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  • John McLean Dix

UpSkilling


I have been doing a lot of work lately under the category of “upskilling”, Funny word, isn’t it? As a training and development professional, I’ve spent the last 15 years “upskilling” people but this is the first time that funny word has been used.

I think it’s due to the context of the training that I have been doing, the “upskilling” I have been doing has been for virtual facilitation.

Like it or not, the wave of the future is virtual training. Ten years from now, classroom training in the corporate world will be a thing of the past (OMG, please don’t let it be so!).

We lose so much when we move from the live classroom to the virtual ..or do we?

In the past six months, I have “upskilled” accomplished classroom trainers to be virtual facilitators. I have also taken non-training professionals and upskilled them to be virtual training moderators. Probably about hundred people in total and everyone’s initial concern is the same.

How do I use the technology?

That’s why I begin my sessions of virtual “upskilling“ by saying, “don’t worry about the technology, worry about bringing the classroom to life!” Sure, I will teach you how to log in, how to create breakout rooms, how to use a whiteboard to duplicate the effect and purpose of the flipchart. You could learn that on your own … much the same way you probably learned to use any other computer software or platform. Trial and error, click and see what happens!

But what you probably don’t know is that technology is the least of your concerns as an online trainer or moderator. How can you bring that same magic you created in the live classroom to your virtual classroom? As a moderator, what can you do to support this and add your flair to the show?

  • If you use a headset (and you should) make sure it has a long cord as you are going to walk around.

  • Stand up, wave your arms around.I know they can’t see you, but your body language can be heard.

  • Just because your audience can’t see you reading from your notes, doesn’t mean that you are allowed to read from your notes

  • As the moderator, use the bells and whistles to emphasize key points, work with the wayward participants to bring them in, support the facilitator.

The point is that so often virtual trainers forget everything they ever learned about what it takes to create an effective learning environment when faced with the virtual world. Technology is the least of your worries. Focus on creating a dynamic and engaging learning session. Seek and create opportunities for engagement!

And that’s not the only work I have been doing. See my next post featuring a project I just completed, working with teams on strategic planning, resource allocation and innovative transformation! Really cool stuff.

Take care,

John


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