Not good enough

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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?

3 thoughts on “Not good enough

  1. Issue an agenda, with timings on it, as you would for a face-to-face event. And send with it notes about the Teams’ setup and how you will be using it. Provide links to breakout rooms so folks don’t get lost. And get the syndicates to record their discussions on Word Online, so that you can monitor all of the syndicates’ output simultaneously whilst toggling between the audio.


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