Have you got “virtualosity”?

As the world becomes more connected by technology, there is a growing expectation that modern professionals are accessible and responsive. Often, this means stretching boundaries and developing new skills to conduct business with people in far-reaching time zones and geographies.

One of the basic requirements in today’s new connected world is “virtualosity” when it comes to responsiveness and engagement.

For HR, OD, and training professionals, “virtualosity” means acknowledging and meeting the needs of participants who are located across a widely-dispersed network, and using new technology and enhanced instructional design to keep your audience engaged.

Here are seven core skills to help learning professionals jump start their journey to training virtualosity:

  • Set the context—Gain buy-in by explaining how the training is aligned with the organization’s vision, values, and goals. Make it relevant to how it affects each participant’s job, set expectations, and be clear on how the training will actually play out.
  • Know your platform—If your virtual training runs on a Learning Management System (LMS), know your system and its requirements in advance and become thoroughly familiar with your platform.
  • Utilize a technical producer—The producer is the logistical and technical expert who ensures that all platform functionalities and voice connections are working properly to support the success of the session.
  • Use reporting features and analytics—Tracking and analysis tools are vital to measuring progress and results. Measure participants’ completion rates, attrition rates, and comprehension.
  • Think global—If your audience is located in diverse geographical areas, you will need to consider translation capacity, cultural adaptation, and localization of your content as well as scheduling global rollout logistics.
  • Keep participants focused—As Dr. Vicki Halsey, author of the new book Brilliance by Design recommends, deliver engaging content in easy to remember chunks and consider participants’ different learning styles. Keep it interesting, interactive, fast moving, and relevant.
  • Follow up and reinforce training—Provide opportunities for participants to practice new behaviors with peers or mentors before they attempt to use them with direct reports. Allow time for action planning and send email reminders with assignments that reinforce the use the skills and behaviors learned.

Practice Makes Perfect

Engaging design, skillful delivery, and creative reinforcement of learning take on greater importance in today’s wired world. Like all good training experiences, if the basics are done well, the learning journey can be smooth and successful.

PS: To learn more about virtualosity in the training arena, be sure to download the free white paper, Virtualosity for Training Professionals.  And if you’re attending this year’s ASTD Conference in Orlando, Florida next week, be sure to stop by The Ken Blanchard Companies booth to meet Brilliance by Design author Dr. Vicki Halsey. Vicki, together with Ken Blanchard, Chris Edmonds, Jesse Stoner and other Blanchard authors will be conducting a series of in-booth presentations over the entire three day conference. You can access the complete Blanchard booth schedule here and also learn how to obtain a free Expo Hall pass if you, or a friend, would like to attend.

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