I was in a session the other day that was being facilitated by an experienced trainer and SME. However, it was being run online and wasn’t something they’d done before. Here are a few comments:
- Telling people you’ve never done this before might seem like a good idea if you have a problem, but means every mistake gets amplified. It also makes it feel unprofessional and people will wonder about your grasp of the content.
- Not knowing how to manage the group from the start led to l-o-n-g introductions. Have some clear instructions on your first slides about how this will run.
- Not knowing how to use the technology meant we saw various screens throughout the session; speaker view of the slides, no video, your second screen. Know the technology before you use it. That means reading the chat and having a colleague respond, or dealing with it. Just having questions hanging is disheartening.
- If you have to get a screenshot of the participants, make it part of the event. Ask everyone to make a face, a smile, a wave, anything. Don’t say ‘I have to get a screenshot of everyone here, if I can work out how to do that’.
- Yes, we all have interruptions from families etc but just leaping up and slamming a door doesn’t look great.
- Leaving it 90 minutes before a break meant you lost people. They didn’t come back.
- Synchronise your clocks and then make sure you’re consistent with timings. That means telling people when a break starts and ends will be accurate.
- Stop talking. Really, stop. Yes you have expertise but it’s not about you, it’s about the people in the room.
This stuff matters. This is a ‘learning professional’ delivering a session on behalf of an organisation that failed to hit some key points. The content wasn’t signposted, the facilitation became lecture and ‘slide-reading’ after a short time and the exercises – obviously drawn from a face to face event – were of limited value. The engagement was low, people left and won’t return and the lack of strong interactivity and group management led to a thoroughly unsatisfying experience.
For an organisation, 6 months into lockdown to still be delivering like this just isn’t good enough. Is it any wonder people look at LnD and question what we’re doing?