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Can Virtual Training Be More Costly Than Classroom Training?
May 17, 2012 @ 08:57 AM | By InterCall Guest Blogger

The answer to that question is yes, when done incorrectly.

How many times have you seen the uninformed do-it-yourself project end in various levels of disaster? And heard, “I know how to do that,” or “How hard can it be?” Then one hour or one day or one month later, the plumbing project—that supposedly saved several hundreds of dollars at the time—developed a slow leak that wound up causing several thousands of dollars of repair. If only the quick tips and training offered by the store or the manufacturer had been followed!

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Uninformed do-it-yourself efforts can cost more than having hired a professional from the start. On the other hand, informed do-it-yourselfers can save grand amounts of money and time. I have seen this time and time again in virtual training and meeting. You hear, “I know how to do that,” or “How hard can it be? Just throw some PowerPoint slides together or use the ones we used at the last session, throw it on the virtual platform and get going. We can do it ourselves and get this done quickly and cost effectively.”

Maybe. Maybe not. Are you an informed virtual training/meeting do-it-yourselfer? If not, here’s what may be in store for you: wasting money (participants x hourly rate) and more money (productivity, sales, quality loss from lack of knowledge or skill building). Many times this exceeds the costs of bringing the participants together for an effective classroom session. Don’t be fooled again!

Here are some easy-to-use secrets of great LIVE virtual training sessions and meetings to help you be an informed do-it-yourselfer.

  • ENGAGEMENT. Once every 90 seconds, engage your participants. What does this mean? Visual changes, audible changes and participant interaction or collaboration.
    • VISUAL CHANGES include showing a PowerPoint presentation (slide advances, annotating a slide, purposeful animation) and sharing video, websites, documents and other applications.
    • AUDIBLE CHANGES include varying your vocal tone, pace and volume, including the powerful use of silence; adding in others’ voices live or recorded; and music.
    • PARTICIPANT INTERACTION AND COLLABORATION include using the virtual platform features such as Twitter, chat, polls, raise hand, breakouts, report outs, etc. or even external collaboration applications that can be shared. You are not limited to the features of the virtual platform itself.
  • ONE IDEA PER SLIDE. Stick with this if you’re using PowerPoint unless it’s an introduction or summary slide. Yes, that means more slides than typical in a physical setting. Many of the “rules” learned for physically communicating (six words, six bullets, number of minutes per slide) are actually wrong for the virtual setting.
  • VISUAL STIMULATION IS KEY. Virtual communication requires a lot of stimulating visual content in order to grab attention, keep attention and convey messaging in a way that humans will assimilate it. Just look at advertising, the ultimate virtual communication example that has been around for years. They know how to do it. Why would we think that communicating virtually in a business setting would trump our basic human wiring?

With the amount of knowledge and skill sharing needed in today’s business world, everyone needs to be a virtual trainer and meeting leader. Become informed and do-it-yourself quickly, effectively and cost efficiently. Don’t be fooled again.

Corinne Miller Rev2

About Our Guest Blogger
Corinne Miller is the founder and principal trainer and consultant at Innovating Results Inc (IRI) where she focuses on solutions for managing a virtual workforce, virtual teaming, virtual training and innovation for everyday problem solving. Prior to IRI, Corinne’s career has included leadership positions in learning and development, business operations and engineering in the high-tech industry. She is a frequently requested writer and speaker. More on Corinne can be found at: http://innovatingresults.com.



The InterCall Guest Blogger is a subject matter expert who contributes relevant articles to The InterCall Blog. Topics can range from unified communications, conferencing and collaboration or virtual events to general business communications and process improvement. If you are interested in submitting an article for The InterCall Blog, please email blog@intercall.com.

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Comments

Fred Barrett

Thank you Corinne! Well said. I chair a lot of virtual meetings so I especially liked the secrets of great LIVE virtual training sessions and meetings.

Bill Welter

Rock solid advice. Thanks

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