Engaging A Virtual Classroom Audience

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Today, online classes are becoming more and more popular. The edfficiency of this option allows students to get their education from just about anywhere whether it’s at home or in a coffee shop. While online classes and webinars are highly useful, there are still some facilitation tips you need to know to keep the attention of your audience.

Because your webinar is online, it is highly likely that your participants are doing more than just watching or listening to your webinar. They could be checking their email, doing other work, and many are probably on social media sites. While online classrooms allow for multitasking, if you know how to handle you classroom, captivate your audience, and make your material exciting, you won’t have to worry about wandering students.
The Difficulties Ahead

You have a lot to compete with: the noise around your participants from their surroundings, other work they may have to do, and worst of all, the internet. While there are many things vying for your students’ attention, it does not mean that your message will get lost or that their minds will wander.

When you know what the challenge is, you can easily find ways to overcome it, which will also help your message, become more impactful. When you have your participants hanging on your every word, they’re less likely to allow their attention to stray.

In addition to this problem, you’ve also go to factor in technical difficulties that may arise when conducting a class virtually. Server issues, difficult chat features, and confusion about how to use other features for your online platform can happen to you or the students, slowing things down significantly.

 

Establishing Your Presence and Commanding Attention

The best way to establish your presence in a web-based seminar is to be interesting, engaged with your students, and to use a few techniques that will work in both a physical classroom as well as an online one. To achieve this, you may want to recall the things you learned in your last public speaking course, such as vocalization, transitions, hooks, and of course, relaxed conversation speech.

The best way to enhance your speech skills is to remember the following:

 

Avoid Sounding Monotone: When you’re talking with friends or family, you don’t speak in a flat voice. Instead, you use inflections, emphasis, and gesticulation to tell a story or engage in a conversation. We do this naturally to catch interest and attention when talking to others and this natural behavior is necessary when it comes to facilitating a classroom. Talk to your students and participants as if they’re actual people-because they are—and they will be more likely to engage.

Know Your Material: One of the main rules of public speaking is to know what you’re going to talk about before you deliver the speech. As long as you know your subject inside and out, you should be able to deliver a coherent lecture that keeps the attention of your listeners. Outline your main points and be sure to hit all of them in your delivery. As long as you do this, it doesn’t matter that you memorize a lecture—in fact, it’s better and comes off much more natural if you don’t.

Avoid Pauses and Fillers: We tend to pause and use filler words when nervous or unsure of what we’re saying. While this is common and can happen to anyone, it can cause participants to lose interest and check out completely. Plan ahead and come up with transitions between your topics and remember that not every moment needs to be filled with words. A quick pause to take a breath is better than an ‘um’ or ‘uh’ and allows participants to catch up on notes or even take a mental pause.

Make Your Participants Participate: Sitting and listening can get old pretty quick. A great way to ensure your participants are engaged and listening is to get them to become a part of the lecture. Do this by asking trivia questions and revealing the answers later on in the lecture, taking polls, or even surveys. When you students know that more than just listening is expected of them, they’ll be more likely to engage and stay focused on your lecture.

Virtual learning is become more and more common, which means that you may find yourself either teaching a web-based or taking an online class. Whichever you end up doing, remember that engaging a virtual classroom relies on you and your understanding of the subject as well as your participants.

Make sure to choose a reliable and efficient webinar platform that offers world class support. Services, like ClickMeeting and ClickWebinar offer the peace of mind that every virtual classroom deserves with a variety of great features and the value of indispensable support when it is needed.

About Jarek Wasielewski

Jarek is the Content Manager at ClickMeeting. He is responsible for providing educational contents for current and prospective users.