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 training methods

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!

audience sleepingHow to get them to attend training?

A common complaint of managers is that they can’t get their agents to come to training. For the next few weeks, I’m concentrating on training.  Why? Because it should be a huge part of your value proposition. After all, you can’t just recruit them–can you? You need also to have a complete development system. Coaching and training ARE a huge part of that agent development system.

Having trouble getting them to training? I turned to one of our senior coaches, Jodi Sipes, M. A. Here, Jodi shows you how to market your training to attract your agents and get them excited as students. Jodi’s advanced education in adult learning, plus her years of experience creating and implementing exceptional training for new agents, gives her a unique perspective.

Don’t be Dull! Set up Themes to Pique the Curiosity and Up the Attendance

Don’t just list the topics you are going to present. Create themes. For example: Listing month! New Year Planning! Spotlight on Buyers! Now that you have the over view of training and components put together, make sure that they compliment and support each other. For instance, when you are training new agents with the Up and Running in Real Estate training schedule, you should have supplementary training/practice days in your office. This is also a great place for experienced agents to grow as trainers—plus, their time will be saved, as they will teach everyone at once, instead of having a bunch of new agents knocking on their door with questions all the time.

Get Creative! Give it a Provocative Title

We see lots of training calendars in our training consulting. Most of them are dull as old brick! Don’t just list the topic. Instead, get creative. Make the topic interesting, even provocative. Put a new ‘spin’ on the topic. For ideas, read the names of programs given at your state and national Realtor conventions. Some of the topic names are really creative!

Give it a Double Punch for Double Learning

Don’t just teach the curriculum. Find ways to expand that subject from all the angles. For example: When you have a new agent training section on listing presentations you should have a top Realtor from your office give a demonstration on an effective listing presentation or an effective CMA. When you work with Buyer’s presentations, have a lender come explain the issues and requirements buyers face. Lead follow up and business planning create a good time for software vendors to show their programs. Marketing sections offer an opportunity for affiliates to show how they can support agents, and for vendors to show how their products can support agents. These supplementary classes are great for all agents of all levels.

Alternate Formal with Casual for the Unexpected

It’s also great to incorporate casual (brown-bag lunch—agent “Rap” session) support groups to encourage agents to share their ideas and frustrations. This creates a “teamwork” feel to your office, and helps agents through current challenges. When the manager shows up at these for the first part, agents can get their questions answered in a format that answers these for many agents—saving the manager time!

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.

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

LM CoverAre Your Agents Developing Quickly?

Let us help you create a recruiting, coaching, and training plan that works to get you–and them–more productivity faster. We’ll help you career complete Career Development Systems for both new and seasoned agents. Now, you have systems. You can expand. you can relax a little. Why not check out Leadership Mastery Coaching with a complimentary consultation?

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.

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.  

Studies show your online attendees aren’t going to pay attention for very long if you just talk–and talk–and talk. Here’w how to involve them and give them real take-home skills.

Spruce up your presentation. Borrow from your live classroom teaching style to involve your audience, keep their attention, and provide much better take home value.

When you’re teaching online: How ‘passive’ is your presentation? Are you doing all the work? Are your attendees merely listening? 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. Here’s one way to do that.

A Best Online Training Method: Use a Handout with Work to be Done

You probably use a handout or an outline when you’re teaching ‘live’. You may have special exhibits that you distribute during your live program. Why not do the same as you teach online?

Here’s one way to distribute information, get your audience’s attention and focus them on what you’re teaching in that moment when online. In the webinar I mention below, I created a handout for each participant with questions for them to answer as they proceeded in the webinar. I made the handout available at the beginning of the webinar. 

As I 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. See that handout with the masterclass video mentioned below.

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

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.  

 

Masterclass From Classroom to Online
Turn that classroom course into an effective, vibrate online experience that keeps their attention and gets you more business.

If you’ve sat through those boring online presentations, you know there’s lots of work we instructors need to do to improve our game online. I’ve created Mastermind groups to tackle this question. We’ll work in small groups to translate your ‘live’ classroom course to a dynamic, vibrant, effective online format. Email me at carla@carlacross.com or call me for more information: 425-392-6914. I’ll help you slay the dragon and become a master at online presentations!

Are you as bored and frustrated with online presentations as I am? Here are 3 tips to assure they won’t be bored when you present!

Here’s why online presentations are not very effective–and three simple tips you can use when you’re in charge of presenting online. These tips are for you, whether you teach courses or do online listing and buyers’ presentations. 

