Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

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You know who this is. Read how he turned an exceptional basketball career into an even more successful business career.

I can’t do it. It’s someone else’s fault. If only….I’ll never be able to. I tried that once. It didn’t work. It won’t work for me. Give me (you fill in the blanks) or else I can’t succeed.

You’ve heard all these reasons why someone can’t succeed. (Makes me depressed just reading this list.) So, it’s refreshing to hear someone speak about how to succeed—with no excuses.  I don’t mean that we all don’t at times need a hand up. But, those are the few times.  They don’t become our mantra.

I just watched a video where a UPS executive interviewed Magic. Here are some of Magic’s insightful comments.

Dream it First to Live It

At age 16, Magic was a janitor while in school. He would go sit in the CEO’s chair and pretend he was the CEO; giving orders, making decisions, acting like a CEO. He said he always wanted to be an entrepreneur, not just a basketball player. Look what happened.

What are you dreaming?

On Not Giving Up

As Magic transitioned from famous, successful pro basketball player to businessman, he thought his fame would magically open doors and make him successful. He found it opened doors (they all wanted to meet him), but, it didn’t get him the funding he needed to expand his business. He was turned down ten times before a bank took a chance on him.

How tenacious are you?

Network and Lead Generate and Learn

Magic wanted to find out what was important to prominent people. He got the list of Lakers season ticket holders, and called up to 50 a day. Many met with him, and several became investors with him.

Are you lead generating with tenacity?

Tailor to your Target

Magic was an early investor in Starbucks, and has over 125 Starbucks locations today. He met with Howard Schultz, the founder and then president, and told him he needed to tailor his Starbucks businesses to his clientele. You can imagine where Magic wanted to place his Starbucks. He told Mr. Schultz he didn’t want that music that was in most Starbucks stores. He wanted Michael Jackson, Beyonce, etc. He didn’t want scones. You get the picture.

Are you targeting your marketing to your audiences?

Hire and Work with the Best

Magic says, if you find great talent, you don’t need to micro-manage them. This comes from his experience as a basketball player.

Are you affiliating with the best? Do you need to ‘up your game’ interviewing? 

Shine Your Light on Others to Succeed

As you help others succeed, you’ll succeed. Magic says his reason for being in business is to help others. He’s helped thousands of minority business people launch businesses. This comes, too, from his experience as a basketball player. His mentoring others resulted in more success for everyone.

Are you providing a hand up to qualified, determined talent?

Learn from Everyone

Magic believes everyone has something he can learn from. He values each person and seeks their contributions. He says he loves to learn and he’s constantly learning.

Are you learning from those you’re around?

Add Value

Magic believes the secret of business success is to add value. When he meets with someone, he thinks about how he can add value for that person.

Are you adding value to those you work with, coach, or teach?

Does your Interview Process Need Polishing?

Check out this system for selecting winners. Save time, money, and training. See it here.

Build this into your training; get better audience attention.

According to my informal surveys, real estate trainers say that keeping the audience’s attention is their biggest challenge. Here’s an easy and fun way to put a great motivator into your online training.

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

Reward the Behaviors You Want

What do you want your attendees to do? Pay attention, coordinate with each other, do work outside class? Decide first what is important o you–and them. Then, choose some rewards for the behaviors you want in your virtual classroom.

Behavior Wanted: Put the Ideas to Work after Class

Recently, I did a webinar on how to convert your classroom course to online.  I wanted to help attendees take these ideas and immediately apply them to their courses. I was concerned that, because there was lots of material in a short period of time, attendees could be overwhelmed and not know how to start. So,  I promised I’d send my Big Ideas in a Little Book to the first 10 people who emailed me after the webinar, telling me what they were going to implement right away.

I will also follow up with my ten ‘winners’ to find out how they’ve implemented their ideas. This can form another blog or article, and give them some publicity (if they want it), too.

Question: What ‘reward’ could you offer to participants for finishing work, or promising to put to work some of the ideas in your webinar?

To the left is another example. In my Train the Trainer distance learning program (15 clock hours), I’ve created ‘badges’ that are rewarded for good work. This is just one way I can show that I appreciate the work and dedication of the participants.

