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Archive for digital training

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.

You’ve taught courses in your office. Now, you can’t. Before you turn on the camera read my four ‘must haves’.

Your training calendar looked phenomenal. Until now. Why? It was all ‘live’. Yes, ‘live’ training is best, but it’s impossible now. So, how are you going to pivot to effective online training?

Just Turn on the Camera–Not

We can get away with a lot when we are ‘live’. We can wander a bit from the outline the audience will forgive us.   After all, we have an audience with whom to interact. We take questions, we create debate, we tell those great war stories. 

Is Your Course Really a ‘Course’?

I’ve taught real estate professionals and affiliates how to train for over three decades. I’ve seen dozens of their ‘courses’. Unfortunately, most aren’t courses. They’re streams of information. They’re not well-organized. They don’t have the end in mind–objectives. They don’t have various delivery methods (teaching methods other than that old boring lecture). Even though those problems don’t show up so badly in the live classroom, they show up with a vengeance when going online.

You’ll Need These Four Strategies in your Online Course

How are you going to avoid droning on until you get to the end of that hour you’ve booked to train? Here are the four things you need in your online presentation or course:

  1. An blazingly good course organization, created from learning objectives (having the end in mind)*

*See my 3 models to create your presentation or course in Train the Trainer, my online version of my training course

     2.  An easy, engaging process to draw the attendee in and keep him/her interested (methods to avoid droning on forever in a lecture) (self-analysis, reflection, case studies to complete)

    3.  Interaction and idea exchange with others in the course (adults learn from others)           

     4. Action plans and reviews so you can see your attendees putting your concepts and skills to work 

Before You Choose that Seminar Guru’s ‘Training’ Course

You may decide to go outside your office to find online training. Does that course have those 4 attributes I listed above? Who is the course for? Does it have accountability? Does the course have a method for you to coach the agent to the course? What will the agent accomplish through taking the course?

Choosing the right online training can make the difference between ‘still in recession’ three months from now or ‘back up and running’ to profits.

Call me at 425-392-6914 if you have questions about how to switch successfully to online training.

Why reinvent the wheel right now? Take advantage of my online training program, Up and Running in Real Estate, created from my smash hit, the proven business start-up program for new agents– Up and Running in 30 Days. 

Catch a sneak preview here.

This online training for new agents (and seasoned agents who want a jump-start) has the attributes I listed above. There’s one more important component left out of others’ online training:

YOU

I want you to be able to fully support your agents’ success–and grab their loyalty forever. So, I have waived the $99 fee for Coaches Corner (the coaching component of Up and Running in Real Estate) for all who sign up prior to Sept. 1, 2020. To qualify, register at least 1 of your agents in the Up and Running in Real Estate program. See more here.

Lets create success together!

Questions? Call me and we’ll discuss whether this program would be a ‘fit’ for you and your agents: 425-392-6914.

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.