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.

Author Archive

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!

You’ve been inundated with online ‘calls’, online training, and online meetings. Here are my biggest irritations. What are yours?

Do these online training mistakes drive you as crazy as they drive me? What are your ‘drive crazy’ triggers?

  1. Not Having a ‘clean’ beginning

I just played a recorded speakers’ meeting. When it was released, all the how are yous, small talk, etc. were included. It drove me crazy. I didn’t know who those people were, and I wanted to see and hear the speaker. I almost stopped looking, because it took so long to get to the introduction (and this was a professional speakers’ association).

Tip: Be sure your beginning is professional. If you have created some small talk as you recorded, edit that out so the presentation will be smooth and will get right to the subject (more on that in a minute).

     2.  Dawdling at the beginning

Here’s another common mistake online presenters make. Yes,

Avoid

“we have a lot to cover” –that is so exciting…..

“I’ve been asked to talk about”– 

“Here is what we’ll discuss today”. 

In other words, instead of jumping out of the gate like a racehorse, you’re casually sidling along the dirt road to boredom!

Tip: Practice an exciting beginning, that piques people’s curiosity, and a ‘hook’ to draw them in.  This is a principle of teaching, whether you’re live or online.

I show you how to build an engaging presentation in my webinar here.

Want to watch the video of my webinar Masterclass: How to Take your Classroom Online?  Go to www.carlacross.com, and press the Webinars and More Button. You’ll see the post with the video and the handouts available for you.

            3. Present online just like you do when you’re ‘live’.

Instead of taking your presentation apart and creating it for online use, you just turn on the camera and talk. That just doesn’t work. You need much more involvement. You need to use the involvement methods available to you on the platform you’re using.  

Tip: Read my blogs on integrating audience involvement when teaching online: From Classroom to Online: How to Keep Your Audience’s Attention.

Two Effective Methods to Keep your Audience’s Attention and Increase Learning  

Gain Confidence Presenting Online

Want to polish your online presentations so you feel more confident, gain more audience engagement, and get more business? Join one of my MasterMinds. Find out more by contacting me: carla@carlacross.com, or call me at 425-392-6914. I’ve been presenting online for more than 15 years. I can help you ‘translate’ your course to an attractive online presentation!

Don’t just turn on the camera! It takes a completely different skill set to teach online.

Here are the three biggest mistakes I see when people take their classrooms online. It’s here, and it’s not going away. We have to ‘translate our classroom to online format.

The mistakes:

  1. Trying to teach just like you do in the classroom.

I know. You’re charming. You’re engaging. You can keep a 100-person audience’s attention when you’re ‘live’. Why? Because you have

a. the ability to move around — physically engage them watching you

b. the ability to draw them into discussion by looking at each person and encouraging a dialogue

c. the ability still use only one delivery method (way to teach) and overcome the ‘one trick pony’ syndrome that too many instructors have–only or two methods to teach (lecture and discussion)  

You read it above. The problem is that none of those conditions exist when you’re teaching online. In other words: You can’t engage the audience online as easily as you do in person.

Question: Is that you? Picture yourself in the classroom. How are you engaging with your students? Is it all ‘your show’? Do you just rely on lecture and discussion? 

The solution: Re-write your presentation or course FIRST–before you try to teach it online. When you re-write, blend in other teaching methods besides lecture and discussion (like task force, role play, case study, small group work). See examples of these ‘delivery’ (teaching) methods at Train the Trainer.com, my online train the trainer course. Then, you will have the ideas you need to provide effective audience interaction.

2. Not having frequent engagement of the audience.

When I survey instructors that I work with, I find that their biggest concern is how to engage the audience online. No wonder! The methods instructors use to engage in the classroom just aren’t available to them (in that format) when they go online. For some tips on ‘translating’ your teaching methods from classroom to online, see my webinar on going from classroom to online and grab the handouts at www.carlacross.com. 

How are you engaging your audience now? A tip:

Experts say you need to engage your audience at least every 5-6 minutes. How are you doing on that score?

3. Relying on those ineffective slides you used in the classroom.

The slides you got away with using in the classroom just aren’t going to make it today.  Why?

a. Too many words

b. not enough pictures

c. not engaging or provoking

And, worst of all, we stay on one slide way too long. Rule of thumb: In an online presentation, change your slides at least every 1.5 minutes. Here’s your best online presentation tip for slides: Take up  1/2 to 1.5 minutes per slide, no more. That means, in a 45-minute presentation, you’ll need 30-45 slides! For many more tips on your effective online presentation, seehttps://carla-cross.com/category/what-is-new/. 

Masterclass From Classroom to Online
Is your online training as good as it could be? Join us to become a more effective online trainer!

Do you want to engage your audience more effectively? Do you want to become comfortable and confident when you’re teaching online?

