Virtual training is a lot harder than it sounds. While it may be more convenient and save a lot of money, it comes with a lot of challenges for the trainer.

You don’t realise just how much harder leading a virtual session can be until you try to put it all together. There are many obstacles you’ll need to overcome such as participant engagement for example. So, if you want to ensure your virtual training is effective, you need to become the best trainer you can be. How? By training yourself first.

 

Developing the right skills

Virtual trainers require a whole different skillset in order to train employees online. The materials need to be presented in an entirely different way than they are face to face and you also need to discover ways to keep the audience engaged.

Engagement is actually one of the most challenging aspects of virtual training. The brain isn’t great at focusing on a screen for long periods of time. So if you want to capture your audience’s attention and keep them interested in the training, you need to use various engaging techniques. Training the trainer is a service that teaches you these techniques, allowing you to become a much better virtual leader.

You’ll discover more about these and other virtual training tips, helping to ensure when it comes time to deliver your training, you know exactly the best way to do it.

 

Is training worthwhile?

It is a common misconception that virtual training is much easier than face-to-face training. Therefore, you may not feel like you need any help developing the right skills. Surely you can just do a little research and make yourself a better virtual leader that way?

There are some tips you can find online, but with training the trainer courses, you get the benefit of being shown exactly what you should be doing. You can also ask questions and receive feedback. You’re much more likely to retain information via a training course than you will through your own research.

Overall by the time you’ve completed your training, you’ll know exactly how to plan and manage the training in the most effective way. With V-Creative you can also choose to let us take over parts, or all of your training requirements such as putting together the materials. Many businesses assume virtual training will be a lot easier, but as you can see above, there are many factors you need to consider when delivering training via an online platform.

Did you know that around 90% of the things we learn tend to get forgotten within just 3-6 days? That is of course, unless we come up with ways to keep remembering the information learned. It’s one of the toughest challenges to overcome as a virtual trainer – how to make sure your participants remember the materials presented to them. If you’re looking for ways to make sure your virtual training sticks, below you’ll discover 3 top tips that can help.

 

1. Deliver the materials in multiple ways

One of the best psychological tips to help participants remember what they’ve learned is to deliver the information in multiple ways. Now obviously, the virtual training session is going to be the main method used to deliver course materials. However, ideally it should not be the learners only source of information.

Always include training materials sent either via email, or posted to participants. These materials should support the sessions and include a bullet list of the main points participants will need to remember. Learning the information via more than one method helps to really cement the new knowledge in the participant’s mind.

 

2. Keep the training session simple and structured

A big mistake many virtual trainers make is not following a specific structure. It’s common to take a more relaxed approach in a virtual setting, but that could be your downfall. It’s vital to have some sense of structure so you can ensure all key learning points are addressed. It also helps to prevent participants getting distracted. For example, when using a virtual training platform, try to keep the features you use to a minimum. Participants can easily get distracted if you allow them to use things such as chat emoji’s during the session.

 

3. Make it catchy

It’s much easier to remember things when they’re delivered in a catchy way. You can do this by focusing on your key points and coming up with catchy terms to present them to participants. That way, they will learn to recall the catchy terms and then remember what they mean.

Overall, virtual training is difficult and it does pose many challenges. Ensuring your learners remember the things you have taught them during each session is by far one of the biggest challenges you face as a virtual trainer. The 3 tips above will really help to maximise the learning experience. Many businesses also find it useful to hire a virtual training facilitator to take over various parts of the session to ensure they can focus solely on delivering the best, most effective materials.

There are so many different ways you can market your business online these days and one that is often overlooked is podcasts. This is largely because at one time creating a podcast took a lot of skill and effort. However, they’ve come a long way over the past few years and they’ve grown to become one of the most effective forms of marketing out there.

If you’re wondering whether podcasts could help your business, below you’ll discover the top 3 benefits they deliver to brands.

 

1. Podcasts are easier to create than videos

You probably already know just how important and effective video marketing can be. Well, did you know that podcasts can be just as effective, but they’re a lot easier to create? This is especially true if you use a professional service.

With podcasts you don’t have to worry about getting behind the camera, lighting or the background. It’s an audio file, typically done in a series, which simply requires a good audio connection.

 

2. Boosting website traffic

All businesses look to gain as much new traffic as they can to their site. It’s a universal goal that isn’t always easy to achieve. Podcasts have shown to really increase website traffic, with many consumers first discovering a business after hearing one of their podcasts.

