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January 15, 2007

Getting People Comfortable with Delivering Online Training (Part I of II)

By Amy Peeler

In my previous blog entry, I promised tips for delivering online training to employees within your organization. Here’s a quick top 10:

1. Practice, practice, practice. It's easy to think “I’ve presented on this a thousand times before,” yet it is always a good idea to do a dry run with your material before the camera is live

2. If you are using PowerPoint slides or other written materials, have someone with fresh eyes proofread for you before you get into the training room.

3. For on-demand training that will not be viewed live, try and schedule your recording when you have the most energy; it's easy to leave it to the end of the day when your presentations skills probably aren’t at their peak.

4. Start out by describing the design of the course clearly and thoroughly before you jump in--people may be new to online learning and a few housekeeping notes about how to use the training interface and where to go for help are appreciated.

5. Don’t pace back and forth. If you are a pacer, tape a square on the floor of your presentation space to remind you when you could be moving off camera.

6. Talk to the camera. Eye contact is just as important online as it is in the meeting room.

7. Refer to your visual aids to underscore key points. Many Webcasting systems integrate with document cameras and electronic white boards.

8. Use different media used to accommodate the needs of different learners (some prefer written bullets, some the spoken word, yet others need graphics).

9. Make the most of your training system’s online tools for interaction. Encourage the learners to ask questions or provide comments through moderated polls or online Q&A.

10. Just do it. Some people are intimidated by the camera and the fact that most often you can’t pause and start over. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to be a hired gun to be a great presenter. Taking your training online is no different than training face to face--it’s all about proper preparation and an honest delivery.

Do you have other great tips for webcasting your training?

In my next post, let’s explore how to get individuals interested in receiving online training.

Amy Peeler is director of human resources and training at Sonic Foundry, a provider of high performance rich media technology with locations in Madison, Wis., and Pittsburgh. Visit www.sonicfoundry.com for more information.


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