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Archive for digital training

Recently, Real Estate Bees, a real estate educational site, asked us coaches about our opinions and business as #COVID hit the industry and #real estate coaches. You may be surprised at some of the responses. It’s a pleasure to be named one of these #real estate industry experts –along with my cohorts on this site.

Here’s the article:

Covid Impact on Real Estate Coaches.

How has this business pivot affected your business?

How to Organize Your Virtual Presentation for Greatest Impact

You had three hours to give your presentation live. Now, you’re going to give that presentation #virtually. Not so fast. You just can’t keep them riveted to you online for three hours! You’ll need to take out the paring scissors and cut your presentation to under an hour. Why? Because that’s all the time you can expect people to stay focused on you. If you wonder if that’s true, ask attendees how long they can stay focused on an #online presentation? When I asked, 50% said ten minutes or less. So, give up on the long, tedious virtual presentations. That means you’ll have to do some re-organization before you turn on that camera.

Overall Organization that Works

I just read an article in Training magazine by one of my heroes, Bob Pike. Author of 30 books, and founder of an international training organization, Bob’s advice is always expert, practical, and proven. Here are some of the points he made to create effective #virtual presentations, along with my points and comments.  

Compare Your Presentation

Right now, draw your online presentation organization.

Do you have an introduction? How long is it? (no more than two minutes)

Do you have a planned ending? Does it involve your participants?

How long are you talking before you involve your audience? Are you involving them at the beginning?

How many times do you #involve your audience within those 45 minutes? (at least every 4 minutes)

How varied are your #attendee activities? How are you keeping attendee attention during your virtual presentation?

Give Me Your Rating

How would you rate the presentations you’ve attended lately–on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?

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.

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.

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

Your business plan wasn’t crafted for Covid. What’s your plan now?

Do you have your 60-day pivot business plan in place?

Congratulations to you if you made a 2020 business plan. However, none of us could have foreseen the events of the past two months. Those events have called for a different plan–both for you and for your agents.

5 Big Questions to Answer Right Now

Next Thursday (April 23), I’ll be doing a 45-minute webinar exclusively for leadership on actions to take right now to retain agents and plan for profits. Here’s more information on that.

To prepare for this webinar, here are some questions leadership needs to ask themselves to evaluate whether they’ve got everything they need in place to lead in this uncertain environment.

  1. What are you doing right now to communicate regularly with each agent in your office? Do you have a schedule? Have you helped each agent with a pivot business plan? (I’ll be providing a template for you to use with your agents after the webinar).
  2. What’s your agent mix? How many new agents, growth agents, mature agents in your mix? Do you have a plan for each group to move them forward? (I’ll provide you a tool to segment your agents).
  3. How have you changed your training to continue it without disruption? Are you doing ‘live’ online events, or have you contracted with an outside source to assure your training has continuity?
  4. Who else have you enlisted to help retain your agents? Do you have any teaming in place?
  5. What’s the morale like in your office? With each agent? What actions are you taking to improve each person’s outlook so they will continue their business in a meaningful way now?

Answering these questions will prepare you for the actions I’ll be suggesting to you during the webinar next Thursday, April 23, starting at 10 am Pacific Daylight Time.

The good news: This is the time when leaders can LEAD. The feelings of insecurity, of fear of income loss, fear of sickness–all can overwhelm our agents unless we step forward with positive leadership actions. The actions I’ll be suggesting to you next week will build loyalty and retain your good agents, preparing for a market re-emergence.

Leadership:

The Actions

to Take Now

to Preserve

Profits Later

Join me for this fast-paced, 45-minute webinar exclusively for leadership April 23 (Thursday), at 10 am PDT. Click here for more information and to register.