Rewards for Doing the Work

A large real estate company I consult to decided to put their initial training course online. Although I know it’s not as simple as turning on the camera, I still found a myriad of operations that needed to be addressed. But, most importantly, I wanted to address the motivation issue. How could I keep the attendees’ attention and compel them to do the work outside class?

Three Solutions

  1. Provide small, immediate rewards for doing the work. Studies show that small rewards, awarded immediately, work much better than big rewards held back until weeks into a course. So, I asked affiliates to provide small rewards that will be handed out (virtually) each week for those who finish all the work.
  2. Reward through creating accountability partners. We’re also pairing up people, and will create some awards for partners who finish the work.
  3. Public” acknowledgment.  The training manager will de-brief attendees at the beginning of each session, and choose ‘heroes’ to acknowledge (those who have done outstanding work).

How do you use rewards as motivators in your online classes?

Help is Here…. 

Want some help in taking your classroom online? Want to get great attention, better long-term learning, and enthusiastic attendees? Call me at 425-392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I’d love to put my three+ decades of working with real estate trainers just like you to work to make online training fun, fast, and rewarding!

Your classroom style is awesome! How does it translate to virtual delivery?

You’re great in the classroom. So, are you great on camera? Maybe, maybe not. 

What Makes Us Effective in the Classroom

Most of the time, real estate presenters use lecture and discussion to deliver their messages. It works ‘live’ because we have energy, we have physical presence, and we can add movement to keep the audience’s attention. We even use a high range of vocal inflections. Even though lecture and discussion delivery methods don’t get much participation from audiences, they still can work in short presentations because of the energy, presence, movement, and dynamics we use in the classroom. 

On Camera, It’s a Different Game

Unfortunately, when we present online, we lose

  • our physical presence
  • much of our physical energy
  • our ability to move around
  • our ability to approach the audience and create dialogue with them
  • our ability to use a wide range of vocal dynamics

Using Alternative Teaching Methods Online

When we’re teaching online, we have to stretch our skills and employ some different teaching methods to get participation and keep the audience’s attention. These include:

  • Using break-out rooms
  • Using handouts for work before, during, and after the presentation
  • Using chat feature
  • Using engaging PowerPoint presentations
  • Using whiteboard
  • Using music
  • Using more than one presenter
  • Using polls

Audience Presentation Tip

Use at least one method of audience participation every 5-6 minutes during your presentation so you keep your audience’s attention and interest.

What About You?

How many of these features do you use right now when you teach online? What can you incorporate to get that high audience participation you need?

 

Challenged with getting your classroom to work online? I’d love to help you. Having done webinars for over 15 years, and taught Instructor Development Workshops for three decades, I know how to make your classroom work online easily so you’ll have more fun teaching. Contact me and we’ll talk! 425-392-6914 or carla@carlacross.com.

Taking your classroom online takes skill and planning.
Going from classroom to online isn’t a straight path. It takes planning and skill to make that live class work effectively online.

Are you making this mistake training online?

You’ve created a course that you present in the classroom. You’re entertaining, you get interaction, and you encourage lots of discussion. Good. So, what’s the problem? That teaching style doesn’t translate well to the online environment. Structuring and presenting an online course is different than designing a ‘live’ course. Here is a fatal mistake presenters make when attempting to adapt their classroom course to an online platform.

Mistake:  Talking Through the Hour

In the classroom, you have live bodies (including yours) to energize and exchange ideas. You probably love to hold discussions—and there are some lively ones in your class. It doesn’t bother you that the discussion gets off-topic because it’s interesting.

The online presentation is different. You don’t have those bodies to energize and be energized. You don’t have time to get off topic. You don’t have the audience there for discussion. So, how do you interact with your audience and keep them engaged (especially challenging with a real estate audience)?

Solution: Change the way you present to utilize the audience interaction tools available in your online platform. That means you must be able to ‘flex’ your teaching methods to adapt to the online environment.

