Hello Roger and thank you for an awesome presentation. I’ve heard you present before and believe you have improved, if I must honestly say so (although I thought you were awesome before). 🙂 I did submit a question that could not get answered during or after the presentation that I would appreciate if you could offer some suggestions.
I am responsible for the training of our applicant tracking system. Users are within several locations around the US. I get frustrated sometimes if there are no questions or comments; however my husband says that means I have thoroughly explained the process. How would you suggest keeping people engaged during a technical training?
I am showing users how to properly use the system and am not using slides. There are usually anywhere from 10 to 15 users on a session, so I recommend that they ask questions directly to me when they don’t understand something, and not wait until the end of the presentation. I do not use Q&A, chat or polling since I am not using slides. I currently conduct training anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2 hours depending on the audience that I am training. I will be modifying that to smaller “lunch and learn” type sessions where I present one particular topic of instruction instead of the entire system.
– Alfreda, HR Applicant Tracking System Specialist
Alfreda, I’m happy to address this for you. Here are a few thoughts, in no particular order.
First, your husband’s answer may be correct, but I’m thinking you could also use a little additional insight from your trainees. Since I’m not having an ongoing discussion with you where I’d dive in more deeply, let me pose and answer a few questions.
What is their experience with the system you’re training them on?
If the answer is ‘little or none,’ then what you’re doing probably makes perfect sense. The challenge with someone brand new to something is that they don’t have any questions because they have no context. They don’t have questions because they don’t know what to ask.
I’d use registration or polling to find out where they’re at. During registration ask a freeform question (or more than one) like “what do you like best/worst about the system?” “What would you most like to learn…?” “Do you have any questions that I can make sure to answer during the session?” Their answers will give you insight into where they’re at.
Why not go back and forth between live screen demo and a screen where you can use chat/polling?
You don’t mention which web conferencing solution you’re using, but obviously you can’t use chat/polling etc. when doing a live demo, but you could go back and forth.
What happens when you ask a live audio question?
With 10-15 people on the phone conference, managing questions live should be manageable. And as you evolve to smaller groups, it’s even easier.
What about stories?
Whether a full case study or simply a manufactured scenario, illustrations help even experienced trainees think through a problem as they learn, assess, synthesize, and apply.
And then go beyond stories to application…
Once they’ve got a certain set of “building block” ideas, consider presenting them a situation or problem that asks, in essence, “how would you solve it?” Just like live classrooms, there will be some eager beavers who always want to answer, some who never want to answer, etc. Taking this to the next step might involve thinking through how to (appropriately) call on individuals, assign a problem that each. Depending on your web conferencing platform, you might consider even allowing them to pair up (via private chat or…) to collaborate on the problem and solution.
As you think though these challenges, if you have something to add or clarify, I’ll dial in my assistance more specifically.