Online Vs. In-Person Training – The 2020 Smackdown and what we’ve learnt from the Pros and Cons of online and in-person training.
As the head trainer, I used to sweat a lot.
I’d be in a huge conference room, facilitating 100 people for 3 straight days. We’d present, run workshops and get people activated and charged up. And the more they charged up, the more sweat streamed down my face.
Exhilarating and exhausting. For both of us. Myself and the audience.
It’s been 7 months since we ran an in-person training session. We went from a 100% person-to-person service to purely digital, overnight. Every training session since February has been held online.
However, this pivot unlocked the opportunity for us to explore the pros and cons of online vs in-person training. We learnt that both have their merits and their shortcomings and I thought I’d share them with you here. But before we go there it’s important to understand how we reshaped our training to accommodate digital demand.
The structure of our training sessions:
What our in-person training looks like:
3 consecutive days of full-day training and workshop facilitation. Sessions are held and people break out into workshops to interact with the content and learnings.
What our online training looks like:
2x 2-hour sessions spaced out over 4 days. “Homework” is given to the audience to go away and interact with learnings and content in their own time.
With the above in mind, we noticed the following pros and cons of online and in-person training:
The cons of online training
- Online fatigue
Working remotely has meant a total surge in back-to-back meetings. Look at someone’s calendar and it looks like a completed Tetris game (with one shape)! It’s a fight to stay mindful of people’s time and human needs (like coffee and toilet breaks).
- The fight against distraction
With digital comes the perpetual fight for an audience’s attention. Whether on desktop or mobile, they’re constantly being pinged away from you. We’ve had to come up with innovative ways to let them play and be distracted within your actual session. Here’s how you can keep your audience engaged online.
We’ve seen significant increases in information retention and content engagement since taking our courses 100% online. But there isn’t a silver bullet. In this smackdown between the pros and cons of online and in-person training, there is no clear winner. There is only one clear distinction. Right now, the demand for online training is higher. Get it wrong and you’re bound to lose your audience within 10 minutes. But get it right and your audience’s return on attention will be incredibly rewarding. Learn more about presenting online here!