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It would be wonderful if every training session we run goes smoothly without any problems but I’m afraid life isn’t like that; however, a little bit of forethought can reduce the impact of ‘things going wrong’ and here are 10 suggestions that I have found to work .

1.Virtual training sessions – loss of your WIFI signal.

Assign a co-host to takeover should your WIFI fail and you drop out. They will need sharing permissions and also the materials on their laptop so that the takeover is as seamless as possible. When your WIFI is restored you can step right back into the session .

2.Virtual training sessions – Noise in the background

Ask the attendees to go on ‘mute’ so that any noise in their background will not be heard by everyone else. When they want to participate in discussions they can always ‘unmute’ themselves. Although this has given rise to one of the most common phases said online “Can you hear me?”

3.Virtual training sessions – Being bombarded by lots of questions from participants

If your virtual meeting platform has a message/chat facility instruct attendees to write their questions in there rather than voice them out loud. As part of the co-hosts responsibilities you can place them in charge of the questions coming through and at an agreed time during the session -ask them to present the unanswered questions on behalf of the people attending. If you have 2 screens it is a good idea to move the chat onto the other screen allowing you to keep track of the comments without interrupting screen sharing.

4.Virtual training sessions – Participants not printing out handouts in advance of the meeting.

Most virtual meeting platforms allow you to attach documents to chat facility and even if that is not available your co-host could email them to attendees on your behalf during the meeting. Alternatively, while the attendees are taking a break you can send the handouts to them then.

5.Virtual training sessions – Participants becoming distracted by emails etc.

If you design your training for participation and interaction you will reduce the chance of your learners becoming disengaged. As a general rule of thumb involve them every 5 minutes by asking questions and using tools like whiteboards, Break-out rooms, Polls, discussions on chat, writing on handouts or on your slides.

6.Face to Face Training and Virtual training sessions – late arrivals

Don’t be judgemental unexpected delays can happen to anyone. Calmly welcome them to the session and at earliest opportunity have a one to one conversation with them to bring them up to speed perhaps during syndicate work or break-out sessions. In physical training rooms always arrange for extra chairs and places to available to accommodate for latecomers.

For virtual training should you have a waiting room function, remember that the late comers could be interrupting the screen your sharing with notifications. If you have 2 screens then it is useful to move these onto the other screen, or to try and answer them as soon as you can.

7.Face to Face Training and Virtual training sessions – Equipment malfunctions.

Prior practise and preparation can go a long way in avoiding equipment failures however murphy’s law means that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, so have backups such as spare projector bulbs or using your smart phone to run the meeting as an emergency replacement of your laptop. As a back up to WIFI going down you can use 4G from your smartphone to run the meeting (but be aware this can use a lot of data allowance).

8.Face to Face training and Virtual training sessions-Participants not knowing each other and or forgetting each other’s name.

This is less of a problem on online sessions as the attendee’s names are can displayed on screen but if there is time include brief introductions. This enables people to introduce themselves and indicate how their names are correctly pronounced.

In the physical training include introduction sessions and issue name tags and name plates. Encourage names to be written on both sides of the name plate as this allows people to the side to see the name not just the others facing the name plate.

9.Face to Face training- Temperature of the room either too hot or cold.

As part of your preparation establish where the heating or a/c controls are and how to adjust them. Take your cues from the audience they will probably be sitting down and less active than the trainer and are likely to feel cold more (I always feel warmer than the participants as I move about the training room a lot).  In times where heating or a/c is ineffective take more breaks and consider supplying more hot or cold drinks and do you very best to set up some extra heaters.

10.Face to Face training- Gathering people back from breaks on time.

The phrase ‘it can be easier to herd kittens’ comes to mind when trying to gather learners back together.

Firstly, allow for this when planning the training a 15-minute break taken in another room will take at least 5 minutes to get to the room and at least another 5 minutes to get back and probably another 5 minutes on top of that. So, better to  allow for 30 minutes not 15.

Secondly, giving clear instructions and plenty of other breaks will help with the issue of participants simply wandering off.

Thirdly Setting up timers can also help as can peer pressure -when other participants realise that delays mean that the course will finish later they will naturally encourage others to be on time.

What other ideas do you have I would love to hear your view? Or are you new to training and what know how to be more effective either online or in the physical training? Why not give me a call and book a free 20minute chat with me?

Hope to speak to you soon­