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

Archive for distance learning

Are you among the 75% of people afraid of public speaking? Here are 3 solutions that work.

Are you afraid to get up in front of people? There are millions of people just like you. For over three decades, I’ve taught people how to teach. I’ve seen thousands of people come to class eager to learn. At the same time, I’ve seen dozens be so afraid I thought they would run out the door on the slightest provocation.

Fear of Public Speaking: Common Phobia

Glossophobia, or a fear of public speaking, is a very common phobia and one that affects up to 75% of the population. Glossophobia may relate to one’s prior experiences. Jeffrey R. Strawn, MD, FAACAP, is an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati. He says. “An individual who has a bad experience during public speaking may fear a repeat of that prior experience when attempting to speak again.”

Three Strategies that Really Work to Change ‘Flight’ to ‘Excite’

As a musician, I know what it’s like when things don’t go like I thought they would. I’ve had times when I wanted to run off the stage instead of continue. And that’s not all. Frequently, one bad experience, in any instance, convinces us to never try that again!

What if you could gain some skills that would stop that ‘flight’ impulse and replace it with an ‘excited to be presenting’ feeling.  Here they are. I’ll name the problem and then its solution.

  1. Fear that you’ll get stuck in the middle and can’t get out, remember where you were, or what to do next. This comes from not using a tried and true process for creating your talk. It would be like me, a musician, trying to play a piece of music without knowing its beginning, middle, and end. I would be scared spitless, too!

Solution: Learn a simple process for creating your presentation. In my Instructor Development Workshop and Train the Trainer, I teach people how to use what I call the ‘pop tune’ construction. It always works, and it’s a great relief to know that you have a clear guide to follow. Having that clear guide increases your confidence tenfold.

  1. Relying on ‘once is enough’ practice. I know. They all tell you to practice. But, what they don’t tell you is this: Your practice needs to ‘escalate’.

Solution: First, practice by yourself, watching yourself in a mirror. Then, expand your practice to practicing with a friend. Finally, practice with a small group. Why? You are changing your environment and adapting, just like you will when you do your presentation ‘for real’. My son, Chris, was a karate champ as a kid. His coach had him practice in the empty auditorium prior to a big event. So, he became acclimated to that auditorium. When he performed, it seemed he had been through it before—because he had. One of the surprises of performance is that it seems foreign, new, and overwhelming. Take away those feelings by gradually simulating your ‘real life’ situation.

  1. Just before you perform: Letting your nerves create the story in your head—and it’s not a happy ending. If you don’t control the ‘movie’ prior to getting on the stage, your naïve mind makes its own movie—with negative results.

Solution: Create an inspiring ‘movie’ prior to ever stepping into the performance arena. As a musician, my classical piano teacher taught me how to approach the piano, how to gather myself, and how to play the first bars of the music in my head before I put my hands on the keys. Another way we speakers do this is to listen to our introductions. Of course, they are flattering (we wrote them) and it helps us remember why we are there—because we are a value to the audience.

Get a Proven Process, Practice Right, and Make the ‘Mind’ Movie

Putting these three strategies into your presentation plan work, whether you’re doing a listing presentation, a workshop, a course, or a Zoom call. I’d love to know your strategies for increasing stage confidence, and how my strategies have worked for you.     

               Join Me for a Fast-Paced, Practical Course

Want dozens of teaching techniques? How to control audiences? How to structure your workshops? More presentation skills? This 2-day course qualifies you to teach clock-hour courses in Washington state; 15 clock hours, too. $249. Sept. 21-22 in Bellevue, Wa. Find out more here. 

We’re training more but are we getting more results? Watch this quick video to see how you can increase your training results dramatically–just by thinking differently.

Struggling to create or refine that course? Join our Trainers’ Masterminds, where we work on presentation skills and polish your course. This includes live and online deliveries. We meet via Zoom once a week for 8 weeks. This is a small, participative work group that gets results. Carla is your coach.

Call 425-392-6914 or email carla at carla@carlacross.com to learn more. 

Here are three hot tips to get them to go to training. This month, I’m featuring training. 

Here are 3 surefire ways to get your agents to attend—and get recruits to attend, too! This is from Jodi Sipes, senior coach and great instructor.

1) Leverage Affiliates
Title representatives, mortgage brokers, escrow companies, home inspectors, and others can support your training calendar by adding lunches and other incentives to improve attendance. The best benefit is that this is a win for everyone, and forges bonds between agents and affiliates. The benefit for the affiliate: They get in front of your agents and get to know them—building trust. The benefit for the agents: They get hands-on training from people who are “out there doing it now,” and they get to know a variety of affiliates so they can decide if they would like to do business with them.

