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Prior Preparation Prevents Particularly Poor Performance!

Mark Robson, Training and Adoption Consultant

 

Today, I come with views and insight using more P’s than a bag of Birdseye’s finest. Like most of us, the team here at Natilik has found we have had to adapt quickly and change the way we do our jobs, but that also means that the companies that we work with have also had to change the way that our solutions are delivered.

 

Over the past months, many of our customers have been reaching out to us asking how they can change the delivery of events and training programs for both internal and external use, basically moving from on-premise and in room delivery to a more virtual platform. Many customers have been on the lookout for a new solution, but many don’t realise they actually have it right there with Cisco Webex. It may not be all turned on, but with a few changes your platform can be up and running in no time. To most, Webex is just a in room meeting system, or a one on one video platform, but Webex is much more than that. It’s a highly powerful collaboration platform that can do a great deal more than you may have seen.

 

So, let’s say you have Webex already, are you just setting up the same old Webex meetings, or have you flicked the switch and propelled yourself into presentation heaven with potentially powerful possibilities with the Webex Training and Event Centres? These solutions open up the power of Webex and enables you to use the right tools for your training and internal/external events.

 

Over the past few weeks I have been working with some of Natilik’s existing Webex customers and helping their (mostly non-IT) teams to understand what it’s capable of and how it can help them to continue to deliver their internal and external courses and events. So, I thought I would share some insights into how to get the most out of the platforms you have right at your fingertips.

 

Preparation. The first of the Ps. Prepare to do some research. This is about working with the IT team and other parts of your organisation to really understand what you have available to you on your platform. Prepare to work with others to understand their needs and how the same platform can benefit them. This will make the setting up, knowledge share and delivery of new styles of delivery a much easier process.

 

Preparation. Its back! This time it’s about fully understanding the process of your delivery from end to end. Setting up a Webex meeting is an easy one button process but setting up an Event or a Training course takes time. However, Webex have made that an easy process either from the online Webex portal, or by using plugins and links into your CRM, Learning Management Systems or even a simple link into your corporate directory. Not all tools available can be seen by you as an end user, there are many built into the infrastructure side that you will need to work with IT to utilise.

 

Preparation. You may have noticed a theme here! Prepare to change the way you deliver your presentations or courses. “Yesterday” you would stand up, click <next> on the PowerPoint slide, but now you need to contend with using another software platform as well. You now have the ability to use interactions, share other content and you’re also talking to a pretty mute audience; a mute audience that has a voice when you decide to let them speak.  So, ensure that you build those interactions into your delivery.

 

Plan. Finally, a different P! With Webex Events and Training Centre, you are able to question your audience before you deliver anything. You can also share information with your audience, so they fully understand what you are going to be talking about plus, you’re giving them a voice before the session. Capturing information early on gives you the ability to finesse your presentation and cover the key areas your audience wants to hear about. It also allows you to understand how interested your audience is going to be before you even start!

 

Preparation. Again! So, you have a plan, you know your messaging and the key points of your presentation. Now’s the time to prepare to present. Set yourself up a dummy session and invite yourself or a colleague, even a family member and present the presentation to them. It’s worthwhile not doing the old “and at this point I’m going to talk about blah blah blah” deliver the presentation as you would be doing live. You are able to record and play back the session, use this to your advantage to self-critique. Also, having others press the buttons from their end or interact with the platform, will allow you to understand what you will see in your live session, and how to deal with those eventualities. Even just inviting and joining from your personal email account will enable you to understand the registration process, what the audience will see when they join, and how great your presentation or files really are. Don’t worry if you don’t have another laptop, your smartphone or mobile is just as good (and as your audience will prob use them too, you can see if you can really read all the words on your presentation).

 

Prepare.  But this time it’s prepare others! You’re ready, but are they? Many times, in events and webinars we don’t just fly solo, we may bring in other team members or other subject matter experts from both in and outside of our organisations. So, make sure they are aware of the platform, how it works, what they can expect, the do’s and don’ts of delivery and also talk about the style of delivery. Are you wanting to create a double act, are you wanting them to cover things at the appropriate point of you asking, do they know how long you want their answer to be? You have a plan, but are they fully aware? It’s worth playing those things out and working out where and who people should be talking. Nothing worse than someone stealing your lines about something you are going to talk about in two slides time or talking over you when you haven’t finished. If you are going to have a double act, both sides need to keep an eye on the time, so if you’re asked a question,  or need to talk about something, make a decision on how long you really need to spend on the subject.

Ready… Ok, enough preparation, you have done that. The invites are out, you have checked to see who is due to attend, your team is assembled, it’s now time for you all to do the final checks. Check the platform, Webex has a number of websites you can check to see if there are outages. Check your bandwidth, check to see if it is as good as it can be, make sure that the box set of the Kardashian’s isn’t being downloaded, or a network game of “Monster Hunter World 3” isn’t being played that can affect your bandwidth. Check your device, I tend to reboot mine before an event and make sure many of the applications are closed (especially messaging or network file share applications) as they can impact your machines performance and bandwidth. Also, if your prepared and you have an issue with your main device, you can easily switch and join from a mobile device, so don’t panic!

 

Now you are perfectly prepared, it’s time to kick off your event! In my next blog, I will cover more about what you need to do on the day to ensure you have a successful event or training session.

 

If you are looking for personalised or one on one training, get in touch today to find out more.