Think of a training session and you’ll probably picture a person standing in front of a PowerPoint presentation or white-board, scribbling notes that vaguely resemble the handout you were given at the start of the session. This tried and trusted method of training has been the standard way of presenting in-house training sessions for years (usually accompanied by a 15-minute delay at the start while someone finds a lead for the laptop!).

However, we are surrounded by new technology, gadgets and gizmos, and today’s trainers are utilising these to make training sessions more interesting, more interactive and more exciting than before. Gone are the days where a trainer drones on for two hours whilst trying to get the PowerPoint slides to work properly – today, we’re using new and more exciting techniques such as webinars.

What is a webinar?

For anyone who has ever skyped or taken part in a video conference call, the concept of a webinar shouldn’t be an unfamiliar one. A webinar just takes the idea a stage further, and utilises it as a training tool rather than just to host a meeting. It’s a system that has been used in the education sector for some time, and as webcams greatly improve in quality and reliability, it is now being utilised by some more advanced training providers as a part of their in-house training packages.

How does it work?

Webinars are either pre-recorded or live events that usually last for around an hour or so. Rather than being an alternative to traditional training methods, they are used as part of a broader training session, and give the students a chance to interact with a panel of experts, enriching the entire experience. Rather than gaining new insight from just one trainer, webinar sessions can bring a whole new level of expertise, experience and professional input from several sources.

Passive or pro-active?

MASS Training webinars are pro-active experiences, and you will be expected to join in with polls, question and answer sessions and responses to comments made by the panel. This enables you to benefit from the maximum amount of knowledge transfer, as you are effectively getting several trainers for the price of one!

And therein lies another benefit for anyone organising an in-house training session that includes a webinar – this training method represents excellent value for money. Several groups may be logging into the same training seminar at the same time, effectively creating a network of participants at several different locations. This brings a huge amount of added value to the experience, without increasing the costs too much.

The future of in-house training?

Webinars represent an aspect of training that is becoming increasingly popular with in-house training organisations – the use of interactive technology. They basically recreate a ‘conference in your own boardroom’, and are a great learning experience for everyone involved. To ensure that training remains not only pertinent but also enjoyable and stimulating, training organisations are constantly looking for ways to improve their presentation, and to make it a more interactive experience. Webinars represent the future of in-house training development – but don’t throw away those white-boards or OHPs just yet, as they still have their place in the training process too!

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