Of course, it’s hard to tell definitively whether the additional traffic comes from your podcasts unless you’re directly told. They don’t have links that can be pressed, but many companies have noticed a significant boost in traffic after starting to release regular podcasts.

 

3. Building brand awareness

Podcasts are a great way to build up your brand. They give a voice to the company which really helps to develop a personal connection. You can use the podcasts to deliver useful information, as well as tying in your products for advertising benefits. For example, if you work within the financial sector, you could release a podcast giving advice on retirement planning, then provide information on a service you provide which could help.

It’s worth noting that in order to experience this benefit, you will need to be releasing regular podcasts, rather than one-off announcements.

Overall podcasts are a lot easier to create these days and they have proven to be extremely effective. So if your business hasn’t delved into podcasting just yet, now is definitely the time to try them out.

The internet has really expanded the training opportunities available in business. While face to face training will always remain valuable in certain situations, online learning has definitely benefitted companies around the world.

There are two main ways to incorporate online training into your business. The first is to pre-record sessions, allowing employees to learn at their own pace, in their own time. The second is live training. Both types can be invaluable, but here we’ll talk about the main benefits of live online learning.

 

What is live online learning?

Live online training takes place in real time. Unlike pre-recorded sessions, participants need to be present at a specific time in order to take part. An instructor leads the session and participants can attend no matter where they are as long as they have an internet connection and access to a professional and reliable live training platform.

 

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits of choosing live based online training over pre-recorded sessions. Mainly, it gives participants the chance to ask any questions they may have. Pre-recorded sessions are great, but they don’t encourage dialogue and questions cannot be answered immediately.

It’s really important to get questions and misunderstandings answered quickly if you want to achieve best results. Answering questions while they are fresh in the employee’s mind will speed up the pace at which they learn and ensure they fully understand what you’re trying to teach them.

Live training also helps with engagement. It’s a well-known fact that it’s much harder for the brain to stay engaged when staring at a computer screen, than it is in face-to-face training. Engagement is one of the key elements you need in virtual training to ensure it’s successful. By running live sessions, you get to include ice-breakers and react according to how the participants respond throughout the session.

Finally, live training is more efficient. You’re able to shorten the training module and spread it out into easily digestible chunks compared to in-person training. As you’re already helping to boost engagement, your participants are going to be learning at a much speedier pace.

Overall live training comes with many benefits. It’s best used for portions of the training that are likely to pose many questions. For best results, it is worth splitting your training into pre-recorded and live sessions. The variation in learning actually makes it much more effective and keeps participants interested in the training.

A recent report published by the Federation of Small Businesses, has discovered small businesses are suffering the most from cyber related crime. As more businesses turn to the internet to expand and grow, fraudsters see it as a perfect opportunity to attack. Start-ups are particularly vulnerable as they often have no idea how to keep their company protected online, or even that they need to.

If you your business has an online presence, it’s vital you look into ways to keep it protected.

 

What types of cyber-crime do you most need to worry about?

There are a lot of different types of cyber-crimes out there. That’s one of the reasons why small businesses fail to keep themselves fully protected. The report discovered that smaller firms are being attacked collectively an average of 7 million times each year. It’s actually costing the UK economy an estimated £5.26 billion.

So which crimes do you need to be worried about the most? According to the report small businesses largely suffer from:

 

1. Phishing scams

2. Malware attacks

 

Phishing scams have become a lot more sophisticated in recent years. While at one time they were fairly easy to distinguish, phishing emails now appear 100% authentic, tricking users into clicking on links and giving away their personal details. Some even contain malware that will quickly infect not just your computer, but all computers on the network.

The Government has produced a useful list of resources for small businesses where you can learn more about the dangers and how to protect your company.

 

Protecting yourself and your customers

So how exactly can you protect small business from cyber-crime? Well, it goes without saying you should have a sophisticated anti-virus and malware software installed. However, you also need to be vigilant with personal details.

Never give details when asked via email unless you contact the company beforehand. For example, there are a lot of PayPal and even government related phishing emails being sent out. They look genuine but it’s important to contact these actual companies directly to enquire about any emails sent to ensure you don’t fall victim.

You should also ensure your computer systems are regularly updated and install a firewall to protect against hackers. These are just some of the basics you need to follow. While it is time consuming, it’s extremely important to make sure you are keeping up with the latest security measures as hackers are becoming smarter every day. If you do fall victim to cyber-crime, it could cost your business dearly. So it’s better to be safe than sorry!

