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How to Create a Successful Remote Training Session

How to Create a Successful Remote Training Session

How to Create a Successful Remote Training Session

In the post-Covid world, more training will be presented online, which changes the training experience for the organiser, the trainer, and the learners.

These changes will be either beneficial or harmful, depending on three key factors: Technology, the trainers' style, and the attitude of the delegates.

We have found that, if people use the right technology, if trainers use the correct training style, and if delegates have the right mental attitude, then online, remote live training can be equally as good, (or even marginally better) than face-to-face training.

These are our recommendations to make your online training sessions even more successful.


1. Use interactive white-board technology. Online training should be as visually interesting as possible. The use of interactive white boards, allows us to make drawings, cartoons, diagrams and write freehand text, all in "real time". All of which leads to freedom, originality, reactivity and fun.

2. Use breakout rooms. It is important training is interactive, which suggest that trainers should make frequent use of breakout rooms, which allow learners to interact and voice their personal feelings, experiences and ideas with a smaller number of people. The advantage is that learners can take a rest from listening to the trainer, and it allows those people who may feel uneasy to speak in front of a large group, to express themselves in smaller groups.

3. Avoid over-use of PowerPoint. It is important that training should be as innovative as possible. Trainers should avoid the over-use of Microsoft PowerPoint, which is now old-fashioned and tired. This does not mean that PowerPoint should be rejected entirely, but it should be one of a range of presentation formats, including Interactive white board (see above), Mind Mapping and Prezi.

Trainer's presentation style

4. The trainer should stand in full view of learners. Ideally, online training should duplicate as a live training experience, which means delegates should be able to see the trainer's full performance. Whenever trainers attempt to train by the talking head method, they cut their effectiveness by half.

Great training is entertaining, and it is much easier to be entertaining when the trainer presents their "whole package", including full use of body language gestures and energetic voice tones, which is possible only when stood up and in full view.

5. The trainer should encourage interaction and participation. Live, online remote training should be made as interactive as possible, which suggests trainers use every trick in the book to inspire the enthusiastic participation of the learners. Trainers should overtly ask delegates to pose questions. Trainers should ask delegates to state how the material being taught, could be put into practice.

It is important for trainers to remember there is a risk that learners will lose interest and zone-out, so they must work conscientiously to actively grab their attention and keep it.

6. The course should be designed to contain many activities to be done by the delegates, in real time. All online training should include sufficient time to practice, which suggests trainers should incorporate into the training model, many activities where the delegates can break off from listening, to work the material, and discover for themselves how they can put the training into practice.

Delegates need occasional rests from inputting new knowledge and should be allowed to shift gears, to consider how they might apply what they have already learned. Without sufficient time to practice, the knowledge gained will remain theoretical and, therefore, will soon be forgotten. During the training session the trainer should encourage the learners to use their newly acquired knowledge.

7. Trainers' dress code should be professional. Everything we do as trainers should be done in a professional manner, and that includes dress code. Sadly, we have seen many examples of trainers presenting their courses, whilst looking as if they have just got out of bed. Trainers who want their learners to take them seriously, should first take themselves seriously, which includes adopting a proper dress code. The term that we use to describe the right look for a professional trainer is, functionally tidy.

8. Trainers should develop a nice sense of humour. Trainers should be likable, and one of the best ways to do that is to develop a nice, well-meaning sense of humour. Humour breaks the ice and puts people at their ease, it makes training more fun, and builds good team spirit. It makes training more memorable, which makes it more effective. However, don't overdo it. The purpose of training is to help people gain new knowledge, not to crack jokes. So, humour is a means to an end, not an end in itself. If you are a trainer, then display a natural smile and be quick to laugh.

Learner's attitude and actions

9. Learners should commit 100% to the training. The success of any course depends upon four factors: the course content, the trainer's style, the technology in use, and the attitude of the delegates.

Whenever delegates attend the course with the wrong attitude, eg if they are lethargic, disinterested, lazy, distracted or combative, then the training will fail.

If you are the person arranging an online training course, you should reiterate to the delegates, that it is important that they attend the course with a productive attitude, commit to it, and be prepared to give their best.

10. Learners should do their preparation before the course starts. Online training is based upon technology, which needs to be ready at the beginning of the training. Sadly, we have experienced many instances of delegates attending an online course where they have not downloaded the training manual, or they don't know their passwords, or they don't have notebook or pen handy, or they don't know how to work their computer. Consequently, the first 25 minutes of the course is spent trying to help tardy delegates to master the basics and get them to the state of readiness. Meanwhile, the other delegates, who have done their prep, are irritated because their time is being wasted and they want to get on with the course.

If you are organizing an online course, it is crucial to ask the learners to do their "prep" before the course starts.

11. Delegates should give opinions, ask questions and give trainers something to work with. Training a group of silent, indifferent delegates online is extremely difficult. If the trainer has two or three vocal, questioning, interactive delegates, who pose challenging questions to the trainer, that makes the whole training experience better for everyone.

So, if you are attending an online training, then please - Speak Up!

Good trainers enjoy the challenge of answering good questions, asked by intelligent, critical thinkers. It spices up the training, makes the presentation more interactive and more interesting for everyone.

12. Learners should switch-on their cameras. Online training should mimic real life training as closely as possible, which means that the learners should be visible.

If you are attending an online training event then please, switch-on your camera and let the trainer see you. Being able to see a person's reactions to what we are saying is important for all successful communications, because we need to know whether we are making good progress, or not! Visual feedback is vital for effective online communication, so switch on your camera and smile!

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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