5 tips to design impactful virtual training sessions
January 24, 2023
Training internal teams or clients on new ways of working is no easy feat, especially when folks aren’t all in the same room. But while virtual collaboration introduces some challenges, it also unlocks opportunities to make your training sessions even more engaging and impactful.
Agnieszka “Aga” Balcerek is a manager and solution strategist on PwC’s EMEA Advisory Learning and Development team. Recently, Aga joined a webinar with Mural’s chief evangelist, Jim Kalbach, to share her experience with switching from a traditional classroom environment to virtual learning.
“Before COVID, my team was responsible for face-to-face learning,” Aga explained. “Imagine this moment when we all understood that face-to-face was no longer an option.”
Aga and her team needed to adapt quickly without compromising the quality of their trainings. They began searching for the right technology to support their online training sessions. As Aga put it, they needed “a platform that will almost mimic a physical classroom, where the full training flow can be visually represented. Where we can build a space for participants to collaborate.”
“We tried a lot of different tools [and] platforms,” she explained. “Mural was the first platform that solved the challenges we faced … We managed to simplify the learning experience not only for our participants, but also for all the people who are involved in the [course] design process and also for the … trainers.” In fact, they reduced the number of tools they needed to deliver a session from six to two: Mural and a video conferencing platform.
Watch the webinar below or read on to learn more about Aga’s experience, including her top five tips for designing and delivering excellent training sessions. You don’t need to be a Mural member to get value from the webinar, but Aga does share her favorite Mural features and templates for those who do use Mural to collaborate.
Tip #1: Use pre-work to introduce new technology
Aga and her team at PwC use Mural to design and facilitate online training sessions. But no matter what technology you use, it’s helpful to make sure everyone understands how to use it before the session gets started. That way, you can make the most of your time together — something that’s especially important for remote or hybrid teams who are distributed across different time zones.
“This is a game-changer,” said Aga. “Your participants will appear in the training already knowing how to organize themselves in the new platform.”
It takes a team to develop and deliver excellent workshops and trainings. Make sure you collaborate with the right people to bring yours to life.
As a facilitator and trainer, Aga always works with a producer who manages the technical aspects of session preparation and delivery. The producer can help manage the session behind the scenes and troubleshoot if necessary. Depending on the size of your audience, you may also need one or more co-facilitators — especially if you plan to use breakout rooms.
Tip #3: Keep the session flow simple
Designing a well-structured session is important in any environment, but especially in a virtual one. When participants are joining remotely, it may be easier for them to get distracted, lost, or confused. Whenever possible, keep everything in one mural whiteboard, slide deck, or document. Use visuals to demarcate key points in the session, and use clear way-finders to help everyone stay on track.
“Organize the session flow in a way that every single step is separated,” Aga said. “You can use arrows, you can use numbers, and most of all, you can use [the] outline feature.” Mural’s outline feature allows you to organize your content and make everything easy to find. You can turn your outline into a table of contents, an agenda, or step-by-step instructions.
Tip #4: Make the most of Mural’s features
The outline isn’t the only Mural feature that Aga uses to make her training sessions engaging and impactful. During the webinar, she gave a shoutout to features like:
⏳ Timer to keep the session on track and timebox activities
🔐 Lock to keep participants from accidentally editing the mural
🎉 Celebrate to rain a shower of virtual confetti down on your mural
“I'm happy to happy to say that with Mural, our virtual training started to feel smooth and pleasant again.” – Agnieszka Balcerek, Manager & Solution Strategist, PwC
Tip #5: Keep participants engaged with warmups, icebreakers, and energizers
Online warmups and icebreakers are short exercises performed at the beginning of a meeting, while energizers can happen whenever the session needs a break or an energy boost.
“When you are organizing the full session flow in the mural board, you can definitely build in the energizer activity,” said Aga. There’s no need to create something new — Aga recommends using activities from Mural’s template library.
Watch the recorded webinar with Agnieszka Balcerek and Jim Kalbach to learn more about facilitating virtual training sessions for your clients or colleagues.
About the authors
About the authors
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Shauna Ward is a senior content marketing manager at MURAL. As a former remote work skeptic, she enjoys creating resources that help hybrid and distributed teams make collaboration fun, easy, and effective.