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Archive for course writing

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.

From classroom to online: Why can’t we keep the audience’s attention like we do in the classroom?

The situation: We real estate instructors are good talkers.  (as are most instructors in all fields). That’s one of the reasons we love to teach. We love to impart our knowledge. Most of our teaching has been done ‘live’. In a ‘live’ classroom, we can get away with talking (we call it ‘lecturing’) for the whole class–we think.

At least, we have a fighting chance at keeping our attendees’ attention, because we’re animated, funny, and compelling–and we tell great stories.  The students love us, because we have asked them to have no accountability for their own learning. In addition, they love to be entertained! (Well, at least that’s true for some of us….)

Not many teaching methods are employed in the ‘live’ classroom.

Why don’t we use more teaching methods? 

  1. We’re creatures of habit, and we have honed our skills in these two areas. We don’t want to give that up to try some new methods.
  2. We believe that talking to or with our attendees is the best way to teach. True, it’s the best way to impart lots of information fast. However, studies show that students will not retain much of the information!
  3. We just don’t know how to teach in any other ways.
  4. Sad truth: We may be too lazy or uninspired to expand our teaching methods.

The inadequacies really show up when we go online. In a week, I’m doing 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. Because we’ve relied on instructor-focused training, we attempt to merely turn on the camera and talk as though our audience were with us in the classroom. We’ve found out that doesn’t work to keep an audience’s attention online.   

Adjustments We Must Make to Be Effective Online

First, before we re-create that course online, we must look at our classroom version of our course. Ask yourself:

Does the course organized to teach to measurable objectives (what will the student be able to do at the end?)–or, is it just organized by subject?

If it isn’t organized to objectives, it will be very difficult to create meaningful attendee activities to get and keep their attention.

Is the class ‘choreographed’ with several teaching methods (we call these ‘alternative delivery methods’) that provide relief from lecture and discussion (like task force, case study, role play, and activity plan)?

If the class is taught only with lecture and discussion, the instructor will find it difficult to involve the online attendees in learning.

Does the class consist of fact-heavy information, delivered from the lectern? If so, how can we re-purpose all this information so it doesn’t overwhelm the online course?

In the online course, some of the information must be ‘pruned out’. What are some alternative methods of providing that information?

What accountability does the student have in the class for learning?

If  no accountability, it’s more difficult to engage your audience.

Answering these questions will show us the adjustments that must be made in the class prior to creating the online version.

Want more information on instructor methods and course creation? See my online course Train the Trainer, which is accredited for 15 clock hours of Washington state continuing education credit. It fulfills the qualifications to teach clock hour courses in Washington state. 

More on Creating that Online Version of your Course and Involving your Attendees

In my next blog, we’ll investigate the easiest ways to involve your audience online. This is especially helpful to those who rely on lecture and discussion. 

Free Webinar June 11

Masterclass From Classroom to Online
Create focused online training that keeps your audience’s attention.

If you’re facing challenges of translating your ‘live’ classroom to online, join us for Masterclass: How to Go from Classroom to Online.

When: June 11 (Thursday)

Time: 10-11 am PDT

Click here to register.

You’ll learn how to create a great course structure, how to hold your audience’s attention, how to add variety to your course, and tips to present your classroom course for a successful online event. This webinar is created especially for those trainers presenting to real estate professionals–and valuable for anyone who wants to ‘translate’ their classroom course to a professional online experience.  I’ve added a worksheet for you so you can instantly ‘translate’ the webinar information to your own online course.

As a three-decade trainer of real estate trainers, I’ve learned the special presentation methods needed to keep and hold real estate professionals’ attention. I’ll show you how to include these in your online course structure.

Bonus for attending: A 2-page checklist to use to take your classroom course online with verve.)

Click here to register. (By the way, when you register, you’ll get a survey to let me know what you want me to address, so the webinar will be most valuable to you.)

Even ‘live’, you can lose the attention of your audience. Read one method to keep your audience’s attention online.

How do you keep your audience’s attention when you go from classroom to online? That was the biggest concern my audience expressed in the survey prior to my webinar, Masterclass: How to Go from Classroom to Online. (See below for information. I’m doing the webinar again June 11, with special emphasize on how to keep the audience’s attention). 

