Advantages of Virtual Training and How to Make the Most of it

February 11th, 2014

The business world is operating in an increasingly virtual reality. Online training in webinar-style classrooms can allow employers to connect with their team members cost-effectively, but not all online training sessions are created equal.

Consider your company’s new hire orientation. Through online training, you can have just one person who specializes in conducting all orientations. You can empower that person to work with new employees anywhere in the world without ever leaving their desk. However, simply putting your in-person presentation online won’t get you optimal results. Virtual training is different than in-person meetings. Embracing the ways in which it is unique will help you optimize this great new resource.

Keep it Interesting

When training in person, you can hold the attention of your attendees by moving around the room, but online, you have only your voice and your slides. To keep people engaged, use more slides and fill them with images, not words. You can also have more than one person presenting. Different voices, which bring with them varied speaking styles, will help keep things dynamic.

Utilize the Features of Your Platform

The three most widely used platforms for virtual training are Netsuite, Webex, and GoToMeeting. All three offer similar functionality, so you will want to explore their websites to determine which is the right choice for you, but most platforms provide a basic level of functionality that includes a whiteboard area for instructors to use, a chat section for participants to type in questions or comments, and a tool bar that allows for people to virtually raise their hands, give a thumbs up, or note that they are stepping out for a moment.

Strive for Originality

While most of the available training platforms do allow you to record your presentations, it is strongly suggested that you make each presentation live. Live trainings allow for participants to ask questions and for trainers to give the most up to date information. Recorded presentations get stale quickly and are more likely to lose the attention of their intended audiences.

Know Your Audience

While knowing your audience is good advice for any presentation, there’s one key bit of information that is specifically important to online training. Knowing what kind of device your trainees will be using will not only help you chose which platform to use (some work better on tablets or laptops), but also help you design your slides appropriately. If you know your students will be tuning in on smartphones, for instance, it would be best to keep your images large and your bullet points simple.

Online training is helping companies both large and small to save money while expanding their operations. If you ever considered making the switch to online training, take some time to investigate your options. You may find that this new virtual reality has a lot to offer.

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