There are at least 7 ways you can create meaningful audience interaction while teaching online. These include:

  • Chats
  • Whiteboard
  • Questions
  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Small groups
  • Rewards

Experts say you should get audience interaction about every 5-7 minutes. That means you’ll have to ‘choreograph’ your presentation much differently than you do when you’re live.

How much interaction are you adding to your presentation or course?

Keeping their attention online is a real estate trainer’s biggest concern. Here’s a great method–and what NOT to call it–to engage them BEFORE you ‘Zoom’

Do you feel you’re in a virtual vacuum when you are presenting online? It’s much more difficult to capture and keep your audience’s attention when you’re presenting virtually. But, there are easy and effective methods to do just that. Here’s one that’s little used, yet will work for you on several levels. 

Engage Them Even Before the Virtual Presentation

In almost all virtual presentations, all the attendee has to do is to log in before start time (we hope…) and listen in. No wonder the attendee doesn’t feel very engaged! What if you had a vehicle to pique their curiosity before the event, and even engage them so they would be excited to be with you?

You can do this. Simply provide some pre-activity to engage your learner and prepare them for your presentation.  That way, you’re enticing the learner, getting valuable information, and promising help if they attend your presentation.  Think of your pre-activity as a diving board. They’re jumping on that board, getting more energetic as they complete the activity, ready to dive into your virtual experience.

An Example of a Pre-Activity

Recently, I did a webinar on Taking your Classroom Online. You can see it here.   As attendees registered, explained I was going to address their biggest concerns (always tell them the ‘why’). I asked them to tell me their biggest challenge taking a course online.  I explained I would address their concerns during the webinar.  By the way, the majority said it was keeping the audience’s attention.  During the webinar, I told the attendees the answers to their questions, and addressed several methods of keeping audience attention.  That was a very simple and quick activity, but it allowed me to make a promise and keep it. It also helped me verify that concern was paramount among my attendees. The next time I do the webinar, I’ll do more promotion on answering that biggest concern (now that I know it is the biggest!).

Three Rules to Follow to Assure This Works

  1. Don’t call it pre-work. Does anyone love the word “work”? Instead, call it pre-activity or some other creative name you make you.
  2. Always tell them why you want the information from them.
  3. Tell them several times during the presentation how you’re using the information and how it’s helping them.  

Training Works So Much Better with Audience Preparation and Interactivity

Whether you’re in a ‘live’ classroom or a virtual environment, engaging your audience prior to meeting them will elevate the level of learning and audience attention greatly. When you make your audience participants, we all learn better. Attendees also say they believe the training will be a higher level, because the instructor has worked to engage them in a creative way.

What have you used as a pre-activity virtually? 

It’s here now, and it’s here to stay. Why not take this time to refine your online training skills?

Do you need to go online with your presentations and courses’?  In real estate, we’re not doing any ‘live’ teaching. So, this is a great time, to adjust your communication and training strategy to reach out.

I’ve been doing webinars for years, and, I learned so much working with pros like Amy Chorew while I presented through National Association of Realtors doing business planning webinars. I really worked on my technique, and was always rated in the top three presenters.

Unfortunately, many of the Zoom training and presentations have been–shall I say it–boring! Here is what I learned from the best, the mistakes I’ve made as I’ve learned, and the strategies that will help you create effective online communications and training as we go forward.    

Today, you need to take your training courses online if you’re a

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

and in today’s world, we HAVE to communicate digitally–at least for awhile. The good news is that it forces us to get really good at this type of communication so we can reach more people more effectively. I hate it when I ask people what they think of webinars and they say that last PowerPoint presentation was

boring/dull/repetitive/ill-organized/no fun……..

But, if you’re skilled at presenting online, you can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

Webinars: An Easy Solution to Training

What can a webinar do? First, what it can’t do. Don’t expect it to  

Change people’s behavior (it’s not training. It’s education). Webinars are not the magic training bullet we’ve wished for. There are limited objectives you can accomplish by doing a webinar. But, I’ve discovered some methods to help ‘attendees’ internalize and apply what they’re learning (see my Train the Trainer sneak preview below).

