A recent trip to see the Blue Man Group inspired so many new ideas! They are masters at creating a super positive environment, filled with opportunities for audience engagement. Near the end of their show, they used an oxytocin meter to judge our enthusiasm. (Oxytocin is a hormone that builds relationships, reduces anxiety and stress, and improves trust.) Whenever the audience yelled out loud, the flashing lights on the meter would get higher and stronger. While I don't have the ability to carry around a huge electronic meter with me, I created a variation to use in reviewing content, whether in-person or virtually.
The meter starts in the red zone. I then ask my participants to share eight things they remember from the session's content. For each share, I progress the slide animation to add another level of color, until we get to the top. If you know that you have five steps in a process you are teaching, you could just have five levels of color. You could also use it immediately after teaching the five steps, then return to it again later in the course to check their recall.
Lots of ideas for improving your virtual training are available in my book, Caffeinated Training Design. These simple, easy to implement strategies will increase engagement during your upcoming meetings and training sessions. Purchase copies for your team today!
We know from dozens of research studies that movement improves learning. The best teachers, trainers and facilitators incorporate it into their lessons, no matter the content or the age of the learners.
If we believe in movement, then why do we believe that it is impossible to have participants move in the virtual arena? It is a myth that movement is not possible! It just takes a bit of creativity and encouragement. Throughout my virtual sessions, I ask learners:
Do you know if your participants are using these gestures or opportunities? If they are not on camera, you won’t know, but you have given them the opportunity and encouragement. If you are on camera (which I recommend) then you can model the behavior. This will boost the likelihood that they will participate.
For something more structured, try a scavenger hunt. Ask participants to get out of their chairs, move around their space and snap a photo of something related to the content. For example, if you are doing a session on effective listening, someone might snap a photo of their ear, a notepad, a book on communication, an open door, a speaker, etc. After taking the photo, Have them email the photo to a designated email account or to a Twitter feed and then share it on your screen.
For more ideas on how to make virtual training highly engaging, check out these simple strategies that you can add to your slide design:
Let's keep our learners awake and engaged without the need for caffeine!
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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