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Get The Most From Your Teleclass



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  • 1. Get the Most from Your Teleclass An E-Guide from Mind Tools
  • 2. Get the Most from Your Teleclass Congratulations! Thank you for booking your teleclass or teleclass program with Mind Tools. Whether you have signed up for a single teleclass or a program that includes several teleclasses, one thing is sure, you are investing time, money and energy in your future. At Mind Tools, we want you to get the very best value from your investment and build the very best future you can. So here is your e-guide to help you do just that! The e-guide takes you through each stage of the teleclass experience. As well as lots of tips and information, it contains a section Teleclass Etiquette and Quick Reference. We ask you to follow this etiquette guide during the teleclass: mostly it’s commons sense to help all participants get the most from teleclass calls. We recommend you print this section and keep it together you dial-in phone number and access code, so that it’s at your finger tips during the call. Contents The e-guide covers the following: • Teleclass basics • Preparing for your teleclass • Getting ready to make the call • During the teleclass • After the teleclass • Teleclass etiquette and quick reference © Mind Tools 2005 Page 2 of9
  • 3. Teleclass basics What is a teleclass? A teleclass is a group learning experience by telephone. As a participant, you telephone a central phone number to join the class. Led by the teleclass leader, you and other participants take part in a learning experience. This may take a number of forms – a lecture, an interactive class, an interview – depending on the program you have booked on. Why learn by teleclass? Very accessible and great value, teleclasses are an excellent, interactive way for people to learn. Unlike classroom based training, teleclasses are open to people irrespective of their location and local training facilities. Typically, you will need to take only an hour or so out of a working day or evening. There is no need to take time off work, no need to travel, and no need to move from the comfort of your own office or study. Participation Participation in teleclasses depends on the nature of the class, the size of class and, of course, your own preferences. Some people enjoy the interactive nature of teleclasses without wanting to contribute or speak. In most teleclasses, that’s fine – participation is optional. In some cases you will get the chance to participate before the class by email. Other teleclasses rely on your participation – and if this is the case, you will be asked before hand to prepare. The teleclass leader may have to limit your participation in larger classes or if it is taking up more time than planned. (The teleclass leader has to do what’s best for the group.) Do participate when its appropriate – teleclasses really come to life when people share their views and experience. We just ask you to be considerate when you speak to help keep participation on track for the group as a whole. Preparing for your teleclass program Know your objectives You will undoubtedly get more from your teleclass if you do some preparation! A good place to start is with your objectives. You could do this by completing the following sentence: “By the end of the teleclass, I will learn/achieve the following: ….” The question is usually answered from 2 perspectives: (a) the tools or skill the teleclass teaches (as explained on the teleclass booking web-site page) (b) how you intend to apply the tool or skills. For example, Jay has booked a teleclass on goal setting to help him progress his plans for a new business. By the end of the teleclass program he wants to have learned and practiced a new tool for setting and achieving business goals. He also wants to have a © Mind Tools 2005 Page 3 of9
  • 4. good set of initial goals for the business and be confident that he can overcome some of the problems that have held him back recently. ... and reality check them Make sure that your objectives and expectations are realistic. Are they within the scope of the teleclass program? If they are wider than the scope of the program itself, do you know what else you may need to do achieve your personal objectives? Pre-class questions Teleclasses are interactive, but the opportunity for interaction may be limited, especially with larger classes. Sometime the teleclass leader will ask participants to email questions or objectives before the teleclass. Take the opportunity. If your points cannot be covered during the class, teleclass leaders will usually be able to respond afterwards by email. By asking questions by email, you can remain focused during the class: You won’t need to worry about finding the right time to ask your question or whether the other participants are interested. Pre-reading and pre-work If there is pre-reading and pre-work you will be sent the links to download the material before the teleclass. Sometimes the material will be available from the time you book. Other times it will be available a week or so before the class. Book time in your diary to review the pre-reading and do the pre-work. It’s a good idea to start preparing in the week before the teleclass. So that you have time to do it well and also it is fresh in your mind when the teleclass comes. Check out any specific instructions for your teleclass. Notes and note taking Most people learn best if they take at least brief notes, during preparation and teleclasses. Decide how you will take notes – on printed materials you have been given, in a workbook etc. You can also note down any questions you have or points you want to cover. Check them off as they are covered and note any you want to cover later by email. Some people like to take linear notes as the class develops. Other people like to organize notes around key ideas or themes. Mind mapping is a great technique for doing this. The resulting ‘mind map’ gives a more visual representation of what has been learned, and can serve as a powerful aid for recalling the subject and ideas in the future. For more on mind mapping, please visit Get ready to make the call Well in advance, make sure you review the section “Getting ready to make the phone call” below, which explains how to dial-in including the need to call from a landline phone and, if you are outside the USA, to dial an international number. That way you will plan in advance where to call from and how much it will cost. © Mind Tools 2005 Page 4 of9
