So, what does soccer have to do with virtual training?
1. Participants in your virtual instructor-led training sessions need to feel something!
What they feel is almost entirely up to you. Are you going to show up, fully prepared and ready to deliver the training with energy and passion? Will you make it safe for people to participate fully and share their ideas and opinions? Are there opportunities to create a playful, competitive experience that engages everyone? How can you help them to feel inspired and energized at the end of the virtual training experience?
Our emotional state is hugely important when we put ourselves on camera, ready to explain, motivate, and encourage. Positive emotions result in reciprocal positivity.
2. Practice everything to anchor it in your bones.
In soccer, teams practice what are called “set pieces.” These are opportunities that give the team a chance to score a goal. Corner kicks allow the team to kick the ball into play from a corner of the field near the goal. Free kicks often occur after a foul is called. A skilled team practices moving into a competitive position when the ball is kicked into play.
When we deliver virtual instructor-led training, a “set piece” might be putting participants into breakout rooms. The best virtual production teams practice setting up the breakout room, moving people into the breakout sessions, sending messages to everyone, and bringing everyone safely home without losing anyone in cyberspace. Practicing each step repeatedly before the online learning experience anchors the breakout room process in your bones (your kinesthetic memory).
3. It’s always the first time.
The US lost their quarterfinal game to Canada. Watching their uneven performance, I couldn’t help but wonder if trying to recreate or capture their previous glory as World Cup and Olympic gold medal winners hindered them in their attempt to win gold again.
We do the same thing to ourselves when we deliver a course repeatedly in the virtual classroom. We forget that for our participants, this is the first time they’ve taken the course, and everything is new to them. Great facilitators stop commenting on what past courses have been like and stay in the moment with the current crop of learners. They bring “Beginner’s Mind” to the online synchronous event, expecting to learn a lot from their participants. When facilitating online learning, they co-create the learning experience with their attendees. It feels like the first time for everyone exploring the learning content together.