The Problem We’ve Unwittingly Created in our Classroom Teaching

When we’re teaching ‘live’, we tend to use two ‘delivery methods’. (‘Delivery methods are the methods we use to teach). We rely on

lecture

discussion

In other words, we’re speaking to the whole audience the whole time. It works, to some extent, when we’re ‘live’, because we are good talkers. We get lots of reaction and input from our audience (especially certain audiences, like real estate pros). It’s easy for us. We don’t have to get skilled in any other delivery methods (like task force, role play, activity plan). 

Question: How much of the time do you lecture or hold discussions (so you’re talking to or with your whole group) when you’re teaching ‘live’?

Caveat:

Why? Because going online requires we flex our teaching methods and use the online tools available to us. 

Why the Challenge?

Most of us use lots of lecture and discussion in the classroom. How are you going to use discussion (the only method many instructors use ‘live’) when you go online?

Most of the time, your audience online is muted. You can’t just ask a question and hope to get an answer. And, if you unmute the whole audience, you may have a fruit basket upset, if you have a large audience. 

What to Use Online if You’ve Relied on Lecture and Discussion

Think back through a ‘live’ course you taught recently. Think of a question you asked during a discussion. How could you get your audience’s attention and interest online with that question? Substitute that question with a poll.

Use 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. (See my webinar for tips on constructing that webinar, too).  

Where to place your poll:

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’.

Question: Where could you place a poll?

In my next blog, we’ll investigate more methods to get and keep your audience’s attention when you go from classroom to online.

What’s your challenge in taking your classroom to online? Let me know and I’ll give you some tips.

Masterclass: How to Go from Classroom to Online

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

If you’re facing challenges of translating your ‘live’ classroom to online, join us for Masterclass: How to Go from Classroom to Online.

When: June 11 (Thursday)

Time: 10-11 am PDT

Click here to register.

You’ll learn how to create a great course structure, how to hold your audience’s attention, how to add variety to your course, and tips to present your classroom course for a successful online event. This webinar is created especially for those trainers presenting to real estate professionals–and valuable for anyone who wants to ‘translate’ their classroom course to a professional online experience. 

As a three-decade trainer of real estate trainers, I’ve learned the special presentation methods needed to keep and hold real estate professionals’ attention. I’ll show you how to include these in your online course structure.

Bonus for attending: A 2-page checklist to use to take your classroom course online with verve.)

Click here to register. (By the way, when you register, you’ll get a survey to let me know what you want me to address, so the webinar will be most valuable to you.)

Going online with your training is not just a matter of turning on the camera and talking. There are a different set of skills needed. Some of the things that work for us in the classroom do us harm online! In the previous blog, I discussed one mistake. Here are two more.

Mistake #2; Dawdling through the Time Frame

In your live classroom, you create rapport by spending time getting to know your audience. You have latitude in the amount of time you spend at the beginning of the class in introducing yourself, doing the warm-ups, and getting the expectations of the attendees. You probably have three hours to deliver your live class. Not so, in the online environment.

Solution: When you’re presenting online, you must move much faster through your preliminaries and get right to your topic.

Mistake #3: No Objectives for the Attendee

You know your subject. You could talk for hours! And, you’re a good talker. Your ‘live’ audiences appreciate your expertise and seem to be pretty attentive in a classroom setting—even if you ramble a bit. But, peoples’ attention spans shrink dramatically when the course goes online. Why? Because there doesn’t seem to be a reason for the event….no ‘what’s in it for me’? ‘What will I be able to do?’

Solution: Create at least one behavioral objective for your module (about 45 minutes). What do I mean by ‘behavioral objective’? What the attendee will be able to do as a result of attending your online presentation. Answering that question will give you structure and will suggest the exercises and discussions you’ll want to build into your online presentation.

There’s a simple, yet very effective formula for structuring any presentation–online or classroom. I’ll show you how to use that formula in my webinar coming up.

Your Online Course Can Be a Great Success

Avoiding these three mistakes will help you present in a much different venue from ‘live’. Admittedly, I’ve just scratched the surface of translating that ‘live’ classroom experience to a virtual environment. Online course creation, along with online presentation, is an art and a skill. Get started today to keep sharing your valued messages with your world.

A FREE Online Webinar For Online Course Presenters

Masterclass From Classroom to Online
How to Create Online Training for Real Estate Professionals

On May 14, at 10-11 AM PDT, I’ll be presenting a webinar for those who train. Masterclass: How to Take Your Course from Classroom to Online.

You’ll learn how to create a great course structure and present your classroom course for a successful online event. This webinar is created especially for those trainers presenting to real estate professionals.

