NetSpeed Learning Solutions January 2019
Start the New Year Wholeheartedly
To kick off the new year with a positive tone, I attended a four-day meditation retreat at a beautiful lodge in the Cascade Mountains. The first two days were spent in complete silence. We meditated, journaled, read inspiring literature, hiked through the woods, ate meals in silence, and allowed ourselves to focus on what was most important to us.
I had assumed that during the retreat, I would be contemplating my company goals and projects for the year. I was surprised to find that I spent very little time thinking about what we want to accomplish. Instead I was almost entirely focused on how I want the year to unfold.
As I slowed down, I felt a call to love my work and my life - to live wholeheartedly. A phrase that ran through my head was "the four-chambered heart." What could that phrase tell me about living in a more wholehearted way? Not being an expert on anatomy, I searched online and discovered that one chamber receives oxygen-poor blood, another pumps it to the lungs, another receives oxygen-rich blood, and the last pumps it back to the body. My new understanding of the partnership between my lungs and my heart triggered an "aha" moment. I realized that my four-chambered heart allows me to:
Give Love (support and contribute my talents)
Receive Love (ask for and accept support when I need it)
Be Inspired by Love (read inspiring literature that uplifts my thinking)
Rest in Love (take care of myself by resting)
As we embark on 2019, I invite you to ask yourself these wholehearted questions (or ones that resonate with you) as you prepare for a fabulous year.
Give Love:   Am I contributing my talents with passion and love? Am I showing up wholeheartedly for my clients and my family? Is there any area of my life where I'm procrastinating or holding myself back? Do I put aside distractions and focus on people speaking to me? What if I keep a Love List instead of a Task List? Do I apologize when I've unintentionally harmed someone?
Receive Love:  Do I ask for help when I need it? Am I asking for help early enough that people can really collaborate with me? Am I willing to delegate and develop people I work with? Do I accept people's support even though they may do it differently than I would? Do I express my gratitude to those who help me?
Be Inspired by Love:  Do I take time every day to recharge myself? Do I give myself time to meditate? Am I reading inspiring literature for ten minutes every day? Do I seek out good news stories and share them with others? Do I allow creativity to flourish through music, art, and poetry?
Rest in Love:  Do I take time for myself in nature? Do I allow myself down time though it may appear I'm doing nothing productive? Am I getting enough sleep (7 - 9 hours each night)? Do I take a good nap when I need it?
I will be applying these principles to our first webinar of the year on January 30, which I will be facilitating wholeheartedly. Please join me there, to learn more about how to plan and deliver a darn good virtual meeting. The webinar, titled That's Using Your Noggin: Brain-based Principles for Better Virtual Meetings, will be presented live on Wednesday, January 30, 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT.
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Cynthia Clay
Trainer Tips: A Testimonial
There's nothing more gratifying than receiving an appreciation email from a delighted client. I just have to share her comments about our Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification (VFTC) course:
Greetings and happy 2019! It was my privilege to participate last year in your VFTC.
A colleague recommended I attend your "Brain-Based Principles for Maximum Retention" webinar. It was by far the most engaging and effective I had ever experienced. Afterward, I reached out to ask whether you could help me learn some of the many practices that made you such an effective virtual facilitator and signed up for your course. I'm so glad I invested my time, money, and energy to work with [the NetSpeed team] and fellow participants.
For my coursework, I used a module from a program I was developing for a client. The course and learning experience were far from perfect, but knowing that practice makes permanent, I learned a great deal from my first application effort.
Imagine my delight when the same client requested that I create a virtual version of a very successful, four-hour instructor-led program I'd developed on an unrelated topic. And then imagine my horror when I learned their constraints: we had to accommodate up to 250 participants per session, and use their limited web conference license, which included only the ability to show slides, for the facilitator (and no participants) to speak, and for participants to chat. That's right--no breakout rooms, multiple chat pods, Q&A pod, polling, text tools, stampers, or green checks/red x's.
Thanks to the principles you helped me learn and practice, we delivered the course multiple times and reached more than 1,500 people worldwide. It became the highest-rated course the consulting firm had ever delivered for that client (over the course of a 10-year relationship that has included numerous ILT, VILT, and MOOC learning experiences). Here's the best part, and the reason I am so grateful to all of you: The most frequent participant comment on the evaluations was how ENGAGING the sessions were! People remarked again and again how connected they felt to each other and the facilitator.
The project to develop the course was among the most personally challenging in my 30 years as an instructional designer...and also the one of which I am most deeply proud. Please know that you were key to that success.
With sincere gratitude,
A Happy Virtual Learning Professional
One Final Thought

Cynthia Clay's Upcoming Speaking Events
If you are planning to attend an upcoming conference, Cynthia Clay would love to meet you there.

February 6, 2019 (11:30 am)
West Palm Beach, Florida
Achieving Maximum Retention: Brain-based Principles for the Virtual Classroom
Training Magazine Conference

February 25, 2019 (8:00 am)
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Achieving Maximum Retention: Brain-based Principles for the Virtual Classroom

March 15, 2019
Anaheim, California
Captivate and Accelerate: Ensuring Results in the
Virtual Classroom
Upcoming NetSpeed Learning Events
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