Join our Mastermind group, where we’ll

Work on taking your classroom online

Put in effective audience engagement online–at the right places and times

Devise ingenious audience participation and engagement tools and games to surprise and delight them

Use sound and visuals to keep your audience’s attention

Avoid common mistakes made when going online

Email carla@carlacross.com to find out the next Mastermind dates and how you can take part:

4 sessions over a 4 week period. It will be fun, exciting, and will pay off in more teaching jobs and more clients.

Your online classroom: How can you get feedback when you can’t see them in person? You don’t want to just fly by the seat of your pants!

From Classroom to Online: Fraught with Challenges

Most instructors, especially in the real estate field, teach ‘live’. That is, we did teach live until the last few months! We’ve had to hustle to convert our live classroom courses to online offerings.

  1. Inability to hold attendees’ attention
  2. Unable to have attendees do any work to put the concepts in ‘real life’
  3. No interaction with students
  4. Not finding out student needs and student interactions

Today: First Step in Converting your Classroom to Online is to Find Out What They Want

When we’re ‘live’, we often start the course with ‘what do you want from today’? We hold a discussion or work with small groups to get that information to everyone. Then, we know how to proceed. During the course, we review that list and address concerns during the course. However, when we go online, we generally don’t find out what students needs are–and we just forge ahead with information. No wonder the attendees lose attention!

Why Finding Needs is Really Important when Teaching Online

You’re in a store. You hear your name called. You immediately look around to see who’s calling you. You then find out it’s another ‘Dave’. But, you paid attention, right? Same principle is true when you’re teaching online. I’m not suggesting you call out people’s names. But, find some way to determine your audience’s needs–what they want from the course–so you can directly address those needs as you teach.  And, let them know the important concerns and how you’re addressing them.

Do a Pre-Conference Survey  

For my Instructor Development Course (live), I send out a pre-conference survey. Take a look. Then, I address the concerns as I teach. (I also do a needs analysis at the beginning of the course). In my distance learning online course, Train the Trainer, I ask participants what they want from the course in the first section.  This helps focus attendees on the areas where they said they wanted to gain strategies.

A Survey with your Registration

Depending on the online platform you use, you may be able to create a  short survey  with your registration. I did that for my last few webinars (see the recording below of the webinar on taking your classroom online). From my survey, I found that 70% of the challenges expressed by the attendees was

how to hold the audience’s attention

So, I created several specific strategies for attendees to use to address that concern. 

How will you get attendees’ concerns so you can get their attention and create your online course with that in mind?


Want to watch the video of my webinar Masterclass: How to Take your Classroom Online?  Go to www.carlacross.com, and press the Webinars and More Button. You’ll see the post with the video and the handouts available for you.

Let’s Work Together to Make your Online Course Awesome!

I’ve extended the registration period to June 30, so you can take advantage of the 2 for 1 registration. Don’t teach online until you have a tried and true ‘formula’ and have tested your results. You’ll have an opportunity to do both, with individual coaching from Carla Cross.

They’re not paying attention! Here are two creative ways to keep their attention and interest when you’re training online.

From Classroom to Online–Not as Easy as We Think…..

Why? Because we’re not physically there. We don’t have that energy, that interchange that we depended on when we’re ‘live’ to hold their attention.

The Problem: Not Enough Variety When We Teach

When we’re training ‘live’, we get away with using one or two training methods–mainly lecture and discussion. But, when we’re go online, just those two methods don’t suffice. In fact, a majority of my online training attendees say they lose interest, on average, in 5-15 minutes! 

Two Creative Methods to Focus Your Audience’s Attention  

  1. Get them up! Imagine it’s a usual day in your business. How many hours a day are you in training or meetings now online? Two–four–or more? You can’t help it–you get distracted and bored!  And, if you’re a trainer, you’re probably more able to focus on the training than most! 

I just saw a trainer give this assignment: “Get out of your chair. Go find something that has significance to you, regarding our topic. Come back and tell us why you chose that object.” The attendees loved the exercise!

How could you use that idea? If you’re teaching listing presentations, you could bring back a picture of your home and talk about what appealed to you. If you’re teaching how to create a database, you could bring back your Christmas card list (or a bunch of Christmas cards you’ve received). 

This exercise does several things. It gets people out of their chairs! It refreshes their mind. It helps them focus on what’s important to them. Then, when you share the results with everyone, you start to build camaraderie with your attendees.

2. Send a box with things inside you’re going to use in your course–and don’t let people open it until they start your class. Isn’t that fun–and kind of mysterious? We all love to get boxes (Have you gotten a box from Amazon and had forgotten what you’ve ordered? Of course….). Doing this exercise helps you focus on your attendees and prepares them that they will have a different experience with you. Then, your box could include exercise, mystery objects–whatever creative things you can dream up to include.