Of course, the upside of a online training/webinar is that

  • People don’t have to travel to get to the an event
  • It’s very cost-effective
  • It puts you in front of new audiences
  • You can make it evergreen (record it and share it)

Some Basic Choices to Make Before You Start

  1. Your vehicle

Which company will you use to deliver your webinar? There are over 100 companies today offering some type of screen sharing. They range from free to $100+ a month. The free versions companies tout are for a limited number of viewers (usually 5-10). After that, figure on paying for the services. Among the most popular services are Zoom, GoTo Meeting, WebEx, and BrightTalk. Whatever you choose, pick a service that will be easy for you! Getting caught in the technicalities while you are trying to be a sparkling presenter is death by webinar.

  1. What’s your message?

Boy, this one seems so easy, and yet, it’s where most of us go way off the rails. Why? We try to do too much in too little time with too little organization! (Just like we do in ‘live’ classes). But, it’s more fatal digitally, because it is more challenging to hold people’s attention. So, the next few tips are critical to the success  of your training.

Decide on your topic. Is it something that would lend itself to a webinar? To find out, study webinars you’ve attended. Do some seem too wishy-washy to have been worth your time? Are some so full of facts and figures you snooze off?

Decide on your objectives. In other words, start with the end in mind.  What do you see, hear, and feel the attendees doing at the end of your presentation?

To write your objectives, start with this sentence,

As a result of this webinar, attendees will____________________________. Examples of objectives for a business planning webinar could be:

  • Understand the flow of the strategic business planning process
  • Be able to differentiate between a vision and a mission statement
  • Be able to pinpoint 3 areas of concern about their business from the previous year

After I’ve written my objectives, I know the basic structure of my webinar. I can prioritize those objectives and start arranging my webinar in the right presentation order.

Your Topic: Overview or Detailed?

Is your topic an overview, or is it more detailed? Decide on the scope of your topic, and your objectives, before going further.

Common webinar mistake: Either being so global there is little information, or being so detailed you lose the audience in facts and figures.

Sound Familiar?

If you’ve taken my Instructor Development Workshop or my online learning version, Train the Trainer, you’ve learned what objectives are and how to write and apply them in creating your training/presentation/digital class. 

After deciding on your desired delivery company, and drafting your topic and objectives, you’re ready for the next step. In the next blog, we’ll discuss best presentation methods–and common presentation mistakes.

See What a Digital Course Looks Like and How it’s Organized

Necessity is the mother of invention!!!! Oh, boy, have I learned that. I decided to put my distance learning program in new course software. In doing so, I’ve found out how to help people internalize important concepts and apply them to great, concrete, immediately-usable results. Here’s a sneak preview of my Train the Trainer program. It fulfills the requirement for attendees to teach clock hour approved courses in Washington state, and is accredited for 15 clock hours.

Train the Trainer Sneak Preview

In later posts, I’ll share some strategies I’ve found work really well in creating online presentations and courses that involve, inform, and entertain.

You don’t have to talk through your online presentation! Here’s a method to involve your audience AND be memorable.

You’re teaching virtually now. But, 90%+ of real estate instructors have told me they had taught only in the classroom prior to the pandemic.  For most real estate instructors, teaching virtually is a new challenge.

Admittedly, you can’t just transfer what you do in the classroom to online. Instead, translate some of the effective teaching strategies from your classroom to a virtual format.

You Don’t Have to Do All the Work

How ‘passive’ is your virtual classroom or presentation? Are you doing all the work? Are your attendees merely listening? Take what works in that classroom and use it in a bit different format online.

When you’re teaching ‘live’: Do you have your attendees doing some work, either during or after your course? If so, it will be easy for you to ‘translate’ that to your online platform. 

Use a Handout with Work to be Done

Recently, I demonstrated this teaching method in a webinar for those who want to take their classrooms online. I created a handout for each participant to use during the webinar. There were questions for them to answer as they proceeded in the webinar. As I addressed a topic, I provided some ‘time out’ for participants to decide how they could use that idea in their own course. By the time they finished the webinar, they had filled out a page of ideas on how to ‘translate’ that ‘live’ course to an online platform. See that handout with the masterclass video mentioned below.