With virtual technology taking over all aspects of life, it was only a matter of time before virtual work experience was introduced. Designed to help prepare students for the modern workplace, the virtual platform is a revolutionary step that could soon become the norm. So what is virtual work experience and is it really an effective way to introduce young people into the workplace?

 

Helping to develop skills of the future

The skills required by young people entering the workplace has changed dramatically over the past decade. A British Chambers of Commerce survey has recently revealed that 88% of businesses feel school leavers are not adequately prepared for the workplace. Virtual experience could be the way to eliminate this.

The Lister Community School in East London, has become one of the first schools to trial virtual work experience. Using the Lifeskills Pod developed by Barclays, students get an interactive experience as to what life is like in the workplace. They are given 10 minute tasks to complete on topics such as networking, professionalism and communicating decisions.

The pod has a virtual colleague which introduces each student to the workplace. There are five different sectors to choose from including retail and commercial, health and public services and general business. After completing the tasks, students are given a feedback certificate which shows which areas could be improved upon.

 

Bridging the gap

Another benefit virtual work experience brings is bridging the gap currently experienced by schools when they try to find relevant placements. Many young people also find once they are placed within a workplace, all they end up doing is making tea and not really learning anything important. It’s a common problem for schools throughout the UK so the virtual Lifeskills Pod would be a much better, more effective way to prepare for what the workplace actually entails.

Of course, it also ties in to just how important the virtual world is today. Many businesses are starting to rely more upon virtual training and meetings to save costs and produce a more flexible working environment. Therefore, it’s becoming more vital for young people to learn how to use virtual platforms before they start work.

Overall the Lifeskills Pod is paving the way for virtual work experience and it’s no doubt going to be introduced on a more permanent basis in the not too distant future.

If you’re thinking of expanding into virtual training, you’ll soon find it’s not quite as simple as you thought it was going to be. There’s a lot to consider before you start hosting online training sessions. Plenty of things can go wrong and each session requires a lot of preparation. Then there’s the technical side to think about. Do you know how everything works? Would you know how to fix a technical issue if it arose?

These are just some of things you need to take into account. One option you have which will help make it a lot easier is hiring a training facilitator. Many companies do this and there are a lot of benefits that come from hiring a professional. The question is, do you need one?

 

The role of the virtual training facilitator

A virtual training facilitator basically takes over the meeting to ensure it achieves the goals set. There are many different types of facilitators out there, so it’s important to compare the different services on offer in order to find the right one for your business. For example, some facilitators specialise in one particular industry, while others have worked for all kinds of sectors.

Ideally you want a facilitator that’s flexible. V-Creative for example, offers a tailor-made solution for each client. Its facilitators are able to take over all, or just parts of the meeting to fit your requirements.

 

The benefits

There are many benefits that come from hiring a professional facilitator. What many businesses don’t realise when they start out in virtual training, is the number of challenges it presents. In particular, it’s incredibly difficult to ensure participants are fully engaged throughout and that they remember the training provided in the video.

A facilitator knows exactly how to keep your audience engaged throughout. They can help you develop effective, attention-grabbing sessions that will really deliver the required results.

Of course there’s also the technical issues to worry about. If you’re not a technological expert, getting to grips with the technical requirements of a virtual training session can be difficult. A facilitator can help take over the technical side, leaving you free to work solely on developing a comprehensive training plan.

Overall virtual training facilitators are becoming more popular and it isn’t hard to see why. It’s hard to get results via an online platform if you have no prior experience. So if you haven’t hired a facilitator yet, now is the time to consider it.

When you look into the benefits of virtual training, you’ll most commonly find information on cost savings, travel-cutting and convenience. What isn’t often discussed is the deeper benefits of the virtual classroom. In particular, it’s recently emerged that virtual training is helping to improve global gender equality.

 

Digital fluency helping to level the playing field

Research has recently been carried out by Accenture, which showed both men and women have the exact same level of digital fluency. Women have even been shown to be better at using digital methods to further their education and find employment. The research involved 5,000 men and women from 31 different countries.

It didn’t just focus on how technology is used to find work, it also looked at how they use it in their everyday lives. So how exactly is virtual training helping women to gain more equality to their male colleagues?

 

Developing skills via an unbiased platform

Times may have changed, but gender equality is still sadly something that is rife in the business world. One of the key challenges women face when it comes to training is they often struggle to get noticed ahead of their male colleagues.

While this certainly isn’t the case in all sectors, there are some that are notoriously more male-driven. Virtual training creates a level playing field, enabling women to have the same level of access to materials and having their questions addressed on a one-to-one basis.

