“Would you be interested in delivering virtuals?”
I wanted to do something different and here was a relatively new client offering something. Virtuals? I was concerned about me vs technology and thought it might be boring, talking to a void, changing slides every couple of minutes.
Then it dawned on me. It could be fun. I can do this from home. We live in the Scottish Highlands. I enjoy the travelling and love face-to-face delivery and here was an opportunity to augment it with some home working. “OK, I’ll give it a go.”
Getting prepared for the virtual classroom
Three tutorials to get me up to speed. Remember your first driving lesson? All those things to do at once, just to get the car to move, never mind driving it safely. That is how it felt. I had two great tutors, who gave me confidence before I felt it. Then it was time for practice on my own and with trusted partners. It felt like spinning plates and juggling wearing boxing gloves!
The day came for my assessment. I figured if I wrote everything down that I had to do with the technology in sequence, that would be a start. Then remembered that I have a webcam and they can see my face when I fumble with the controls.
Oh, and delivering some training at the same time, with the added extras of speaking even more clearly and calmly, sounding assured enough to inspire confidence in participants. Finally, remembering to find out how they are going to use the learning at the end of the session.
Building on the skills
I passed the assessment. Since then I have had plenty of practice. Just like driving, the many individual acts have become habitual, with a large slice of consciousness.
What I have learned is that getting to grips with the technology increases your confidence and helps you transfer that confidence to the delegates, some of whom may be wary of virtual learning. Learning to make the odd unnoticed mistake and deal with it seamlessly has helped me.
Knowing that if anything technical goes wrong, there is almost always a solution at your fingertips. For the webcam, I make sure your light is good for the delegate view. Keep a crib guide close to hand.
And make sure you breathe, relax and enjoy it! People keep asking me about running virtuals, often with the wariness I had two years ago. It is fun, challenging in different ways and a great way to make learning more accessible.
About our guest blogger
Based in the Scottish Highlands, Paul works throughout the UK & Ireland. Client feedback describes Paul’s training as interactive, informative, engaging and practical. Paul is a qualified coach, Master Practitioner of NLP and Licensed Facilitator of SDI.