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Archive for how to keep attendees attention

Keeping their attention online is a real estate trainer’s biggest concern. Here’s a great method–and what NOT to call it–to engage them BEFORE you ‘Zoom’

Do you feel you’re in a virtual vacuum when you are presenting online? It’s much more difficult to capture and keep your audience’s attention when you’re presenting virtually. But, there are easy and effective methods to do just that. Here’s one that’s little used, yet will work for you on several levels. 

Engage Them Even Before the Virtual Presentation

In almost all virtual presentations, all the attendee has to do is to log in before start time (we hope…) and listen in. No wonder the attendee doesn’t feel very engaged! What if you had a vehicle to pique their curiosity before the event, and even engage them so they would be excited to be with you?

You can do this. Simply provide some pre-activity to engage your learner and prepare them for your presentation.  That way, you’re enticing the learner, getting valuable information, and promising help if they attend your presentation.  Think of your pre-activity as a diving board. They’re jumping on that board, getting more energetic as they complete the activity, ready to dive into your virtual experience.

An Example of a Pre-Activity

Recently, I did a webinar on Taking your Classroom Online. You can see it here.   As attendees registered, explained I was going to address their biggest concerns (always tell them the ‘why’). I asked them to tell me their biggest challenge taking a course online.  I explained I would address their concerns during the webinar.  By the way, the majority said it was keeping the audience’s attention.  During the webinar, I told the attendees the answers to their questions, and addressed several methods of keeping audience attention.  That was a very simple and quick activity, but it allowed me to make a promise and keep it. It also helped me verify that concern was paramount among my attendees. The next time I do the webinar, I’ll do more promotion on answering that biggest concern (now that I know it is the biggest!).

Three Rules to Follow to Assure This Works

  1. Don’t call it pre-work. Does anyone love the word “work”? Instead, call it pre-activity or some other creative name you make you.
  2. Always tell them why you want the information from them.
  3. Tell them several times during the presentation how you’re using the information and how it’s helping them.  

Training Works So Much Better with Audience Preparation and Interactivity

Whether you’re in a ‘live’ classroom or a virtual environment, engaging your audience prior to meeting them will elevate the level of learning and audience attention greatly. When you make your audience participants, we all learn better. Attendees also say they believe the training will be a higher level, because the instructor has worked to engage them in a creative way.

What have you used as a pre-activity virtually? 

Here are two effective methods to increase attention and online learning.

According to my informal surveys, real estate professionals and affiliates who teach say that holding students’ attention is a huge challenge when teaching online. In fact, instructors say that they are more concerned with holding students’ attention than any other consideration when taking their courses online.

How Long Can We Keep Our Attention Focused When We’re Taking a Webinar?

Woops! Most of our webinars are at least 45 minutes long!

Instructor Are Good Learners…..

Would you agree that we instructors are good learners? So, if we lose attention that fast, think about our attendees!

What does that mean to us as instructors? It means we have to create methods to hold learners’ attention and increase their learning. These methods will be somewhat different, at times, from what we do when we teach ‘live’.

Method #1: Provide Rewards for Participation

I just finished a webinar on how to convert your classroom course to online (see below for how to access the video). 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.

Method #2: Provide Work to be Done During or after the Webinar

How ‘passive’ is your webinar? Are you doing all the work? Are your attendees merely listening? Or, do you have your attendees doing some work when you’re teaching ‘live’? If so, it will be easy for you to ‘translate’ that to your online platform.

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. (See the information below on how to get a copy of that handout).

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?

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? I’ll have the video posted by Saturday, with the handouts. 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.

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

How I can help you go online with confidence:

  1. Contact me to see if a customized webinar series would work for your organization. We’ll work right through the organizational, teaching, and attention engagement challenges. 425-392-6914 or carla@carlacross.com
  2. Take part in my Mastermind Group. In a series of 4 Zoom meetings, over a period of 4 weeks, we’ll translate your course from classroom to online. You’ll have a chance to practice and get feedback, too. Investment: $499, and you can bring a friend FREE if you email me by June 20: carla@carlacross.com.