There are two ways you can host virtual training sessions. The first is doing it live and having all participants attend at a scheduled time. The second is pre-recording the sessions using a reliable platform. The latter is great for promoting gender equality, as it enables each participant to focus solely on the sessions without fear of shrinking into the background, giving women an equal learning opportunity.

Of course, actually hosting gender equality training sessions is another way to bridge the gap. There are several large organisations which focus purely on gender equality training. By making gender equality part of your company’s virtual training program, it improves not just your employee’s satisfaction, but also boosts your brand reputation, showing both the community and potential future employees that you care about the important issue of gender equality.

Overall virtual training has provided businesses with so many new and exciting opportunities. The fact that it improves gender equality is a major benefit and something that shouldn’t be ignored.

It’s true that virtual meetings can be really beneficially for businesses today. However, they can also be incredibly challenging. Before your company decides to go ahead with a virtual meeting, it’s worth finding out everything you can about this innovative platform.

Despite the many improvements added to virtual meeting platforms over the years, some businesses are still applying outdated strategies which sadly don’t prove to be very effective. So what exactly do you need to know about virtual meetings?

 

You should always have a clear agenda

A lack of preparation is one of the key issues businesses face with virtual meetings. They do offer a more relaxed setting, but this doesn’t mean they don’t need to be prepared for. Having a clear agenda really enhances the meeting and ensures attendees know exactly what to expect throughout. It also gives them an opportunity to think about the topics due to be covered and prepare any questions they may have in advance.

The agenda should ideally address three main questions. These include:

1. What is going to be covered?

2. How much time is going to be allocated to each issue?

3. What should be achieved at the end of the meeting?

You don’t have to make it too elaborate, just focus on the most important points to be covered.

How it works

This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but many businesses attempt to just jump right into a virtual meeting without familiarising themselves with how the platform works. Each virtual meeting technology is different, so it’s important to try it out prior to the meeting so you know exactly how to use it. Actually understanding how virtual meetings work in general is also useful.

Of course, as well as getting to grips with virtual meeting software, you also need to ensure you’re choosing a reliable platform. V-Creative is one of the leading UK suppliers and facilitators of virtual meeting and training platforms.

They should never replace face to face meetings completely

Finally, it’s extremely important to realise that virtual meetings should never completely replace face to face meetings. There are benefits to both platforms and while virtual meetings can save costs and be more convenient for remote workers, sometimes a face to face meeting is much more effective. The majority of your meetings could be switched to a virtual platform, but leave the more important meetings for face to face interaction.

These are just some of the things your business really needs to know about virtual meetings. When done properly they are extremely effective and provide numerous benefits to your business.

One thing many businesses aren’t prepared for when they switch to virtual meetings, is the chaos that can come with them. This is especially true when it comes to audio-only meetings. Without proper organisation, your meeting could quickly spiral out of control, proving extremely ineffective and stressful to run. So how can you avoid the chaos and ensure a productive, successful online meeting?

 

Beware of audio-only meetings

Audio-only virtual meetings are often preferred for a wide number of reasons. Firstly, it makes the meeting more accessible for those who do not have a webcam. It allows people to join the call while they’re travelling for example. However, what it also does is leave space for awkward pauses, leads to potential audio problems and allows attendees to procrastinate.

In fact, according to Fastcompany.com, a recent survey found that 60% of those who took audio-only meetings admitted that they checked their social media sites while on the call. An incredible 6% even fell asleep! So while they may seem like a great, convenient alternative to face-to face meetings, audio-only calls come with a lot more issues than other virtual meeting types.

 

Avoid Going off-topic

Virtual meetings are known for being a lot less formal than in-person meetings. This is great in terms of making everyone feel comfortable. However, it does provide the opportunity to go off-topic. The trouble with this is that while it may help you all to bond as a team, it’s not going to be very productive. Virtual meetings need to be as short as possible, definitely shorter than face-to-face meetings. This is because people can focus for a shorter period of time in front of their computer. So if you’re going off-topic you’re going to run out of time to talk about the things that matter.

 

Be aware of the language you use

Another thing that’s easy to forget is that the audience may not be able to understand what you’re talking about. If you use slang for example, you’re going to end up either losing people completely or at least getting asked plenty of questions to establish what you mean. This again will de-rail the meeting.

As featured on Guided Insights, it helps to review the topics you’re going to be talking about ahead of the meeting. That way you can prepare exactly what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.

For more help with your virtual meetings, contact V-Creative Services. With years of experience, the company can even manage the meeting for you, allowing you to focus purely on attendee engagement.

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