Key Learnings from Delivering NLP Training on Zoom

With NLP Trainers having to become more resourceful in delivering quality training during the pandemic lockdown, here are some tips for training online.

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Key Learnings from Delivering NLP Training on Zoom

With NLP Trainers having to become more resourceful in delivering quality training during the pandemic lockdown, here are some tips that I have found useful when using Zoom to present / run courses. Many of these are quite specific/small chunk. These notes are in no particular order. These tips are intended to be tips and not advice.

Before the session:

If you are inexperienced at running Zoom sessions, consider doing a dry run for an hour or two with a group of friendly colleagues, especially if the group is large and / or it’s an important session.

Technology & communication:

  • Make sure all attendees have the correct Zoom link
  • If it is an essential call, and/or if there is a small group, and/or if people not being able to gain access would cause a problem, then consider a 1 minute practice run in the hours/days leading up to the group call, to ensure that the person’s technology works.
  • Create a ‘how to use Zoom’ guide for both novices and people who have used it before.
  • Let them know about ‘etiquette’, e.g. to mute the sound and/or switch off the video. (possibly repeat this at the start of the call)
  • Set up the meeting so that attendees video and mute button is on or off, depending on what you want. Also, decide whether you want them to be able to join the call before you join. Zoom has various options when you set up the meeting.
  • Let them know to switch off their video (they can still see you) if their internet connection is temporarily weak
  • Also, let them know how to alter their screen format so they alter how the other callers are displayed.
  • Consider having a suitable picture if you need to switch your video off. The default is to show your name.
  • Let people know about how Zoom’s Breakout room function works.
  • Where appropriate (e.g. small training group), have available the contact number / email for each delegate, in case you need to contact them due to technological problems.
  • If working at home, consider re-booting your own router a day or so before the session. I have been told that for some routers, this speeds them up, and also reduces the likelihood of an essential router upgrade taking place during your call (which could temporarily disable your router). If in doubt, seek expert technical advice on how to keep your own router speed as fast as possible and make it unlikely that you’ll be interrupted. Perhaps speak to your ISP and consider upgrading your wifi package.
  • If it is important to be able to see people clearly (e.g. to calibrate them), ask them to ensure suitable lighting / sit facing a window.

Content:

  • In addition to any preparation that you would already do, consider the practicalities of doing each demonstration and paired / group exercise on-line. For example,
    • NLP Perceptual Positions would normally be done by moving from one physical spot in the room to another.
    • When doing Values elicitation, it is often useful for the NLPer/coach to write the Values so that the client can see them.
  • There may be some exercises that are not suitable for remote work, either because close proximity is essential (e.g. some NLP anchoring exercises, where the NLPer would physically touch the client’s knuckle) or because the technique could have a significant emotional aspect (e.g. NLP Parts Integration, Time Line).
  • Even if you have run a classroom course many times, reflect on the running order, timings and practicalities of every segment. Build in space for going faster or slower than expected.

During the session

  • At the start, remind people of the key technology / etiquette aspects (e.g. how to mute, switch video off)
  • Possibly do a dummy run of the Breakout room facility and the ‘shared screen’ and ‘whiteboard’ facilities
  • Remind them to switch off video and to mute during break times
  • Particularly if it is the first time(s) that you have run a particular session / content piece, make relevant notes for yourself about specific topics for future sessions. E.g. For Circle of Excellence, how the NLPer/coach can see the client applying / releasing the physical anchor.
  • Consider sharing your screen and using powerpoint / Word to explain or train a topic / diagram, and to capture the audience’s ideas.
  • Especially in the early stages of a training, and / or if you / they are inexperienced using on-line training, check in with the group to ask how things are going for them (as you probably would anyway)
  • If you are talking to one particular person, remember that the others won’t be able to see who you are looking at, and so you may need to use the names of attendees more than you otherwise would.
  • Depending on the context of the meeting / course, be relaxed and flexible about temperamental wifi signals, people needing to take care of their young children etc
  • Enjoy it!

After the session:

  • Ask for feedback, reflect, learn, adjust where useful.
Jeremy Lazarus
Jeremy Lazarus (member article)

NLP Master Trainer, specialising in NLP for Business, Coaching and Sport.