Online training tips for Agents
When we can't physically be with our people, but we still have to communicate with them, virtual training and meetings are a great option. Leading an online session doesn’t have to be intimidating. There are several tools that provide free or paid options for hosting online meetings. Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts and Adobe Connect are all good options.
The first step to leading an effective online meeting is to prepare. Ask: who is your audience, and what do they need most? Remember that attention spans are going to be shorter when you aren’t face to face, so break your agenda down into the smallest pieces possible and focus on the most important points up front.
Sometimes it can be helpful to practice before you lead a class. Do a test run to make sure your technology works, your videos play, and your screen share is displaying. Plan for technical difficulties and have a backup plan. Sometimes things will go wrong! Have a plan to be able to adjust quickly if you need to.
It can be more difficult to keep attendees engaged and enthusiastic when training or meeting virtually. Using images and visuals will help. Plan to give them something to download and review either before or after the session. If possible, show your face on camera and allow them to see your body language and your smile. If it’s a small group meeting, allowing everyone to turn on their cameras and interact will be very helpful.
Be sure that you have time to allow for conversation and live questions. Most of the online tools allow for chat or live question and answers. If you are leading a training session, set expectations up front about whether you will be pausing for questions, or taking them at the end. If you are leading a group meeting, allow for everyone to have a chance to participate. Remember that the goal is to create a sense of community and conversation, as well as to pass on important information.
Finally, it’s important to provide follow up. When the class or meeting is over, what will they do next? What tools or information will the participants need to take action? Where will they find that information? How can you help them further? Be sure that you let your attendees know the answers to these questions.
You can still lead effective and engaging meetings and classes, even when you can’t meet in person. If you approach these classes and meetings as an opportunity to create community, as well as educate, you can also be providing much needed leadership in uncertain times.