Although face-to-face learning is coming back into our new normal, you still have the option of learning from home if that's where you feel comfortable.
Thanks to virtual training experiences, you don’t need to miss out.
Whether you’re brand new to virtual courses or want to brush up on your skills to gain even more value from your next session, here’s how to get the most out of a virtual training experience.
- Cover the Fundamentals
- Be Timely
- Close Your Email Tab and Other Distractions
- Gain Full Access
- Set Some Goals
- Take Notes and Review Them
Cover the Fundamentals
Don’t let the basics be the reason your virtual training experience isn’t valuable. This includes:
- Sitting somewhere comfortable, especially if it’s a long training session.
- Having the essentials ready, such as pens and a notebook to jot down any key takeaways.
- Wear a headset or sit in a quiet room so you can hear the experts speak.
- Make sure you have a reliable internet connection. There’s nothing worse than cutting off during the important parts and missing out on key learnings because of an unstable connection.
When you’re comfortable and in a quiet space with zero distractions, you can put your full attention on training and focus on your growth.
Although an online training event will have a set time to begin, try and get ready a little earlier. The last thing you want is to sort out all the fundamentals above minutes before training begins as you could miss out on important information.
Whether it’s snacks, a glass of water or anything else you’ll need, have it ready ahead of time. It gives you a chance to identify any technical hitches and problems before the session begins. It also means you have some time spare to either chat to the instructor to help build a rapport or even some of the other attendees from the public sector.
Just like networking can help ease the nerves and make you more comfortable at an in-person training session, giving yourself time to do this will make you feel more comfortable about participating.
Close Your Email Tab and Other Distractions
It’s completely natural to have one eye on your inbox in case anything important pops up. To get the most out of your virtual training experience, close your email any other distracting tabs you have open as they’ll just stop you from getting the most out of the time you’re putting into the training session.
That also goes for your phone. Just like you wouldn’t browse your phone or start checking emails at an in-person training session, put it on silent and remove the distraction. Instead, keep your full focus on the instructor to gain the most value possible.
Gain Full Access
Many free online events don’t offer as much value as they’re less interactive. It could be new for the hosts, especially with the current climate shifting everything to an online environment.
However, if your virtual training experience offers a premium offering, take it. A premium option suggests there’s a good reason why you need to pay. There might be expert speakers offering insight you’d otherwise never have the chance to hear from, you could get lifetime access to recordings, bonus content, further opportunities to network and more.
What’s guaranteed though is you’ll get the most value from it. Check out the reviews, the event’s previous track record and keep in mind the costs are still going to be lower than travelling to an in-person event or conference.
Set Some Goals
Before attending a virtual training session, set yourself on some goals you’d like to achieve. Going in with a positive mindset to learn will keep you more engaged, focused and determined to reach the goals you set out previously. You should already have an agenda of what the training will include, so use it to set personal goals on what you want to achieve by the end of the session.
It can range from learning a certain number of new skills or information, setting a target of people to network with or even how many questions you’ll ask. Having goals beforehand will keep you more motivated to gain as much knowledge as you can and end the session positively.
Take Notes and Review Them
Training sessions can last hours. Sure, you’ll get chances to go take a break, have a little stretch and grab some food, but they can last a while. To get the absolute most value from them, make sure to take notes throughout the day. Anything you find valuable and you want to explore more, note it down and revisit it later.
Without note-taking, you won’t absorb any valuable knowledge and will have wasted time you spent on the training session. Once the event is over, take some time to unwind, but don’t neglect your notes entirely.
As training events or courses can be long, it can be a lot of information to take in at once. If you take notes, you can revisit them and reflect on some key points you’d like to implement for yourself or your team. Without these notes to look back on, you might not remember much of what the instructor highlighted. But with these takeaways jotted down, you can even articulate them back to the rest of your team.
Involvement is vital to getting the most out of your training session. It not only improves your experience but also everybody else in attendance as you may bring up an interesting talk point that helps others. Whether it’s in the chat section or joining the conversation on social media, you can get even more value by participating and talking to others in the public sector.
Networking virtually is easier online than in person as well, especially if you consider yourself an introvert as you don’t have to be as forward as you might in-person when meeting people for the first time. Don’t disengage simply because you’re in an online environment. Interact with everyone, ask useful questions and offer your input where possible to gain the ultimate benefits.
Take a Look at our Upcoming Virtual Training Courses
From advanced Excel training, effectively communicating in a hybrid environment to leadership skills for emerging managers, we have plenty of exciting virtual training experiences coming in the next few months. Head over to our website to see the full range of virtual courses on offer.