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Creating an online course? Here’s what you need to know - Part IV

Beta Testing

 

Hurrah! Your online course is complete!

 

So, now what?

 

The first thing to do once you have a completed course framework is to make sure that it all works and flows properly.  When it comes to online courses, you’re not only looking to make sure that it actually works, (the technology and software are functioning as desired), but you will also want to make sure that the content flows properly, makes sense to your target audience and yields the results you had intended and are promoting.

 

Although it can be tempting to launch right away, the benefits to testing before launch are plentiful and should be thoroughly considered.  

 

These include:

 

  • The ability to understand how the flow of the course will work in real-time
  • Seeing and reacting to actual results and transformations within your students
  • Collecting testimonials or case studies suitable for launch and promotional messaging
  • Understanding the degree of...
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Creating an Online Course? Here's What you Need to Know - Part III

Part III - Production

In this third installment of our Creating an Online Course series, we’re going to be chatting all about the best practices for producing your content and then in Part IV, we will discuss how to incorporate beta testing models to ensure your course runs smoothly when it’s time to launch! 

If you haven’t yet read Part I and Part II of this series, we highly recommend going back and getting those under your belt first so the tips and tricks we chat about in this article make more sense.

Let’s hop right in!

So now that you’ve put all of the content together in a manner that flows properly and meets your learning outcomes, it is time to film, record, and edit your online course.

For many, this is the most intimidating phase of online course development. Depending on the nature of your course, this may include getting in front of the camera, which can be daunting for many.  

 

Before we get to filming though, let’s...

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7 Tactics to Building Audience Engagement into your Online Presentation

If you’ve worked with us in the past, you’ve likely heard us mention the WOSLIE Way. If you haven’t, you’re probably wondering what it is.

WOSLIE is an acronym for six critical strategies for activating audience engagement during your presentations - whether they are online, in person, or a hybrid of both. While shiftED formulated the strategies, it is up to the presenter to determine how best to implement them, based on their audience, their content, their comfort and experience level, and other important factors. After we introduce these principles during our workshops and courses, we discuss practical applications for incorporating them based on specific participant scenarios. We believe there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to presenting, and take a heuristic view with our training and coaching. Because most of our workshop and 1:1 coaching clients have been primarily online for the past two years, the conversations have been dominated by...

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7 Misconceptions about Online Presenting

The virtual learning industry is on a variable upswing.  This isn’t surprising given the push to make everything more accessible as we face year three of this global pandemic.  Everything from youth dance classes to group support programs have migrated to the virtual landscape and it has created a much more level playing field for virtual learning and professional expansion.

With increasingly user-friendly platforms, minimal tech setups and a much more educated and accessible audience, the move to online course creation is a buzz with activity.  We have noticed this trend making waves with our senior executives as they look for ways to expand their offerings or round out their careers with a legacy-inducing bang.

However, with development and expansion also comes doubt and trepidation. We often hear from our participants that moving into the virtual learning space is intimidating and seems unrealistic, but that’s simply not true. That’s why...

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​​New Year, New You?

This trope has likely come up in subject lines and web searches time and time again over the last few weeks urging you to become a better version of yourself now that we’ve approached a new year.

This never really made sense to us, because, often at the beginning of a new year we’re recovering from a busy holiday season, the days are short, and, honestly, our capacity for change is minimal.  That’s why we don’t typically recommend resolutions and heavy goal setting first thing.  However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be thinking about the year ahead and how you might want to maximize it.

More and more, as we chat with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who are tired of the status quo, we have realized that they’re looking for more, but just aren’t sure how to get there.  If 2022 has presented you with this unique challenge and it feels scary and uncomfortable, yet oddly exciting, then you’re likely on the right...

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How to Build Credibility and Trust as a Virtual Speaker

Building credibility and trust as a speaker is a lot more involved than simply including your credentials on your opening slide.

There is a science to earning respect with an audience and a few key steps to get you there:

  1. Arrive early - Greet your audience as openly as you would in person. Hiding behind slides and not being visible is ill-advised. Instead, turn on your webcam and be ready to present before your audience joins the virtual meeting room. 

  2. Lead with something relatable - a story or scenario that you have experienced that lets your audience know you have been where they are. This lets them know that you are a trusted advisor that can get them where they want to go.

  3. Give them something first - Before you ask them to trust you, give them something of value, determine what is keeping them up at night and let them know how you can solve that problem.

  4. Provide solutions - It’s one thing to identify the problem, but unless you’re giving proven solutions, it...
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Embedding YouTube Videos in PowerPoint? Nope!

Perhaps you are preparing to present to your board of directors and found a compelling video to illustrate your point. Or maybe you are readying for a job interview and want to impress your interviewers with a catchy clip that would leave them smiling. Or, you're ramping up an opening keynote for a conference with an anticipated audience of a thousand people and found the sounds of a groovy avant-garde ensemble for energizing the crowd.

Plan A.

You know your stuff. You create a slick slide deck, add the video, and then test it in presenter mode. Bingo. The video plays at the exact moment you expect. You then practice the slide show dozens of times in advance of the big day, nailing the timing and your content precisely during your final runthroughs.

Now, it's game day. You're in the spotlight. You're rockin' the podium. You have your audience fully engaged, nodding heads, leaning forward, inquisitive brows - energized participants anticipating your next move and hanging on to your...

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Viva La PowerPoint!

Last week, a subject matter expert in the marketing and social media industry asked for my advice on presentation software for a course they are developing. They were hesitant about using Microsoft’s PowerPoint application and were looking for alternatives, having heard about the phenomenon commonly known as Death by PowerPoint.

To be sure, there are alternatives.

And concerns about this horrible affliction are valid. Many of us have fallen victim to the condition.

There are countless articles and online commentary, books, even comedic videos and cartoon depictions for the ghastly ennui that plagues so many seminars.

Presentation decks with text-heavy slides and the ineffective use of display settings, animations, and transitions, paired with a facilitator who then feels obliged to read each slide, word for word, can elicit participant boredom and downright disengagement.

But PowerPoint doesn’t have to be a ‘death’ sentence.

In fact, I love it....

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