The pandemic has forced the world to transit instantaneously from “well-known” on-site engagements to more “abstract” virtual meetings and online workshops.
Everyone’s routine and experience of communication, learning, collaboration, etc. has changed over the last weeks. Online is now everywhere.
Humanitas EDU responded immediately and transformed its activities overnight into the virtual space.
Within weeks, we developed new virtual products, hosted online workshops and webinars, all while supporting our opinion leaders in becoming web experts and utilizing simulation based activities to educate online.
We want to share our experience by providing our top six lesson learnt on how to transit smoothly from the physical to the virtual space.
1. Involve the audience
You will get the highest engagement of your audience if they feel involved within the first 5 minutes. Ask questions, directed to the general audience or the individual participant (depends on the group size and familiarity within the group – limit individual questions to small workshop groups, as no one should feel “put on the spot” or feel embarrassed in front of a big group). Involvement tools include surveys, polls, open questions etc. – but should be at least twice within the first 10 minutes. This will ensure everyone is alert about being an active part of the conversation, and knows there may be another questions coming up soon…
2. Change the scene
Your biggest competitor is e-mail or other online activities. Make sure to included continuous changes within the presentation to avoid boredom: interchange between the speakers; play with the tone of your voice; convert suddenly the background picture to a flashy new pic, introduce visual and/or audio effects (music, video, etc.)
3. Limit your main messages
And make them useful for your audience. Always think about the need and expectations of your audience and not you personal benefits in delivering a virtual workshop or webinar. Ask them about personal experience about the topic.
4. Look into my eyes!
A presenter must look in the camera, and not to the screen. Each person wants to feel important and wants to feel “seen”. Looking in the camera will provide the audience a feeling of being close to the presenter and increases engagment.
5. Carefully allocate tasks and define limits
Use an engineer for all upcoming technical aspects and a moderator to explain the rules, to filter incoming questions, to announce timelines incl. café breaks, and to be a general support for the main speaker. This will permit the speaker to focus on the actual main task – teaching great content to the audience.
6. Use storytelling
Envolve your audience with a personal story, so they can relate on an emotional level and immediately connect the content to real life experience and challenges.
All this contibutes to a personalised and transformative virtual 360° experience. For more information on our courses and on collaborative projects, visit humanitasedu.it or contact our team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.