following all kinds of training remotely. Many companies are now initiating more permanent changes and making remote work the new normal. At Globally Cool, we have also embraced this movement, shifting our focus from traveling to different countries and training people there to doing the same online. To adapt, we introduced the Globally Cool Academy.
Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to remote training. There are certain obstacles one might need to consider when giving or attending online training. Continue reading to learn about the five biggest pitfalls in remote training and the solutions to preventing them!
1. Remote training that lacks any personality
When giving remote training, finding the right balance between professionalism and friendliness can be tricky. Knowing your material and being well-organised is essential, but a dash of personality can prove very helpful. It makes it much easier for people to relate to you and your training.
According to research, people’s attention span is short and combining that with the uninviting affair of staring at a screen for a couple of hours, it can be a recipe for disaster. Finding ways to spice up your training with humour or interactive moments can help improve your participants’ mood and receptiveness.
We love to use Kahoot in our online training, giving the participants a break from listening and providing the opportunity to do something fun. Engaging your audience also works wonders, by hosting polls, asking questions, and giving them the floor as well.
2. Forgetting to mix your online training up with a different mix of media
A benefit of remote training is that it’s done digitally, which gives you the choice of using different types of media to keep it interesting for your audience. There is a huge opportunity to make your training intriguing and fun, by making use of all the online tools out there. Nobody wants to attend online training for over two hours just to look at bullet points on a PowerPoint. Toss in some media! Everything from pictures, videos, infographics, recordings, interactive animations, or some games will do the trick. We mentioned Kahoot before, right? Treating remote training like a presentation in person and sticking to a simple PowerPoint is not enough, you will immediately reduce engagement and interest that way. Not utilizing the full potential of the online environment you are using is a waste. Take advantage of the digital world!
3. Not using remote training as a chance to receive feedback
Giving remote training is the perfect opportunity to gather data and get feedback on the process you are leading. Feedback is invaluable, as it can pick up on parts of your training that might need a tune-up, but also highlight what participants think are the strong points of your training. This feedback can then be implemented in your future online training, making it more effective and exciting.
Online training is a relatively new concept for a lot of people, there is no shame in making mistakes and seeking constructive criticism to improve for the future. Digital training also lends itself to data collecting, which can be done through a variety of means, such as: surveys, screen observations, quizzes, and questionnaires that are administered online. Feedback is vital to continuous growth and curating a successful training program. Do not let this benefit go to waste—gather and implement!
4. Not doing proper technical checks
Unfortunately, remote training is quite vulnerable and prone to technical issues. Therefore, it’s important to take the proper precautions. Always try to check for any technical issues beforehand and prepare some alternatives in case technology or the good old internet lets you down. Even the best-designed remote training tools can fail you, or the internet might have issues on the day you want to give your online training. So, have a Hotspot ready!
Everything is dependent on the technology you use, which can leave you in a difficult position. While you cannot predict the future, you can prepare for possible problems that may arise. Start with avoiding any surprises for your audience by instructing them in advance. Make sure they know all the details such as timing, logins, apps to use and such. The participants need to receive all information beforehand and have time to understand what they will be doing. It’s also important to consider the right software for you. Will it be Zoom, like we use? Or are you more into Teams or Skype? Every tool has its benefits, as long as you read yourself into the different options and test it out for your specific situation. Lastly, make sure you have support and alternatives on hand. IT support is important may any technical issues arise. You should not be all alone without any support if you are hosting an important remote training!
5. Long sessions without any breaks
This might seem like a no-brainer, but all too often trainers forget to make use of long breaks during an intense training session. We are not talking about one break—attendees need more than one. When teaching in person, most people are used to full-day training sessions and have the option to walk around a bit, take a break, go to the toilet, and so on. Remote training should give participants the same options to move around and take breaks. To minimize the loss of engagement and attention, make sure you put a couple of breaks in place for them to get a coffee, or have a little walk. Let them have some cool-down time after soaking up lots of information.
Of course, avoid having too many breaks which may interrupt the flow of the training. Try to find the sweet spot that works for you and your audience. You can ask in your feedback round what participants think of breaks and what they prefer, which gives you the chance to adjust for the next session!
Successful remote training requires investment and dedication
Making a great online training is not as simple as presenting a PowerPoint online. To successfully manoeuvre remote training, you need to prepare and get everyone as excited as you are. Make content that can use the digital medium to its maximal effectiveness and be sure to include your personality in there as well. Don’t forget to spice it up with mixed media and do the proper technical check-ups.
Need any help or do you want to get trained by us? Feel free to contact us!