It Doesn’t Work to Use the Same Delivery You Used in the Classroom

When we’re ‘live’, we can get away with some dawdling. We can converse and joke with our attendees, and that provides attention and focus in the room. However,

Problem One: The Class is Too Long

In the state where I live, the shortest clock-hour approved course we do is three hours. I just talked to a friend of mine who was doing a 4-clock hour course–on Zoom! My gosh, that’s an eternity. Afterwards, he told me he was exhausted. I’ll bet. I wonder how attentive the students were? You can be the best presenter in the world, but you can’t hold people’s attention online for 4 hours!

Solution: Cut your larger class into 45-minute segments. Yes, you can take the last few minutes for clean-up and questions. 

Problem Two: The slides are boring or there aren’t enough slides

Well, worse than that: You may not have ANY slides. Yes, you may be able to get away with that when you’re ‘live’. But, when you go online, you have to work much harder to keep their attention. Here are the rules for slides:

  1. Use 40-55 in a 45-minute session
  2. Keep a slide up for no more than 1-11/2 minutes
  3. Make your slides interesting and provocative; you’ll need to spend some money, perhaps, by having your slides professionally done. I’ve been getting my slides done by Fiverr.  You can go online and see various PowerPoint specialists’ work.
  4. Keep your slides simple–no more than 6 words per line and 6 lines. Use at least 36-point font.

Problem Three: The Presenter’s Delivery is Too Slow.

Think of it this way. Every minute, your attendee is trying to think of a way to escape that screen and go somewhere else (eat, another website, dealing with the kids, etc.). How do you combat this? Your delivery must be different from that you use in class.

  1. Speak faster
  2. Use more inflections
  3. Don’t allow ‘dead’ space (use music, video, other presenters to provide sound variety)

Simple Solutions Deliver Great Results

Using these three tips, you’ll assure that your online class or presentation captures and keeps your audience’s focus.

Take Your Course Online with Confidence

Masterclass From Classroom to Online
Going from classroom to online delivery requires some pivots to succeed.

If you’ve sat through those boring online presentations, you know there’s lots of work we instructors need to do to improve our game online. I’m creating Mastermind groups to tackle this question. We’ll work in small groups to translate your ‘live’ classroom course to a dynamic, vibrant, effective online format. Email me at carla@carlacross.com or call me for more information: 425-392-6914. I’ll help you slay the dragon and become a master at online presentations!

Challenged with ‘translating’ your course construction from ‘live’ to online?

Presenting online? Here’s a great way to keep audience attention. 

Do you present or teach courses? You probably have done most of your teaching ‘live’–in the classroom. Though sometimes it’s hard to keep your attendees’ attention in the classroom, it’s much harder when you’re online. 

Going from ‘Live’ to Online

Recently, I did 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.

One Great Method to Re-Focus Your Audience’s Attention

Think back through a ‘live’ course you taught recently. Remember a question you asked to launch a discussion? How could you get your audience’s attention and interest online with that question? Use the question as a poll.

How to Insert 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. 

Where to place your poll:

At the beginning. You can start your course with a poll that will let you and your audience know important facts or opinions about your subject.

As a bridge between sections of your course. 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’.

Important: Be sure to relate the poll results to the topic you’re exploring.

How Many Polls?

In a 45-minute webinar, you’ll want to use 3-5 polls. Don’t overuse polls, however. They are becoming so popular that they’re in danger of being used too often. When that happens, people won’t respond.

Tip when using a poll: Write the poll question on a slide, so attendees can see the poll question before it comes up in the webinar. Or, if you aren’t using a ‘poll’ feature, you can write the poll in the chat box, and have your attendees answer in the chat box. Caveat: You can get overwhelmed with answers if you have lots of attendees!!!! 

Other Attendee-Involving Strategies

You’ll also want to use other attendee-involving strategies like

  • Questions
  • Chat
  • Games
  • Small groups
  • Activity plan

Translating your Classroom to Online Success Takes Some Work

By answering my questions above concerning your course, you can prepare that course for online ‘translation’. You’ll gain audience participation, audience accountability, and great feedback on your course.

 

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

Is Your Online Course as Spectacular as You can Make It?

If you’ve sat through those boring online presentations, you know there’s lots of work we instructors need to do to improve our game online. I’m creating Mastermind groups to tackle this question. We’ll work in small groups to translate your ‘live’ classroom course to a dynamic, vibrant, effective online format. Email me at carla@carlacross.com or call me for more information: 425-392-6914. I’ll help you slay the dragon and become a master at online presentations!

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!