Even the best material loses its power with a bad delivery. A good joke can fall flat, a beautiful song can fail to inspire, and a strong script can lose its clout in inexperienced, incapable hands. Why, then, would you entrust your virtual training material to an inexperienced, underprepared or untrained trainer? Doing so would be akin to asking your 6 year-old nephew who’s afraid of dogs to train your new puppy.
Virtual learning is a relatively new concept. It was only starting to put out feelers and gain a little momentum when the worldwide pandemic catapulted it to the forefront of business training strategies. Now, virtual instructor-led training (VILT) is the modus operandi for large and small businesses alike.
Thankfully, platforms like Jigsaw Interactive have enabled corporations to switch to a virtual learning environment from face-to-face settings while upholding a dynamic social learning culture, maintaining activity-based learning, and saving time and money. (Experts say that companies can save between $9,550 and $15,870 by moving one course from a traditional classroom to VILT.)
Don’t throw those kinds of benefits away by failing to entrust your material to the trained presenters. Otherwise, your best intentions and materials will get lost in translation. In other words, don’t underestimate the importance of training the trainer. Your trainers need to master not only the technology but also the skills of effective virtual training to engage your employees and give them the empowered learning experience that will make them your best assets.
Technology is at the very heart of virtual training. Companies can leverage it to deliver the primary content, extend or enhance that content, collect key training analytics, assess learning, facilitate discussion, gamify instructional points, and provide almost unlimited training accessibility, among other key objectives.
How well virtual training succeeds at the above objectives, however, rests as squarely on the shoulders of the trainers as it does on the technology. As intuitive as the tools may be, they are powerless in the hands of people who don’t know how to use them. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: even the best material loses its power with a bad delivery. Training is wasted because employees lose focus when the trainer is struggling with the technology or doesn’t understand how to effectively train in a virtual environment.
Many of the proficiencies an expert virtual trainer needs are the same as a face-to-face trainer needs —namely, a dynamic personality, extensive subject knowledge, time-management skills, and clarity of expression. However, some of the inherent differences in the two types of training require virtual trainers to develop further competencies:
- Creating a comfortable learning environment for online learners
- Polishing a camera-friendly demeanor
- Developing virtual methods of engagement
Your company can avoid all of the abovementioned problems, nurture the requisite skills, and deliver world-class virtual training by adequately training your trainers, allowing them sufficient practice time and making sure they have the very best tools at their fingertips.