7 Helpful Tips to Get Started with Online Training (and Grow Your Biz!) | By Ruby McGuire

Editor's Note: The benefit of online training is that it's easier to get a larger number of people to attend - people can join you from their desk or living room without having to travel anywhere - saving them time and effort. In addition, you don't have all the logistics of organizing a physical space - tables, chairs, booking a suitable room, thinking about drinks, snacks and providing access to bathrooms!

Whether you plan to do online training or work with groups in-person, these practical tips from Ruby will help you.

Online training doesn’t have to be hard Try these 7 tipsWebinars, workshops and online training are all great ways to build your business. Why?

  1. They are a great way to get visible in front of lots of people.
  2. They raise your profile and credibility, setting you apart as a leader, aka King or Queen, in your field.
  3. They can generate good income.
  4. You have the opportunity to turn delegates into one-on-one clients.

Below I share my 7 top tips on how you can get started training online:

1. Know your dreamies

Think about what you already know about the kind of people you want to work with. Your ideal clients, aka dreamies, as I call them. Ask yourself:

  • What support do they need?
  • How am I currently helping them?
  • What are the current problems I find myself helping clients with over and over again? (These are usually things you could teach)
  • What are they struggling with?

2. Consider the size of group you'd like to attract

Before you write a single word of training, consider how many people you'd like at your event.

When you're running online groups, you can have small group sessions with as few as 6-8 attendees; this creates deeper connections and in-depth conversations. Or you could have unlimited numbers in a big webinar where you're only able to interact with a few of those people.

Which excites you more? Intimate conversations with fewer people or reaching a larger group?

  • You don't want to sit there and feel that your session is too small, delivering a lot for low income (refer back to my last article about pricing for my thoughts on that!).
  • However, if the thought of running an enormous group sends you into palpitations, you can also simply set a maximum number you want to invite in.

Remember that you can choose the numbers of people you want to work with. Both large and small work brilliantly - it depends on which you prefer.

3. Know your stuff

When working with bigger groups you may get asked tricky questions in front of many people. You MUST know your stuff!

Choose a topic you know a lot about and feel comfortable with. Then prepare well, practice on real people if you can and ask for feedback. You can also ask your participants ahead of time to let you know any burning questions they may have.

4. Write great content

It goes without saying that the content needs to be great, but there are a few key things to note too:

  • Avoid jargon. Explain any acronyms you plan to use - or avoid using them altogether.
  • Get the balance right - make sure your training is not too advanced or too basic. It needs some challenge, but not too much.
  • Sprinkle in fun or it becomes too serious.
  • Get to the point, don't waffle.
  • Make sure you come across as you. Don't feel you need to fit into someone else's mould - authenticity is attractive and nobody can do you like you.
  • If you can, bring a unique twist to the training - your "special something".

All these will ensure you're remembered for the right reasons!

5. Write a training plan (it's a plan but it's not boring, I promise!)

Be sure that you:

  • Identify the key objectives/takeaways. When you clarify these, you'll know what you want to teach and it will help you to KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie).
  • Stick to the outcomes. I know you know a lot of things, but you don't need to share it all in a 1-2 hour event! You'll overwhelm them.
  • Include a variety of teaching techniques. Consider how you will teach each topic? Will you use slides, a whiteboard? What about activities?
  • Think about timing. Build in breaks if you need to. I run 2-hour mastermind groups and usually at about an hour people are crossing their legs, so we have a 5-minute break!
  • Tell-Tell-Tell. This is a good old training technique. Tell them what you're going to teach them, Tell them that lesson, and then you Tell them what you've told them. A bit like I've done with this post actually
  • Consolidate the learning. This could be by asking questions to check their understanding, or maybe doing a quiz at the end. You can also make this fun.
  • Layer the learning. Use building blocks, so each piece of training leads to the next - adding layer upon layer.

6. Learn/develop group facilitation skills

As a coach, you'll probably find this easier than you think. And you may also find there are some different skills that you need to develop.

  • Build rapport and trust with the group.
  • Notice the energy of the group and be flexible. Mix your voice pitch, tone, pace and shift content if you think things need calming down or livening up. Take a break if needed.
  • Bounce ideas around to open up conversation with others. You don't need to do all of the talking, and people can come up with some fabulous ideas when brainstorming together.
  • Manage the group dynamics. Deal with chatterboxes, be mindful of the awkward silences and encourage the delegates that don't join in. See here for an Infographic with what to do with 12 Difficult Types of Group Participants.
  • Always be mindful of the time - get to the point.
  • Notice what isn't landing properly. Check in throughout to assess your attendee's understanding. If you've got puzzled faces then it's likely you haven't been clear. Be prepared to pause and clarify the salient points.

7. Consider different people's learning styles

Not everyone learns in the same way, so when designing training programmes/workshops etc. it can really help to know the different styles and adapt your training accordingly. This way you're more likely to appeal to more people.

If you're NLP trained (Neuro Linguistic Programming) then you'll have heard of the Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic (touch or feeling) ways of learning.

My favourite thing to consider when designing training is Kolb's Learning Cycle. Kolb identified 4 key learning styles:

  • Activist - these people love to actively do things and to experiment. Get them involved in the learning.
  • Pragmatist - these people like to take practical action, planning next steps, having a go and trying things to see if they work. So give them something practical to do with what you're teaching them.
  • Theorist - these people need the theory, the background info, to understand the reasoning. Give them the "Why?" and share a document that they can read.
  • Reflector - learns by digesting the information and reflecting on it. Give them time to sit back, observe and reflect.

For example, I'm a Theorist and Reflector. If you hauled me up to walk on hot coals, it's unlikely you're going to get an immediate yes! I want to read about it and think about it first!

Often your audience will be combination of the different styles. So when you create training, bring in different elements to appeal to more people. This will make for a well rounded training session.


So there you have it, 7 simple tips on webinars, workshops and online training:

  1. Know your dreamies
  2. Consider the size of group you'd like to attract
  3. Know your stuff
  4. Write great content
  5. Write a training plan
  6. Learn/develop group facilitation skills
  7. Consider different people's learning styles

Online training really is rewarding - I hope you'll try it out. Will your first one be terrifying? Well I don't know about you but my first webinar was! I tried every coaching technique possible to calm my nerves - and then something unexpected happened. Once I got started I couldn't get enough of it!

So, the bonus is that once you've pushed through your comfort zone, things don't feel so scary - and the world (of online training) becomes your oyster!

Finally, check out Ruby's Visibility Quiz, where you can find out just how visible you and your business really are!

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Contributing Author:

Ruby McGuire is a Business & Mindset Queen. She's an Accredited Master Coach & Master Mentor with the IAPC&M, Trainer, Inspirational Speaker and Author of multiple books. She loves helping her clients step up and become leaders (aka Queens) of their businesses. She helps her clients develop their leadership and business skills, create a success mindset and attract dreamy clients. She is a Brit on a mission to live a simpler life without marketing on social media so that she can spend more time in her beautiful Scottish surroundings. You can find her at her pretty online home, over on her podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz, and here where she shares her Mini Guide to Marketing Without Social Media. When she’s not working you’ll find her surrounded by books, making hand-made cards, and enjoying life with her hubby, little dog and chickens (usually with a Whittard Vanilla cappuccino in her hand)!

Learn more about Ruby & see all their articles here >>

One Comment

  1. Wendy Buckingham

    Great article. I'd also add keep your intro of yourself (your earn the right) short and to the point. Your participants don't need your whole life story, just what is relevant for them to know you and know you know your stuff.


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