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How to Leverage the Power of the Virtual Guest Speaker

MicroTek’s Mike Brennan, Director of Business Development, EMEA, offers unique insights into the power of hybrid learning—the integration of virtual and live classroom learning—and how it opens new possibilities for training.

Over the past 12 to 18 months, training organisations have started to transition certain areas (or the entirety) of their course curriculum to a hybrid learning model. Hybrid learning solutions delivered as a fully-managed service are especially effective at streamlining these transitions and accelerating the benefits that they provide.

Virtual training solutions come in all shapes and sizes—from the simplistic video conferencing programs to live instructor-led, classroom-integrated virutal environments. As the video below demonstrates, MicroTek's Virtual Training Room is a good example of this collaborative environment. 

The Power of Hybrid

Effective hybrid learning, which allows remote participants to truly engage and interact equally with the classroom-based instructor and delegates, solves common challenges that training organisations are facing today, including:

  • Cancellations: Nobody wins when courses are cancelled. It is an inconvenience for the participants who had registered and it delays time to market for the product(s) behind the training. A successful implementation of hybrid learning significantly decreases the risk of cancellations, as the simple addition of one or two remote participants can transform the profitability of that session.
  • Increase Market Reach: Hybrid learning simplifies the extension of your training into new markets that originally could not be entered without a significant investment. Smaller markets that may not have justified dedicated sessions can now be reached with existing training resources.

On their own, solving these dilemmas for training organisations is sufficient evidence to illustrate the value of hybrid learning. The good news is… there is more. Hybrid learning unlocks new possibilities to enrich the content and delivery of your courseware that cannot be practically accomplished in a classroom-only environment. The remote aspect of the hybrid solution is the key.

The Virtual Guest Speaker

The ability for remote participants to effectively join and interact with the instructor/other classmates opens up a whole world of virtual guest speaker possibilities. By removing obstacles, such as geography, travel time, and costs, anyone could participate in your hybrid learning session, enhancing the material that is being delivered.

Consider these possibilities for a virtual guest:

  • Remote Executive Introduction: A senior executive of the organisation of which delegates are about to spend five days learning about their product, could welcome the participants on the first day and thank them for investing their time. This would only take a few minutes of his/her day, but the impact is powerful.
  • Remote Subject Matter Expertise: Invite particular skillsets, whether these are product- or industry-specific, into your teaching session to reinforce course components. This allows trainees to ask real-world questions to someone with practical experience.
  • Remote Co-Presenter: Sharing the presentation duties, even for only one module, is an effective way of keeping the delivery fresh, which helps maintain delegate attentiveness. The fact that this person can now be remote offers many more co-presenter options for consideration.

These three examples only scratch the surface of the positive influence that a virtual guest speaker can bring to your learning session. When planning your course, with hybrid learning delivery in mind, consider the content and the audience, then decide who could help make that course more memorable and the message impactful. The power of a virtual guest speaker will bring increased credibility to your training curriculum and improve the experience for your delegates.

With the rapidly-expanding demands of virtual training solutions into the UK market, I have personally witnessed training programs revamped, revitalized, and even resurrected using the power of hybrid learning. Are you ready to see this influence in your training programs? Schedule a demo with us today.

About the author

Mike Brennan is the Director of Business Development in the EMEA. He has extensive sales and service delivery experience spanning the enterprise software, collaboration and high-technology markets, and works closely to provide training-related services across Europe.