While I enjoyed the training and found the content relevant, the three facilitators made two classic mistakes that I would like to help you avoid. These mistakes inadvertently send the message that web conferencing is a poor substitute for face-to-face training sessions.
First mistake: they did nothing to convert their presentation slides for virtual delivery. It was clear that they were using the same deck that they displayed in the face-to-face classroom. The simple rule of thumb for PowerPoint in the virtual classroom is that the font size needs to increase. Why? Screen sizes on mobile devices and some laptops make small text unreadable for some participants. We recommend at least 28-point font for text on the slide. That probably means that you will need to break apart text-heavy slides to reduce the amount of text on each slide.
Second mistake: they told us about an activity that they conducted in the face-to-face classroom. It involved dealing cards from a deck with specific examples for people in small groups to discuss. They were clearly sad about missing that activity. Please, make a note to yourself to never tell a group the way you used to conduct an exercise before you pivoted to web conferencing. Why? Telling us what we are NOT going to do is a surefire way to make us feel disappointed. You unintentionally send the message that the web training a participant is currently taking is less valuable than it could have been.
Instead, redesign the activity for virtual delivery. Maybe we don’t need to see a deck of cards to discuss scenarios. Instead, you could assign specific questions to individual breakout rooms. Then send us out to discuss those valuable scenarios in small groups.
Many organizations are realizing that the virtual classroom is here to stay. It might be time to review those hastily developed training designs and see if you can improve the visual messaging as well as the quality of interactive activities. Mindset Matters!