Question: What work or handout could you provide to use as you introduced topics in your webinar? How could you involve students in completing the questions? How could you follow up with that handout?

Idea: You could use breakout rooms during your presentation to have your attendees share the ideas they were gaining from your presentation. This helps them translate your ideas to their situations and gives them support and motivation to get creative. 

Caveat: Do not hand out your Power Point presentation. First, that’s not an outline. (I hope you haven’t done that live!). Second, you’re giving away your whole virtual training before you even start. Why should they attend and pay attention?

Result of using a handout: Your attendees have takeaway value from you. They have adopted your ideas to solving their challenges. And, they have your contact information so they will remember you–and you can get more teaching opportunities or business.

To get dozens of tips on how to go online with confidence, see the video of my webinar Masterclass: How to Take your Classroom Online.  

Studies show your online attendees aren’t going to pay attention for very long if you just talk–and talk–and talk. Here’w how to involve them and give them real take-home skills.

Spruce up your presentation. Borrow from your live classroom teaching style to involve your audience, keep their attention, and provide much better take home value.

When you’re teaching online: How ‘passive’ is your presentation? Are you doing all the work? Are your attendees merely listening? When you’re teaching ‘live’: Do you have your attendees doing some work, either during or after your course? If so, it will be easy for you to ‘translate’ that to your online platform. Here’s one way to do that.

A Best Online Training Method: Use a Handout with Work to be Done

You probably use a handout or an outline when you’re teaching ‘live’. You may have special exhibits that you distribute during your live program. Why not do the same as you teach online?

Here’s one way to distribute information, get your audience’s attention and focus them on what you’re teaching in that moment when online. In the webinar I mention below, I created a handout for each participant with questions for them to answer as they proceeded in the webinar. I made the handout available at the beginning of the webinar. 

As I proceeded in the webinar, I addressed a topic, and then provided some ‘time out’ for participants to decide how they could use that idea in their own course. By the time they finished the webinar, they had filled out a page of ideas on how to ‘translate’ that ‘live’ course to an online platform. See that handout with the masterclass video mentioned below.

Question: What work or handout could you provide to use as you introduce topics in your webinar? How could you involve students in completing the questions? How could you follow up with that handout? What about that handout would make you memorable?

To get dozens of tips on how to go online with confidence, see the video of my webinar Masterclass: How to Take your Classroom Online.  

 

Masterclass From Classroom to Online
Turn that classroom course into an effective, vibrate online experience that keeps their attention and gets you more business.

If you’ve sat through those boring online presentations, you know there’s lots of work we instructors need to do to improve our game online. I’ve created Mastermind groups to tackle this question. We’ll work in small groups to translate your ‘live’ classroom course to a dynamic, vibrant, effective online format. Email me at carla@carlacross.com or call me for more information: 425-392-6914. I’ll help you slay the dragon and become a master at online presentations!

Are you as bored and frustrated with online presentations as I am? Here are 3 tips to assure they won’t be bored when you present!

Here’s why online presentations are not very effective–and three simple tips you can use when you’re in charge of presenting online. These tips are for you, whether you teach courses or do online listing and buyers’ presentations. 

It Doesn’t Work to Use the Same Delivery You Used in the Classroom

When we’re ‘live’, we can get away with some dawdling. We can converse and joke with our attendees, and that provides attention and focus in the room. However,

Problem One: The Class is Too Long

In the state where I live, the shortest clock-hour approved course we do is three hours. I just talked to a friend of mine who was doing a 4-clock hour course–on Zoom! My gosh, that’s an eternity. Afterwards, he told me he was exhausted. I’ll bet. I wonder how attentive the students were? You can be the best presenter in the world, but you can’t hold people’s attention online for 4 hours!

Solution: Cut your larger class into 45-minute segments. Yes, you can take the last few minutes for clean-up and questions. 

