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...
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...
All too often, online presenters are in a one-way conversation during which they push out a bunch of information to a group of silent audience members. This can happen when presenters experience internal and external barriers, such as self-confidence and familiarity with the technology.
The good news is, there are a host of practical strategies that are quick and easy to incorporate in your next presentation.
When I teach my Online Presentation Secrets workshops, I share the WOSLIE Way, shiftED’s methodology for activating audience engagement. When I coach individual clients, we peel back the layers to get to the root of their barriers and then we work together to determine specific WOSLIE tactics to incorporate in their presentations, based on their audience and their objectives...and their comfort level.
WOSLIE is uncomplicated, but it can be as nuanced as your experience warrants with literally...
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:
Something’s been bothering me, weighing heavy on my heart and mind. If you know me well, you likely already know that I cry at commercials and feel intense empathy when in conversation with another human. I’m instantly joyous with you, yet easily moved to tears…even during a presentation, which happened recently.
During my workshops, we often discuss presenters and their ability to connect with their audience. We talk about strategies for building relationships with our audience.
As presenters, some are quite naturally able to connect with audiences. They bring passion, they seek to understand, they aim to help. I’ve seen shiftED alum and some of you present to audiences, and I’ve witnessed time and again how you connect with your audiences of one or many, in person or online.
I observe and I learn. Always. Wanting to do better.
A perpetual student.
The participant who welled up my eyes this past week pointed to the one-on-one conversation we...
It’s that time of year during which we experience an increase in social gatherings for comrades, colleagues, and clients. For those organizing or hosting holiday parties, there is an added responsibility of speaking at these events to, for example, welcome partygoers or introduce the entertainment.
Whether you are speaking at a formal event or a casual get-together, here are a few practical tips for rockin’ the mic:
Sometimes I have the pleasure of coaching a client who is absolutely paralyzed at the thought of public speaking. Don’t get me wrong, I do not get pleasure from their paralysis; rather, I enjoy helping them work through their roadblocks and witnessing their transformations into more confident speakers.
It is excruciatingly difficult for some to consider stepping into the spotlight. The sweaty palms, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dry mouth, and sheer terror can be debilitating.
What advice do I give them?
First, I don’t give any. I listen.
I ask questions. I enquire about their potential audience, their content, their expertise. I try to understand their concerns, their fears, their past experiences. I ask for clarity on their goals, their aspirations.
I ask them to explain what success looks like. I want to know what being a confident speaker means to them.
Before I can help someone prepare for an upcoming presentation, whether they have a date and...
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.
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...
In a previous blog post, I talked about a few planning and design strategies for optimizing the online learning experience. Following that, I received emails and direct messages from people who were either considering implementing an online program or had done so and wanted to refine their process.
Some asked about maximizing engagement and minimizing their audience’s tendency for multi-tasking. Others challenged my best practices (which I love, by the way), suggesting they wouldn’t work with their particular audiences – my reaction is, consistently, “you know your audience better than I do, but let’s hold off on saying it won’t work until after you’ve tried it, okay?”
Fact is, some strategies will work better with certain audiences. There are differences with respect to facilitating an online workshop for a small internal team in comparison with a public webinar. What I mean by that is, let’s say you are talking...
If you are a subject matter expert with an audience, you already know that engaging with the people in front of you is a critical part of the social learning experience. And if you are teaching others, this engagement also serves to increase retention rates for your participants.
While there are bucketloads of methods for inviting participation, your options and choice will often depend on the size of your group, the purpose of your presentation, the audience composition, the time allotted, and your venue, to name a few. For example, if your presentation is in a large theatre or auditorium with an audience of 300 and you have been offered 10 minutes on stage, you wouldn’t necessarily opt for audience engagement that involves moving about the room – theatre-style row seating and the timing do not lend themselves well for that freedom of movement, although it can certainly be done.
But what if bums are firmly planted?
Does that mean you can’t engage the...