So what are the possible technical glitches in a virtual session and how to be ahead of them?
Over the last 10 year of delivering virtual training we have noticed that the internet and technology have come a long way. It was only in 2007 that the first iPhone was launched so you can imagine how much tech has come along since then!
And yet still,
According to Cindy Hugget’s 2019 report on the State of Virtual Training 37% of people surveyed still said that technology issues were the biggest challenge to virtual training.
It is true that technology can throw up some fun challenges from time to time but in reality these are much rarer than many people anticipate as the internet becomes more stable and users become more confident.
Having a back up plan in place means these are less likely to interrupt the flow of your great virtual workshops, so
Take a look at our tips to ready for anything and everything
1. Your PC/Surface crashes
Have a back up device ready to go. This could even be a smart phone or tablet. Ideally you may have another laptop running or even a colleague available who could step in to let you use their PC. If you have a co-host, they can step in for you. Consider having a draft email ready to send to your participants re what to do if this happens.
2. Your internet fails
You could have an alternative line to the internet available like 4G tethered to your phone for example. Make sure you are logged in to the virtual platform on your phone or tablet, so you can still be involved via your phone signal. Again, have a colleague as back up.
3. Can’t connect audio/video
If this is a participant struggling, then direct them to the area on your platform where they can check they have the correct audio devices set up and activated (most virtual platforms have this). Log in early yourself to help others if they need it and encourage the participants to log in early too (they can always get logged in and then go and grab a drink). Consider having some sort of help guide or how-to session to introduce participants to teams prior to the session.
Finally, for yourself, have a spare headset handy.
4. Poor internet/bandwidth
This can result in you/participants being thrown out of the session, jumpy visuals, slow slides and audio break-up. One of the easiest ways to improve this is to remove the videos. You can remove everyone else’s but still leave your own up or remove them all. Something else that helps is if you do a restart before you log in to the session. There are often other programmes and updates running in the background that can be using up some of your bandwidth. Also, close any other apps that you don’t need for the session to help with speed.
A Final Tech Hack
A further hack to help with common tech problems is to create a word document which explains to participants how to resolve common problems. You can then cut and paste these responses in to chat, or message them through Teams very quickly without interrupting the session to type your message in the moment.
Some virtual trainers opt to have a ‘producer’ or ‘co-pilot’ on hand to deal with the technology so they can focus on pure facilitation.
This is particularly helpful if you are new to virtual training - one less thing to think about.
The reality is that tech challenges really are minimal these days as the stability of the virtual platforms and the internet improves. Also, participants confidence in using the tech is increasing all the time as they use more and more tech in their own lives.
Having your plan B’s in place means that the technology can only enhance your virtual experience rather than get in the way.