Problem Two: The slides are boring or there aren’t enough slides

Well, worse than that: You may not have ANY slides. Yes, you may be able to get away with that when you’re ‘live’. But, when you go online, you have to work much harder to keep their attention. Here are the rules for slides:

  1. Use 40-55 in a 45-minute session
  2. Keep a slide up for no more than 1-11/2 minutes
  3. Make your slides interesting and provocative; you’ll need to spend some money, perhaps, by having your slides professionally done. I’ve been getting my slides done by Fiverr.  You can go online and see various PowerPoint specialists’ work.
  4. Keep your slides simple–no more than 6 words per line and 6 lines. Use at least 36-point font.

Problem Three: The Presenter’s Delivery is Too Slow.

Think of it this way. Every minute, your attendee is trying to think of a way to escape that screen and go somewhere else (eat, another website, dealing with the kids, etc.). How do you combat this? Your delivery must be different from that you use in class.

  1. Speak faster
  2. Use more inflections
  3. Don’t allow ‘dead’ space (use music, video, other presenters to provide sound variety)

Simple Solutions Deliver Great Results

Using these three tips, you’ll assure that your online class or presentation captures and keeps your audience’s focus.

Take Your Course Online with Confidence

Masterclass From Classroom to Online
Going from classroom to online delivery requires some pivots to succeed.

If you’ve sat through those boring online presentations, you know there’s lots of work we instructors need to do to improve our game online. I’m creating Mastermind groups to tackle this question. We’ll work in small groups to translate your ‘live’ classroom course to a dynamic, vibrant, effective online format. Email me at carla@carlacross.com or call me for more information: 425-392-6914. I’ll help you slay the dragon and become a master at online presentations!

Challenged with ‘translating’ your course construction from ‘live’ to online?

Presenting online? Here’s a great way to keep audience attention. 

Do you present or teach courses? You probably have done most of your teaching ‘live’–in the classroom. Though sometimes it’s hard to keep your attendees’ attention in the classroom, it’s much harder when you’re online. 

Going from ‘Live’ to Online

Recently, I did a webinar on how to take your classroom online. In the pre-webinar survey, I asked attendees their biggest concerns. About 70% of the concerns were

how to hold the audience’s attention online.

No wonder.

One Great Method to Re-Focus Your Audience’s Attention

Think back through a ‘live’ course you taught recently. Remember a question you asked to launch a discussion? How could you get your audience’s attention and interest online with that question? Use the question as a poll.

How to Insert a Poll

Polls are a great way to gather information about your audience and use that information as a ‘bridge’ from one section of your course to another. It’s also a good way to capture an audience’s attention toward the beginning of the online session. 

Where to place your poll:

At the beginning. You can start your course with a poll that will let you and your audience know important facts or opinions about your subject.

As a bridge between sections of your course. Think of a section of your course where you could gather information. For example, when I’m doing the webinar I’ve mentioned here, I ask attendees the amount of time they can concentrate online. Then, I use those poll results to start the section on ‘how to hold attendees’ attention online’.

Important: Be sure to relate the poll results to the topic you’re exploring.

How Many Polls?

In a 45-minute webinar, you’ll want to use 3-5 polls. Don’t overuse polls, however. They are becoming so popular that they’re in danger of being used too often. When that happens, people won’t respond.

Tip when using a poll: Write the poll question on a slide, so attendees can see the poll question before it comes up in the webinar. Or, if you aren’t using a ‘poll’ feature, you can write the poll in the chat box, and have your attendees answer in the chat box. Caveat: You can get overwhelmed with answers if you have lots of attendees!!!! 

Other Attendee-Involving Strategies

You’ll also want to use other attendee-involving strategies like

  • Questions
  • Chat
  • Games
  • Small groups
  • Activity plan

Translating your Classroom to Online Success Takes Some Work

By answering my questions above concerning your course, you can prepare that course for online ‘translation’. You’ll gain audience participation, audience accountability, and great feedback on your course.

 

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

Is Your Online Course as Spectacular as You can Make It?

If you’ve sat through those boring online presentations, you know there’s lots of work we instructors need to do to improve our game online. I’m creating Mastermind groups to tackle this question. We’ll work in small groups to translate your ‘live’ classroom course to a dynamic, vibrant, effective online format. Email me at carla@carlacross.com or call me for more information: 425-392-6914. I’ll help you slay the dragon and become a master at online presentations!