Best Practices in Training Adaptations for Virtual Training?

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    Michael Parent

    Hi to all,

    I’m interested to identify best practices from people who have conducted virtual training or facilitation.

    Please share your experiences. What were some obstacles encountered? What did you do differently?

    My big concern right now is figuring out a way to keep trainees engaged and if possible, create ways to get them to interact with the information.

    Thank you,




    You have the right concern.  It’s easy to give a virtual lecture but it’s hard to achieve engagement.  Aside from learning how to do it effectively, you need the right video conferencing product.  I won’t recommend one but here are some features you should consider:

    – Easy to log in and use.  Do you really want something that requires each participant to download and install software, even if it’s free?  Do you really want something with a learning curve rather than intuitive through the browser?

    – Security.  You don’t want to allow interlopers, and you especially don’t want the possibility of trolls.

    – Cost.  It may or not be a big issue.  If it is, beware that you’re giving up something if it’s “free”.  Carefully read the terms.

    – Participants can interact.  They can see each other, usually through thumbnails, which they can click on to expand, but without leaving the main speaker.  There may be a sidebar that allows text conversation without interrupting the speaker.

    – Multi-media sharing, from participants as well as the speaker.

    – A tech moderator.  You’ll pay for this feature but you may be glad you did.


    Michael Roth

    Here are a few thoughts to improve virtual training.

    Virtual Participant Active Participation

    Use Polls in Zoom. Practice it. It is easy to setup. Questions you create will stay in Polls as an option to use in future meetings.

    Have everyone use annotate tools to mark a list of items or add a comment on the screen. You have to have Zoom in slide share mode to do this. Give the participants direction on how to find annotate. You can’t use annotate in a web browser, so be sure participants open Zoom mtg in the Zoom app not in their browser.

    Use icons on slides to show when to participate. Use an introduction icon slide to prep them for this. (See image)

    Icon Slide

    Sharer files in chat so you don’t have to email, Google Drive, or DropBox them (This is a feature in settings that you may need to enable.)

    Virtual Training Improve Video Quality

    1)    Plug your computer into the internet router directly for better quality and reliability (do not use WiFi).

    2)    For better video sound – on the Zoom toolbar choose “share computer sound” which is found under “More”. In MS Teams when you hit share you will see a little check box that says, “Include System Audio”. Check that box.

    3)    It is best if you download any videos to your computer and play them from there.  Streaming them from YouTube can cause issues.


    [email protected]

    Successful virtual facilitation is all about continually engaging your audience, they need to actively participate throughout the presentation.  IMO you can do this with or without slick technology.  I’ve been using WebEx Training Center (more tools then Meeting Center) for years which has some great functionality like: polls, emoticons, on screen annotations, whiteboards, and the more complex break out rooms.  Even without technology, you can pause and require participants to answer questions or engage in more in depth dialogue.


    My rule of thumb is every 6 slides or 10-12 minutes you need them to actively do something (e.g. Who has ever used a process map, give me a green check for yes or a red x for no?  Then possibly call on a participant to briefly explain how the process mapped helped to visualize the business problem).  I also make sure my audience knows the sessions will be very engaging so they expect and look forward to it.  I purposely include triggers in my content to remind me and the audience it’s time for an engagement.


    My sat scores are directly correlated with the number and quality of these engagements, same as face to face training but much more critical for virtual, best of luck.


    Katie Barry

    @miparent Have you seen this article? PepsiCo turns to Minecraft, moving virtual training away from ‘Zoom fatigue’ | HR Dive —

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