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Many coaches have virtual offerings – whether it’s a one-on-one coaching call, a virtual retreat or virtual group coaching session. In the virtual space, trust and connection are even more important than usual. And another key factor is creating many engagement points; rather than being talked at, most clients want to be at the center of the conversation. In this article we look at 8 ways you can build in trust, connection and engagement to your virtual coaching calls.
Editor’s Note: These tips are great if you run teleseminars, Facebook Lives (we picked up some great ideas for us to use!) and even your in-person Workshops!
When looking to create a WOW call, it’s important to shape expectations that your call is going to be different. So, let people know in advance they can expect something different! This will disrupt what clients might expect to be another “death by conference call” – with a low-energy “talking head” presenter, leading to a disconnected multi-tasking experience.
But we don’t just want to signal that the call is going to be different. We also want to deliver on it!
How will you tweak your next virtual event to create a more engaging experience? Here are 8 ideas to help you:
Help people consider the WIIFM of the call (What’s in it for me?) for themselves early on. You can do this simply by asking something like, “What do you want to get out of this call today?”
If it’s a group call, also create shared expectations. Invite your group members to share, and shape, what’s important about the topic for them.
It’s often said that you have 7 seconds to make a first impression. So, what’s going to get people’s attention on your WOW call? Here are 3 ideas to quickly capture their attention:
We live in a hyper-driven world, so create regular pauses for people to reflect, take notes, create an action plan and schedule their next steps.
Tip: When you do this, provide clear instructions on what you are inviting people to do – and avoid awkward silences!
We tend to get lost in larger groups, and many people are eager to ‘meet’ one or two more people. So leverage breakouts where possible.
In “Breakouts that Sizzle”, one of the community calls for my book Effective Virtual Conversations, I explore different ways you might use breakouts. Four examples of ways to use breakouts include to:
Our brain processes visuals faster than words. Consider how you can create visual ‘anchor’ points to create an additional foundation for learning. These might include a photo, graphics or a visual metaphor. Visuals also increase the impact of any stories you might choose to tell.
Do a “temperature check” along the way, building in several pulse checks. This allows you to make changes as you go, and keep engagement levels high for a WOW call! Ideas include:
Get people active, and create learning and connection in “Real Time”. It’s great to do this by involving people in something they can see on their virtual screen. For example:
Please Note: These options will depend on the facilities available to you, and on the virtual platform you are using.
One of the sub-components of the ICF’s “Designing Actions” competency is “Do it now”. Some ways to “Do it now” for your WOW group call include:
As you review this article ask yourself what can you put into place to make your next virtual session stand out? What ideas above connected with you? How do you want your next call to be remembered?
For more information: If you already have a copy of Jennifer’s 2017 book, Effective Virtual Conversations, refer to Chapter 5 (Design) or Chapter 7 (Activities and Engagement in the Virtual Space).
While you may need to explore and learn several of these yourself consider joining Jennifer for an
upcoming Virtual Facilitation Essentials program (5 weeks – 8.5 CCEs).
Contributing author: Jennifer Britton is the author of five books including the Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner (2018), Effective Group Coaching and From One To Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching. Jennifer provides a wide range of supports for coaches, and other professionals who are working with teams and groups. From 1-1 coaching around signature programs, to the Conversation Sparker Deck to the 40 Ways to Work with Visual Cards, she’s committed to helping coaches create engaging and impactful work with the teams and groups they support, while creating a thriving business. Visit her online at https://www.groupcoachingessentials.ca
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