I interview Ian Spandow, who is the Global Field Readiness trainer for Walkme.com. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, he’s an all-round master trainer with a special skill in making online meetings FUN!
Fun fact: Ian has adopted over 100 dogs and is an avid music player.
In this interview, he discusses his approach to online training and shares his tips on how to improve your online meetings.
When it comes to online meetings and other virtual engagements, trust plays a huge role, more so than if you were to have a face-to-face meeting. The COVID 19 pandemic has thrust many an unsuspecting doe-eyed victim in front of their webcams wondering how in the world can we improve this experience?
Ian Spandow, Global Field Readiness trainer for Walkme.com, has had his fair share of online training sessions and he shares his take on how to improve them. He delves into dialling up trust and provides some tips on how to improve your online training sessions and online meetings and make them more FUN!
Be disarmingly honest
The truth is always easy to remember. In an early interaction, tell people the challenges or concerns that you have for instance, so that they see not just the bright side of it, but they also see that there are challenges too, so it appears more realistic. Get those realities out upfront, this also prevents them stumbling into them awkwardly later.
He or she who asks the questions controls the interaction. If you’re always answering questions, then you’re not learning anything – Somebody else is. You’re not in control of the meeting, you’re actually just responding to the questions you’re being asked, in which case you don’t necessarily get a chance to show my own curiosity or personality.
If you ask questions about the things that the other person is interested in and that are appropriate to them and that are relevant to them, that tends to build trust, so you’ll also need to listen keenly to what they say about their interests.
Be 100% authentic
Not everybody is going to like you. Not everyone is going to be your best friend or work colleague and not everyone is going to be a customer, but most people respect authenticity. That is all.
Once you’ve got those juicy bits of advice down, you’re just about ready to jump into your next online meeting with confidence, but before you go, here are some of Ian’s ninja tips that can make you a better communicator.
How to be a better communicator in online meetings:
Make eye contact
In a virtual meeting, make sure you’re not silhouetted next to or in front of a window, people need to be able to see your face. Once you’re certain you’re well-lit and your face is visible, be sure to make lots of eye contact.
When someone’s not even looking directly into their camera when they’re speaking to you and they’ve got their head pointed in a different direction, it can make you feel very dissociated, so this is something you’ll definitely want to avoid.
Audio is so important. Some people are just using their laptop microphones or inexpensive little headphones. Audio isn’t always perfect over the internet so invest in a good quality headset. Test your audio and speak nice and clearly and openly into the microphone so there’s less mumbling and disturbance.
How to make online training sessions & virtual conference more FUN:
When you’re dealing with a group of people such as in an online training session or a virtual conference, get people engaged by introducing innovative and fun things that involve a lot of physical activity.
Most of us sit at a desk for most of the day, even when we’re in meeting rooms or even in a training room, we tend to be seated, so a good way to get people involved is to get them up and moving, this should work equally well in a virtual setting.
Encourage a lot of physical standup motion activity to really grab those kinesthetic learners, those people who like doing things rather than watching or listening to things. This will ensure everyone’s feeling alive and ready to tackle the meeting or online training session head-on!