This is a blog series. You are currently in Part 3 of 4. Part 1: Online trainings Learnings by Yannic - equipment and organisation Part 2: Online trainings Learnings by Yannic - Start of the online training Part 3: Online trainings Learnings by Yannic - Continuously during the online training Part 4: Online trainings Learnings by Yannic - completion of the online training
You made the preparations from Part 1 and started the training as described in Part 2? Great. But now it is important that you can take the momentum from the good preparations and the successful introduction. Pay attention to the following points during the entire online training. Make sure that a certain amount of humour is not out of place during the course.
Keep an eye on the cameras
As you have already read, not only you as a trainer, but also your participants should have their camera activated. Keep the camera view open on your secondary monitor at all times. Despite the distance during the online training, this gives you the opportunity to observe the reactions of the participants during your explanations. If you notice questioning or insecure faces, you should ask directly if the explanations are understandable or if questions have arisen. Allow yourself to address someone directly by name.
Keep your participants active
Your participants should take part in online trainings as actively as possible. Online, however, this is not as easy to monitor and implement as it is in a classroom or meeting room. The permanent view of the cameras also helps to keep your participants active. Ask your participants questions from time to time. You should avoid "Yes / No" questions as much as possible. Ask open questions, which may also stimulate discussion. For example: "Can anyone imagine in which situation this feature could help" or "What could this configuration be relevant for? Can anyone imagine an application area?". If you also address participants directly by name, the risk of them deviating from the online training diminishes. Use your notes from the introduction round (see Part 2) to ask questions to specific people. For example: "Service01 helps to solve the problem XYZ. Hans Muster, you mentioned at the introduction that the problem XYZ exists with you. Can you imagine using Service01 to solve the problem?". </However, if you notice that several participants are wandering away from the online training or that fatigue is spreading, make sure you take a short break.
Do not neglect chat
Especially if you are actively asking questions, you should not neglect the chat from your used tool. Participants like to answer questions via the chat, because the inhibition threshold to activate the microphone is a bit higher. But you should not only keep an eye on the chat when you have asked a question. During your presentation, participants also like to ask their questions via chat so that they don't have to interrupt you. You should answer these questions as soon as possible so that the participants feel picked up and continue to actively participate and ask questions. Participants especially like to use the chat during the independent LABs. So keep an eye on the chat even when you are not actively presenting so that you can help the participants with questions about the LABs as soon as possible.
In my opinion, time management is one of the most challenging topics a trainer has to deal with. Make sure that you keep to the agreed breaks. But it is precisely these that make it difficult. Make sure that all participants are back in front of the camera on time. Communicate at each break when the online training will be continued. Be a role model yourself and start again punctually at the agreed time. By setting an example, you are signalling to the participants that the agreed times must be adhered to. If your online trainings include LABs that the participants are supposed to master, you can combine them with breaks. An LAB, for which you have planned 50 minutes, can be extended by the break time to 60 minutes, for example. This gives every participant the possibility to organize the time himself. Some take a break before the LABs, some after the LABs and some in the middle of the break. Again, create clear guidelines as to when the online training will be continued by the trainer.
Communicate your practical experience and have integrity
Anyone can read out slides. Make your online trainings unique by bringing in and sharing your own experiences and assessments directly. But be sure to mention that this is your private, unofficial opinion. Participants not only want to know what services are available in theory and what they can do, but also where their limits lie. By not only talking about strengths but also about possible weaknesses and limits, you are being honest and spice up your online training. The same applies to questions that you cannot answer with certainty. Tell the participant that you can't answer this with certainty, but that you'd be happy to note the question in your note-taking tool and clarify it during a break or during the LABs, for example. Therefore: Be integer! After the break, come back to it without being asked and present your clarifications.