As a three-decade trainer of real estate trainers, I’ve learned the special presentation methods needed to keep and hold real estate professionals’ attention. I’ll show you how to include these in your online course structure.

Click here to register

Stop! Before you turn on the camera, see the common mistake too many presenters are making when they go 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

In the webinar below, I’ll discuss which of these methods is easily used as you transform your classroom course into an online environment.

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

A FREE Online Webinar For Online Course Presenters

On May 14, at 10-11 AM PDT, I’ll be presenting a webinar for those who train. Masterclass: How to Take Your Course from Classroom to Online.

You’ll learn how to structure and present your classroom course for a successful online event. This webinar is created especially for those trainers presenting to real estate professionals.

As a three-decade trainer of real estate trainers, I’ve learned the special presentation methods needed to keep and hold real estate professionals’ attention. I’ll show you how to include these in your online course structure.

Click here to register

Have you been doing all your training ‘live’? Yes, it’s preferable, but, you can switch to digital communication and training with confidence. Follow these tips.

Do you need to go ‘digital’? Right now, especially where I am, in Washington state, everyone is huddled in their homes because of the Coronavirus. But, life goes on. 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 and the National Association of Realtors doing business planning webinars. I really worked on my technique, and was always rated in the top three presenters.

That’s what many digital attendees say! So, in the next few blogs, I’m going to give you tips on what I learned from the best, the mistakes I’ve made as I’ve learned, and the strategies that will help you create effective digital communications and trainings as we go forward.    

Should you ‘go digital’?  Yes, 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 digitally, you can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

In this series, I’ll help you through 

  • the basics of digital communication, including webinars
  • The most common digital communication/webinar mistakes
  • Some technical aspects of webinars–software, etc.
  • How to create your video call or webinar

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 discoered 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 digital 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 distance 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-useable 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.

Mar
10

What’s Wrong with This Training?

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Here’s a ‘story problem’ (case study) from my train the trainer programs. See how you do….

What’s wrong with this training?

Most of us managers train……along with the other 100 things we have to do each day. Too often, we tend to ‘grab and go’……our training is not too well thought out–with good reason!

In my Instructor Development Workshop (live) and my online distance learning version of the course, Train the Trainer, I show attendees how to deliver their courses without droning through them.

case study

In case study, we create a situation that reflects real life. This case study can be rather long and complex. We use it to help students grapple with the ‘gray areas’ –just like we have to do in real life. 

What is a ‘case study’?

First, it isn’t what the attorneys tell us. It’s not a case that you, the instructor, talk through and give the answers. Instead, it’s a written situation that asks the students to come to several conclusions.

When is the case study used? It’s used toward the end of your course or module. 

What is the case study for?  To test the students’ judgment, understanding, and application of what you’ve taught.  

Who can (and should) use the delivery method (teaching method) of case study? Anyone who wants to ‘test’ students’ understanding, judgment, and ability to draw conclusions from the course. It’s great for mortgage lenders, title and escrow, attorneys, and home inspectors to use. in my classes, I ask students to create an appropraite case study for their course. 

What does a case study accomplish? It throws the accountability to the student. It lets the students interact, to team build, and to learn from each other. It shows you, the instructor, how well you’ve taught and what you need to review.

Here’s that case study for you. Take a look at the case study I use in my train the trainer courses to see how well students have internalized the concepts taught in my classes. I assign the case study at the end of one class, and we debrief in small groups and then generalize in the large group.  (And it  helps attendees see an example of a case study and how it is used–so they can create their own case studies easily and quickly).

How did you do? Could you name 10 things ‘Sally’ did wrong? 

Grab Great Teaching Methods

Get some new training strategies and step your training up to the next level. See my online program, Train the Trainer, in new course software. It’s fun to do and you learn great methods (plus I give you 8 ready-to-use teaching strategies).  

Take a Sneak Preview here.

If you teach: Do you know how you did?

If you rely on people’s comments after the event, good for you. But, what if you knew the good, the bad, and the ugly–so you could keep all the great things and improve on everything else? That’s what a survey can do for you.

At the end of this blog, grab one of my surveys. Click here.

Surveys Should Throw Some of the Accountability to the Student.

I’m a member of National Speakers Association and they are great proponents of surveys. Surveys can do many things for you. Of course, they tell you how you did from the student perspective. But, more than that, a good survey should throw some of the accountability to the student. What was the learning they accomplished? How would they apply it?

We do surveys in our coaching company, both in the middle of the program and at the end of the program. We ask, “What did you learn? What did you apply? Was there any reason why you couldn’t finish the work?” Build some accountability for student learning into your surveys.

