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Archive for new agent online training

Everyone’s doing virtual presentations. But, how good are they? Here is what to watch for.

Virtual presentations: Three biggest red flags in virtual presentations today.

  1. Too much ‘tell’, not enough ‘show’

We’re onstage. We’re wowing them with our humor, our movement, and our audience interaction. Good. Now, switch to virtual. We don’t really have a stage. We don’t have freedom of movement. We don’t have that energetic audience interaction. What do we do? Try harder? Keep the same modalities of presentation? 

No. We need to show more and tell less. Instead of tell people how to do a listing presentation, show them through the steps. Show them examples.

Question: What could you switch to ‘show’ to be more interesting, more memorable, teach more effectively?

2. Less stationery; more audience movement.

Sitting in front a screen even for an hour is exhausting. It’s exhausting to present for that long, too. A huge presenter challenge is #how to keep the audience’s attention. One way is to increase the audience’s movements. Some of these suggestions are from a great article on #virtual training in Training magazine, by the wonderful trainer Bob Pike.

Have your audience get up. What for? Find something that’s pertinent to the conversation and bring it back to the screen. Or–find something blue (or red, or whatever color you want) and bring it to the screen. Tell significance.

Write down two action items in your handout (great for #business planning, which I’ll be doing in a few weeks). When you’re done, type ‘up ‘and stand up for 30 seconds.

Question: How do you change the pace by #involving your audience every four minutes? How do you move the audience (I mean physically?)

3. Figuring out the technology while you’re teaching–not before

Yes, there do seem to be surprises. But, if we practice beforehand, we reduce those surprises. It’s just like practicing the piano. I’ve been a pianist since I was four. I would never, ever get up in front of an audience to play the piano (seriously) unless I had practiced my little heart out. After all, perfect practice makes perfect. I owe it to the audience.

Question: How much practice do you do? Are you ready to perform at a high level?

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

Watch for my virtual training coming up on how to take your presentation online with verve.

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.

Taking your classroom online takes skill and planning.
Going from classroom to online isn’t a straight path. It takes planning and skill to make that live class work effectively 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

Experts say you should get audience interaction about every 5-7 minutes. That means you’ll have to ‘choreograph’ your presentation much differently than you do when you’re live.

How much interaction are you adding to your presentation or course?

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.

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.  

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

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

  1. Not Having a ‘clean’ beginning

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

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

     2.  Dawdling at the beginning

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

Avoid

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

“I’ve been asked to talk about”– 

“Here is what we’ll discuss today”. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gain Confidence Presenting Online

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

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

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

The mistakes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Not having frequent engagement of the audience.

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

How are you engaging your audience now? A tip:

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

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

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

a. Too many words

b. not enough pictures

c. not engaging or provoking

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

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

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

Join our Mastermind group, where we’ll

Work on taking your classroom online

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

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

Use sound and visuals to keep your audience’s attention

Avoid common mistakes made when going online

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

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

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

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

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

The Problem: Not Enough Variety When We Teach

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

Two Creative Methods to Focus Your Audience’s Attention  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want more ideas? Watch my video below. 

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

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

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

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

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

Some Of Our Greatest Concerns When we Go Online

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

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

How to Solve the Problem

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

Several Methods to Engage your Audience in Online Courses

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

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

In the webinar I mentioned, I created a handout for each participant with questions for them to answer as they proceeded in the webinar. I addressed a topic, and then provided some ‘time out’ for participants to decide how they could use that idea in their own course. By the time they finished the webinar, they had filled out a page of ideas on how to ‘translate’ that ‘live’ course to an online platform. Use this handout as you go through the webinar to ‘translate’ your course as you go. You’ll end the hour with several ideas ready to put to work as you re-create your course online.

Question: What work or handout could you provide to use as you introduced topics in your webinar? How could you involve students in completing the questions? What could you do with your course handout in subsequent series? How could you use it in forums or small groups to engage your students?

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

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

How I can help you go online with confidence:

 

Join us and then launch your online course with confidence!