Want more information and inspiration? Check out my prior blogs here for more strategies you can implement to provide variety and keep their attention.

Want more ideas? Watch my video below. 

Want to watch the video of my webinar Masterclass: How to Take your Classroom Online?  Go to www.carlacross.com, and press the Webinars and More Button. You’ll see the post with the video and the handouts available for you.

Let’s Work Together to Make your Online Course Awesome!

I’ve extended the registration period to June 30, so you can take advantage of the 2 for 1 registration. Don’t teach online until you have a tried and true ‘formula’ and have tested your results. You’ll have an opportunity to do both, with individual coaching from Carla Cross.

One of an instructor’s greatest fears is that we’ll lose people’s attention. Here’s a way to keep their attention AND increase learning.

Do you do online training? If you’re like most of us, the bulk of our training was done in the ‘live’ classroom. Not so today. And, the prediction is that we’ll continue to do much more training online–forever.

Some Of Our Greatest Concerns When we Go Online

In the webinars I’ve been doing, I asked the audience for topics for me to address.

 And, no wonder. In the classroom, we can talk through three hours, and, if we’re entertaining and we engage the audience, we can get away with that one method of delivering our message.  (I say ‘get away’ because we need to learn and use more than one or two training methods!). It’s not so easy when we’re training online! Just talking through the time frame won’t hold our audience’s attention,  or get participation.  

How to Solve the Problem

As instructors have found, you can’t just turn on the camera and talk! So, how do you use various methods to engage your audience and increase learning? First, you must decide where and how you want participation. Then, you include those methods in your online course. Below, you’ll see an invitation to join me for a Masterminds series where we’ll ‘translate’ your classroom course to an effective online presentation or series.

Several Methods to Engage your Audience in Online Courses

Below, I’m inviting you to see my recorded webinar on how to take your class online. You’ll see several methods to engage your audience, and I’ll demonstrate several to you. Count the number of times I asked the audience to engage (you’ll find 11 or 12 in an hour session!). 

Great Audience Engagement Tool: Use a Handout with Work to be Done

In the webinar I mentioned, I created a handout for each participant with questions for them to answer as they 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. Use this handout as you go through the webinar to ‘translate’ your course as you go. You’ll end the hour with several ideas ready to put to work as you re-create your course online.

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? What could you do with your course handout in subsequent series? How could you use it in forums or small groups to engage your students?

In my next few blogs, we’ll investigate more ways to hold attendees’ attention and increase learning.

Want to watch the video of my webinar Masterclass: How to Take your Classroom Online?  Go to www.carlacross.com, and press the Webinars and More Button. You’ll see the post with the video and the handouts available for you.

How I can help you go online with confidence:

 

Join us and then launch your online course with confidence!

Here are two effective methods to increase attention and online learning.

According to my informal surveys, real estate professionals and affiliates who teach say that holding students’ attention is a huge challenge when teaching online. In fact, instructors say that they are more concerned with holding students’ attention than any other consideration when taking their courses online.

How Long Can We Keep Our Attention Focused When We’re Taking a Webinar?

Woops! Most of our webinars are at least 45 minutes long!

Instructor Are Good Learners…..

Would you agree that we instructors are good learners? So, if we lose attention that fast, think about our attendees!

What does that mean to us as instructors? It means we have to create methods to hold learners’ attention and increase their learning. These methods will be somewhat different, at times, from what we do when we teach ‘live’.

Method #1: Provide Rewards for Participation

I just finished a webinar on how to convert your classroom course to online (see below for how to access the video). 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.

Method #2: Provide Work to be Done During or after the Webinar

How ‘passive’ is your webinar? Are you doing all the work? Are your attendees merely listening? Or, do you have your attendees doing some work when you’re teaching ‘live’? If so, it will be easy for you to ‘translate’ that to your online platform.

Use a Handout with Work to be Done

In the webinar I mentioned, I created a handout for each participant with questions for them to answer as they 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 the information below on how to get a copy of that handout).

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?

In my next few blogs, we’ll investigate more ways to hold attendees’ attention and increase learning.

Want to watch the video of my webinar Masterclass: How to Take your Classroom Online? I’ll have the video posted by Saturday, with the handouts. Go to www.carlacross.com, and press the Webinars and More Button. You’ll see the post with the video and the handouts available for you.

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

How I can help you go online with confidence:

  1. Contact me to see if a customized webinar series would work for your organization. We’ll work right through the organizational, teaching, and attention engagement challenges. 425-392-6914 or carla@carlacross.com
  2. Take part in my Mastermind Group. In a series of 4 Zoom meetings, over a period of 4 weeks, we’ll translate your course from classroom to online. You’ll have a chance to practice and get feedback, too. Investment: $499, and you can bring a friend FREE if you email me by June 20: carla@carlacross.com.