You’ll Get Nice Comments for Promoting your Course, Too!

In my speaking survey, I ask attendees if I can use their comments as testimonial. Most of time they very nicely say yes. Testimonials are very, very important to put in your marketing. After all, we believe what others say about us, not what we say about ourselves! Yes, I’m even starting to do video testimonials. (much better than just written ones!)

Here it is: Grab one of my surveys. Click here.

Would you like to be more effective as an instructor?

I can help! Let me assist your association or company. I’ll share innovative training techniques that are easy to apply and instantly energize your audience and help you become more effective–and confident. Contact me and I’ll customize a training to fit your needs:
425-392-6914 or carla@carlacross.com

teacher at boardTrainers: Are you after better performance–or just giving them more knowledge?

Are you standing in front of your students to create better performance, or more knowledge?

I learned this the hard way. After graduating with a degree in piano performance, I applied to and had been awarded a scholarship to UCLA as a graduate assistant in the music department. But, after I was at UCLA a few weeks, I became disillusioned, for I found out that the UCLA music department was all about ‘knowledge’, not performance. Professors earned tenure by publishing papers about sixteenth century Elizabethan madrigals–but they didn’t have to be able to play the madrigals…My interest and experience in music had been performance.

Are You After Better Performance or More Knowledge?

I’ve never forgotten that lesson about the difference in the knowledge about something–and the performance of it. Which is more important in what you are teaching? What do you want your students to be able to do as a result of your presentation/training? Sure, just like musical performance, you must have some technique to perform. But, also like musical performance, lots of knowledge doesn’t make you a good performer.

If You Want Better Performance…

Here are five areas to look at to assure you’re creating performers, not just know-it alls.

1. What percent of your program is instructor focused? That is, the instructor performs. If it’s more than 50%, you have a knowledge-heavy program. Model your program like the piano teacher teaches piano. He talks very little, demonstrates some, and listens to the student play and gives positive reinforcement and re-direction.

The teacher knows he taught because the student can play.

2. Do you choose your instructors based on their knowledge and their ability to deliver the message attractively? Start choosing your instructors, instead, on their ability to facilitate performance. They should be able to demonstrate a role play, set up a role play, and draw conclusions. Like great piano teachers create increasingly difficult programs for their students, your instructors should be able to craft ever-increasing difficult rule plays.

Think of them as creators of ‘virtual reality’.

3. Who is held accountable for the program–the instructors or the students? In most programs, we ‘relieve’ the instructor if he doesn’t get good reviews from the students. The instructor’s the only one accountable. Turn it around. 75% of the accountability should be on the students to demonstrate they have learned the skill. Why? Because, without student accountability, managers get your ‘graduates’ who can’t perform.

4. Is your focus on curriculum? Are you attempting to create value for the program to management or owners by providing more information than the other school? Most training programs could cut 50% of their curriculum and graduate better performers. Instead of focusing on curriculum, create your program as ‘virtual reality’. Have a system that provides a series of “performance building blocks”. Don’t tell them all about playing a concerto. Just tell them enough to let them ‘get their fingers on the keys’.

5. Are the objectives of your program knowledge-based? How do the students graduate from your program? Do they pass a written exam? Managers want a graduate who can perform the activities of a real estate salesperson to reasonably high performance standards. A good training program should identify, teach, observe, and coach performance in several critical performance areas until the student can perform well enough to graduate.

The Right Performance Test

As a piano performance major, each term, I had to play a ‘mini-recital’ in the music auditorium for an audience of four–all piano professors. I couldn’t just talk about music theory, or answer a multiple choice exam. I had to play. And, to pass the ‘course’, I had to play to certain set performance standards. The more your training program resembles the ‘virtual reality’ of your specific performance, the more valuable your program to the people who hired your students –and you.

Raise Your Trainers’ Level of Performance

Carla is helping trainers everywhere become even better at what they do. Why not invite her to work with your association or company? Here are some of the areas Carla addresses:

  • How to put more participation into your courses (so you quit boring them to tears)
  • How to give students a much different experience, by using creative, effective training methods
  • How to arrange your course so it has a natural ‘flow’ and students are really competent by the end of the course
  • Invest in your faculty. They will go out and recruit more great faculty members and your training program with grow with purpose!

Contact Carla at carla@carlacross.com or 425-392-6914. She’ll find out your needs and customize a program just for you.