Deepening Virtual Communication Skills
Effective and productive virtual communication skills are no longer optional. Our virtual learning opportunities provide participants with a highly interactive workshop experience where critical areas of virtual communication are honed and developed, such as collaboration and daily communication. Team members often rely on emails, chats, and video conferences to keep in touch. How effectively they communicate across various virtual tools makes a big difference to the results that individuals’ teams and organizations can make.
We can customize our group programs and workshops in any helpful way, such as duration and content. Individual coaching sessions are also available for any of the training modules below. The 1:1 format allows for rapid targeted progress.
Our clients tell us that our informative, practical, customized, and interactive training programs provide t with a benchmark for the most current best practices in virtual communication. With over 56 years of experience, we understand what organizations need for communication successes. Participants will leave with increased confidence in their ability to communicate effectively in a virtual environment.
Lessons Learned In Moving Coaching and Training Online
In March 2020, the world went virtual. While Virtual Learning and Development were not new concepts, the dynamics of what works and what doesn't work began to evolve. Throughout the remainder of 2020, the Speech Improvement Company worked together to translate and unveil newly designed virtual training programs.
Through our research, study, deliberation, and feedback from working with thousands of clients in 2020, our team of highly educated and trained speech coaches developed a new suite of offerings focused on essential Virtual Communication Skills, delivered in virtual settings for groups or individuals.
These training adaptations are vital because research shows that learning and development may become even more strategically important to organizations after the pandemic. A May survey by LinkedIn Learning found that 74 percent of global respondents believe building new skills is the most critical part of rebuilding organizations for the post-COVID-19 world. Some 66 percent of those respondents said their learning function has emerged as a more strategic part of their organizations during the pandemic.
The three lessons below have formed the foundation of our newly designed communication offerings into the most effective, engaging, and productive use of online executive learning and development.
- Break up learning content.
Learning retention and application often improves when content is broken up into parts and spread over time. The goal should be for participants to spend a few hours a week for multiple weeks on content. The idea is to pull together different strategies, breakout activities, and use other virtual modalities to effectively and interactively deliver content.
The most potent virtual learning experiences are those that springboard participants back into their real-world work. Our coaches are diligent in helping clients understand a visible connection back to the work and a pathway to apply this knowledge towards tangible behavior change. Here's what we know: We don't need more content; we need context. Also, we understand that employees sitting for extended lengths of time affects the ability to focus and develop skills. As a result, we've broken our one and two-day workshops into a series, 90 minutes or up to 3-hour segments. This virtual series format offers deeper learning and stronger bonding between cohort members.
- Group sizes for training should be limited to 12 or less.
While technology can accommodate the masses, as you move into groups larger than 12, the open discussion becomes difficult, and the coach's ability to read faces on the screen is diminished. Even with breakout groups, we've found the quality of the experience significantly decreases if there are too many groups. While this may be true even before virtual, this more intimate group size is wildly exaggerated in a virtual setting. The coaches will ask you to Stand and Deliver, Interact, Engage, Practice, Give Peer Feedback, Receive Personalized Coach Feedback, and Receive Large Group Feedback. We do this best in small groups.
Our smaller virtual group training also provides Authentic Connection. The best virtual training coaches are intentional about creating space within the online learning environment to foster a real connection between participants and facilitators. A Human-centered design is essential to us, and we use technology to our advantage to "reach through the screen" more efficiently. We always make time before and after modules to answer questions and offer additional resources.
- Customize a Practical Application.
No gimmicks. Our clients demand deliberate training design. For a virtual program to succeed, it needs to be rooted in experience. As the oldest coaching firm in the nation, we've successfully mastered how to translate the anatomy of a learning experience into an online learning space. Everything – from the amount of text we share on-screen to the length and timing of each module of the content – is informed by our research on optimal learning and information retention.
With high screen fatigue rates, some training organizations have been impulsively jumping into gimmicks like pointless surveys and ice breaker games to keep meetings interactive. We've found surveys can be an interactive tool but will neither compensate for a poor organization nor a predictable content.
Participants in online coaching and training are often practicing new behaviors in the same environment where they will be implementing them, such as a learning how to manage teams remotely, while using Zoom to conduct the training. With the practice field adjacent to the playing field, executives can easily envision how these new behaviors will manifest in their daily work, quickly embed reminders, access resources, and create other prompts to keep new learnings top-of-mind. And of course, our coaches remain longtime trusted advisors to all our clients for decades, and that relationship is of great value to us.
Strengthening Virtual Presentation Skills
Our most popular program is our 12-hour Strengthening Virtual Presentation Skills program. This program is customized to our client's needs, challenges, and unique culture. Our white-glove approach to this training program is what sets us apart from other coaching firms. We customize all content around your organization and attendees, and you choose the format that works best, from eight 90-minutes sessions to four 3-hour sessions. Our administrative team will handle all logistics, zoom links, commutation, virtual handouts, and reminders. All we ask of our clients is to show up.
This program is a combination of training, teaching, coaching, and practice. The coach working with the group will use a mixture of teaching/presenting methods to ensure maximum learning, including demonstration, discussion, small and full group exercises, constant feedback, coaching, and virtual support materials. We offer this program through Zoom and can also provide the program on your organization’s preferred video platform, such as Teams, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, WebEx, Google Hangouts, or Slack.
Presenting in a clear, comfortable, and concise manner is a critical skill for any organization’s members. Presenting ideas to people in the same room or across the globe should be done with impact and clarity. Date-heavy, scientific, or technical information can make it difficult at times to remain engaging. Getting in the weeds, nerves, or a lack of preparation can make it hard to be influential or persuasive. This 12-hour training program will teach participants best practices in human communication and presentation and allow for practice and asking questions to master their presentation and communication skills. Participants will also learn how to present with confidence and clarity in any setting.
Participants will be invited to bring their unique concerns to each session. Also, we may cover the following:
• Speaking clearly
• Connecting with listeners
• Being persuasive
• Building relationships in a cross-cultural setting
• Controlling nervousness
• Non-verbal communication
• Presenting in various environments (Virtual vs. face to face)
• Working with visual aids such as PowerPoint
• Handling interruptions
• Being concise
• Engaging listeners
• Balancing human and business at meetings