Virtual training is all the rage now due to the growing demand for remote work nationwide, but it is very easy to push a virtual training event off the rails if you make one or several of the mistakes listed below. One chief challenge of virtual learning is staying distraction-free, so make sure that you don’t become the reason your learners cannot focus in an online classroom.

Top 5 Mistakes Virtual Trainers Make

1. Sending the wrong message

Many virtual trainers manage to lose their audiences’ trust by using the wrong body language. For instance, you will send a message of lack of confidence or professionalism if you:

·         Highlight too much content in your presentation

·         Needlessly moving the mouse cursor around

·         Making unnecessary pauses

·        Click where you didn’t plan to

·         Moving the mouse cursor up and down or in circles to make your point

·         Opening the wrong document

·         Mixing personal life documents with professional docs on your computer desktop.

2. Long monologues

To make your point, you don’t need to talk by yourself for hours, even if your PowerPoint presentation is fairly engaging. Paying full attention to a PowerPoint presentation is already challenging in an in-person event, but having to do it over a video conference app can be downright exhausting.

Experts have become increasingly vocal about the so-called “Zoom fatigue,” a widespread phenomenon affecting employees having to attend endless meetings on Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and other video conference apps. Many virtual trainers can confirm that keeping audiences engaged via one such app takes a lot more effort than doing it in the physical classroom.

In order not to lose the interest of your audiences, it is best to:

·         Mix various media in your presentation like text, images, and videos

·         Imagine various real-world scenarios

·         Come with real-life applications

·         Conduct Q&A sessions after each major topic

·         Conduct group breakout sessions and more.

3. Using too many training materials

When training online, trainers may overdo it when it comes to training materials. It is hard to pay attention to the virtual training session while browsing through various PDFs and hard copies. Make sure that the information you try to convey is well structured into one document. Have at most one hard copy of your training material and one digital copy. It is not productive to force your students and employees to keep countless tabs open during a virtual training session. They’ll lose focus fast, and you might need to revise the already taught material in a second or third session.

4. Overlooking people may have Zoom anxiety

Yes, many people have the so-called Zoom anxiety, namely they are too afraid to unmute themselves and give feedback. Unfortunately, many virtual trainers tend to forget this tiny aspect. So, don’t ask a question and expect people to answer it. It is best to pick a trainee and ask them to give an answer. Make sure that it is not a shy or anxiety-prone student or co-worker.

Make use of breakout rooms to help learners get accustomed to one another. Also, ask them to do activities together to stay engaged, after which you can switch back to the main lecture. Don’t leave anyone behind and ask for written feedback when the session ends.

5. Having video camera off

Even if your hair doesn’t look right or your home office is a mess, find the right conditions to keep the camera on. As a trainer, keeping the camera off is a sign that you don’t respect your learners. Your learners need non-verbal cues for you to get your message across. Also, they might get the wrong impression that you don’t pay 100% attention to them as you might be doing other things.

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