Now I must own this upfront…I am not thrilled about doing virtual courses. I’m in extrovert that thrives on connection and building on what is happening in the environment. However, one must do what they have to do during this crazy time.
I did put in a first constraints to give myself a little more peace of mind about conducting a virtual course:
- I reduced maximum attendee size. A fundamentals course is down to 20 and an advanced course is down to 16.
- I will always hire a “producer” to assist with tech issues, other questions and a second pair of eyes/ears/help.
- I have increased my break frequency. I already did breaks every hour in my courses but I’ve extended them online.
- I am primarily doing courses for people that I already know in some for or fashion: recommendations, previous clients, current clients, etc. I’m not really listing many general public virtual courses.
What was confirmed?
- This delivery really drains me and doesn’t energize me like an in person course. Even with everyone on video, I can’t feed off the energy as much.
- I can deliver a virtual course that people enjoy.
- The quality of the training was at an acceptable level. I still think it is better in person but I can still be proud of what I’m providing.
What surprised me?
- How much I have enjoyed the collaboration with a “producer” (I don’t know what to call this role – so much more than someone just assisting). I was truly grateful for the help and believe it was a key factor in the success.
- How understanding everyone was with each other. I know that sounds bad but people pay money for trainings and have high expectations. Sometimes in person trainings, you can observe the frustration people have with others but online there was a lot more compassion. Maybe that is more due to the overall situation but I found it to be lovely to have everyone helping everyone.
- That my timing was way better than I expected. I was terrified that I would be way off base. I had adjusted some but with extra breaks and everything, I was nervous if I would get everything done. I did!
What am I going to experiment with next?
- I’m going to adjust my tools to make it even easy for people. The more that I can have on the Miro board, the more they can focus on editing/moving/etc and the topic at hand vs the tool.
- I need to do a better job standing up and moving myself. I did a good job making sure everyone else did but during breaks – I was organizing for the next thing and that happens at the computer, so I wasn’t walking away.
- Changing the clock on my computer to the timezone that I’m teaching in. This messed me up so many times – saying the wrong time, adjusting the time in my head wrong, etc.
What do you hope trainers do in their virtual courses?