The digitalisation boost brought on by the pandemic has spotlighted a series of tools and methodologies only partially used until now, including the training webinar. There’s no denying the irreplaceable nature of presence and a certain kind of direct interaction, especially after all these long months, however some eLearning solutions are invaluable, as they enable us to continue to operate and provide training services for our people. A formidable challenge for online training, intrinsically distance-based: erasing distances, generating empathy and involvement.
The training webinar, a quality experience – Before, during and after
Benjamin Franklin liked to say: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”. The ideal training webinar is characterised by flexibility, efficiency, practicality and interactiveness. An additional advantage is the chance to register, which becomes a document of value that remains usable.
Let’s start from the 3 pre-webinar steps
- Preparing the outline with: title, date, time, duration, speaker and goals. As far as duration is concerned, a minimum of 45 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours is advised (for an audience of up to 50 participants).
- Make a list of all possible activities (what to do before, during and after?) Is there enough lighting in the room? Are the slides ready? Are the microphone and camera set? Have I invited all participants? Have I selected a suitable background (branded perhaps)?
- The step during which you prepare teaching material functional for the training goal. You can structure a presentation with simple and complete blocks that is dynamic, engaging and interactive. Opt for graphics that are coherent and functional for understanding the concept; support with images and icons.
A word of advice before getting started…
A few minutes before the start of the training webinar, provide participants with any instructions and technical assistance they may need: illustrate main program functionalities, such as chat use, the microphone or webcam: you will simplify interaction and socialisation.
Now for the actual training webinar
A typical webinar can generally be broken down into three moments:
- It is important to curate it; as participants access, always welcome them using the chat function or the microphone.
- Presentation. Focus on strategic concepts during the presentation; avoid saying everything all at once, stimulate inquisitiveness and make room for people’s questions. For example, use question&answer sessions that stimulate debate and discussion, so as to monitor interest and guide your targeted focus on contents. A rapid survey is also useful for gathering feedback in real time.
- Wrap up by summarising key concepts analysed, advantages and on-the-job tools. The purpose is to always create a link between theoretical notion and real life/ practical operation for participants.
The conducting trainer has full management over the classroom, keeps an eye on all participants to assess attention and involvement levels, manages discussions, shares the monitor to show presentations, uses the “blackboard”, sends documents and communicates via chat both with individuals and the entire classroom, creates work groups, etc….
*An anti-boredom tip: to prevent learners from feeling bored, our advice is that you never spend more than 60/90 seconds on one slide.
The 6 golden rules for an efficient and effective training webinar.
- Optimal connection
- Professional equipment
- Upload material to the platform well before the webinar begins
- Look into the webcam
- Welcome & Thanks
And what do we do after the training webinar?
There are three key words: follow-up, feedback and asynchronous sharing. Follow-up involves sending a thank you email. After this, it is important to obtain feedback on the event: you can do it with online questionnaires or activities to complete the path. Lastly, you can asynchronously share detailed material, such as video recordings, links or the slides presented during the training webinar.
Technology and tools: how to guide yourself towards the right choice.
In addition to all this, choosing the best-performing technological tools makes all the difference. What to ask of a tool? To simulate a real classroom setting as much as possible; for everything to be in a single web environment: structuring of training content, provision, tracing and collection of data, right through to analysis and use for company decisions.
Technological solutions have proliferated over time. If you type “webinar software” in the search bar, you’ll be spoilt for hits: there are so many solutions with similar functionalities, often free of charge. There are also platforms or tools the speaker/trainer can install on their computer/device, followed by participants, generally with more simplified procedures. Other tools provide the utmost simplification and do everything themselves in just a click; participants can access via a link sent to them.
Evaluation and selection will be based on available functions, simple installation or compatibility with older computers and various operating systems.