2) Create Positive Expectations for their Accomplishments
For new agents, create a booklet that details all the classes you expect them to attend in their first year. You can use this to set mutual expectations at the time of hiring. Create dates for them to attend. Check off each class as they complete it, and celebrate their growth! Everyone should celebrate when they get their first listings and sales, too. The booklet helps them keep it all straight, and is a tool for you to keep track of their progress, as well. Yes, it’s fine to have a digital checklist. But, we believe what we see. We really tune in to tactile, too. So, take advantage of the various ways people learn and access their emotions.

3) Be Lavish in your Recognition/Improved Performance
Have drawings or special prizes and recognition at meetings for the agents who grow to a new level through the office training. Use their testimonials when you market the classes to your agents. Get creative ! Use audio and video testimonials. When an agent admires the performance of another, they will want to model what they do.

It’s  a Process, not an Event

Putting together world-class training is a process, and will not be all you want it to be right away. It takes planning, support from your agents and affiliates, and time to catch on and develop. You can grow and improve each year!

More in New Agent Development SystemsWhat is a ‘new agent development system?‘ It is an integrated system of coaching and training to take your new agent from his first day in the office, through initial training, and coaching to success.  

We are here to support your agent development systems. Talk to us about coaching you in developing world class training with our knowledge and systems. You’ll go further faster, and have time to do all the other management duties you know you should be doing!

Blog-CoachYou worked hard to help your agents gain business plans for the coming year. Now, optimize that work!

Are you using your agents’ business plans to coach all year? If not, you’re missing out on leveraging that plan!

First, congratulations! You’ve helped your agents each gain a business plan. That’s a huge key to their success–but only the first step. Now, how can you capitalize on all that work (both you and the agents?) It’s not enough to teach them to plan, or even to sit down with each agent and work through their plans. In order to really help them use those plans as a guide all year,  use that business plan as a platform from which to coach the agent all year.

Here are the basics of coaching to a business plan.

How often should you coach?

That depends on the agent. For newer agents, coach more frequently (at least monthly). For seasoned agents, coach a minimum of quarterly and better yet, monthly.

What should you coach to?

You’ve provided your agent with a method to set goals in finding, working with, and closing clients (I hope you’re using my Beyond the Basics of Business Planning system.) You have provided your agent a method to measure results. You’re going to use the numbers that the agent is generating by measuring the results of his business plan:

First, the goals: Lead generation, listings, listings sold, sales.

Lead generation

Listing/sales appointments

Listings

Listings sold

Sales

You’re going to help the agent translate the activity numbers into ratios so the agent knows the work he must do to reach his goals.

Why bother to use the business plan as a foundation for coaching?

Because, otherwise, you’re just giving advice or doing ‘crisis management’. You want to be perceived as a trusted business coach, helping the agent grow his/her business.

Big questions: Is the planning system you’re using

1. Helping the agent assess his business–where he’s been?

2. Helping the agent set realistic goals and an action plan that translates into daily activities?

3. Includes an accurate method to measure the activities and results of the activities so you and the agent can make fast adjustments?

Man-Walking-Up-Stairs-to-GlobeWant Some Support to Get Your Agents Business Plans?

Contact me to find out how I can educate your agents on business planning and support and coach you as a leader. Give me a call at 425.392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I can do a webinar series for you, supply you will all the planning documents, and help your leadership coach your agents–at a very affordable cost with big pay-off for you.

head in the sand a salespersonDo your agents have their business plans for this year? Have you been avoiding the issue, hoping they would do it on their own? Not going to happen…..What’s YOUR plan to get them business plans?

What Doesn’t Work

It doesn’t work to hand them those planning documents and tell them to get them done. It’s useless. You need to teach them the process, be involved in the process, and coach them through the process. Then, you’ll motivate them to complete those plans. Also, when you treat this as important, they will respond.

What Does Work

Here are 3 ways to get your agents to do business plans:

1. Get the best planning ‘templates’ you can find, so your agents have a good planning process to follow

2. Do a class on business planning, using a proven step-wise process, along with the planning templates you’re going to use (In my online business planning system, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning, I have 2 webinars for your agents to take them right through the process, along with the documents. I also have provided you the outline for a class, if you’d like to teach it. You can use my agent webinars in your class, too).

3. Sit down with each agent and help that agent flesh out the plan. It may take more than 1 meeting. Are you willing to commit?

Level of Support

If you’re willing to provide that level of support, you will have much a better chance of getting business plans for each of your agents.

Question: Did YOU create a business plan for your office? It’s not too late to get that done, too. Then you’ll know exactly how to make a plan. (See my online program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning, for the documents and guidance you need to create a great office plan.)

Man-Walking-Up-Stairs-to-GlobeWant Some Support to Get Your Agents Business Plans?

Why not contact me to find out how I can educate your agents on business planning and support and coach you as a leader. Give me a call at 425.392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I can do a webinar series for you, supply you will all the planning documents, and help your leadership coach your agents–at a very affordable cost with big pay-off for you.

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.

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

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

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

You Don’t Have to Do All the Work

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

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

Use a Handout with Work to be Done

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

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

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

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

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

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