  • 5. To get cost effective international rate calls, you may need to use a calling card, access phone number or different account. Make sure you know how you will do this well before the day of the teleclass call. The section on International and long distance calling for more help on this. Getting ready to make the call Dial-in phone number and access code You will be given a dial-in phone number (usually a US number) and an access code. The phone number and access code combination are unique to your teleclass. And the line will only be open from a few minutes before the call start time until a few minutes after it ends. (For programs with multiple teleclasses you may have a different dial-in phone number and access code for each event – please check in your booking email.) Please do not forward the dial-in details to other people. Each person joining the teleclass must book and pay to join. It is prohibited for non-registered people to call. The capacity of each teleclass is limited to a specified number of lines and any non- registered people will block paying participants from joining the teleclass. Use a landline and a touch tone phone We ask participants to use a landline to phone in. The use of mobile phones, PC dialing and Voice Over IP can cause noise and other technical problems that can be disruptive to the teleclass. By using a touch tone phone you will be able to use the participant features “self-mute” during the teleclass. See “Background noise and muting” Time zone The dial-in time for each teleclass will be given for several major time zones and also GMT/UTC. If you are on a different time zone, please check carefully the time of the call in your time zone. It is especially important to reconfirm in March and October when daylight saving can changes time difference. Check out you time zone at for the GMT/UTC time given for your teleclass. Time keeping Please be on time! The teleclass will start promptly on the hour. Please start calling in 2 minutes before the start time. It’s useful to check the world clock at As a courtesy to other participants, please try to avoid calling in more than 2 minutes late. If you do, the class will have started. And you will probably have missed the chance to check-in, introduce yourself or ask your key question. © Mind Tools 2005 Page 5 of9
  • 6. International and long distance calling Mind Tools teleclasses are hosted from various locations around the world. Normally, the teleclass dial-in phone number is a US number. This is because, from many places around the world, there are low-cost options for calling the US. Calling in the US The dial-in phone number is a normal long distance number. You pay whatever long distance rate is charged by your own long distance carrier. Calling from other countries You will be making an international call to a normal number in the USA. Check in advance that you can do this and find out the costs. In most countries, there are low-cost options for calling the USA. Calling from the UK Many services provide low-cost calls to the USA. Subscription services such as and are simple to set up. (Don’t forget to subscribe in advance.) There are also “just dial” access numbers – No subscription needed: You simply dial an access phone number, wait for the connection, then dial the international US number. Try http://www.telediscount.comor During the teleclass Check-in and introductions Depending on the number of participants, the teleclass leader may ask for people to check-in – simply by stating your name and where you are calling from – or to make a brief introduction. It is a courtesy to the teleclass leader and other participants to check- in. Remember other participation is usually optionaI (see above) so decide what you might want (or not want) to say. Background noise and muting Background noise can be disruptive to teleclasses. If this is a problem, the teleclass leader may need to mute participants from the call. During the call, if you are not speaking and there is background noise around you, please self-mute by pressing ‘6’ on your telephone key pad. Dropping out from the call Occasionally there may be a technical problem somewhere in the system, which causes you to drop from the call. If this happens, simply call back in straight away. If the problem persists, the issue may be with your own phone line, and if possible you should try another line. © Mind Tools 2005 Page 6 of9
  • 7. Note taking Don’t forget to take notes of the key points and any questions that arise during the class. For more on this, and also mind mapping as a technique for note taking, please see the section above on “Note and note taking”. Participation and questions If the teleclass is open to participation, please just ask your question or make a comment at an appropriate point. It is helpful to state your name when you start to speak so that the teleclass leader knows you. Please try to make sure you are concise and stick to points that are likely to be of interest to participants as a group. If your question or comment may take the class off track or take up too much time, the teleclass leader may say so and deal with it by email instead. After the teleclass Many teleclasses are part of a program that includes additional elements such as those listed below. The exact nature of elements included in your program will be listed on the teleclass program web page and also in your confirmation email. • E-classes – class notes by email to guide you in your learning • Key points document – a summary document or e-book covering key points of the teleclass • Email support – the opportunity to email the teleclass program leader or host to ask further questions The sections below explain how to get the most from each one and also what to do if you want more classes or further help. E-classes An e-class is an email class note sent to you at regular intervals such as weekly, that builds up to cover the content of the your program, step-by-step. Most people find that e- classes help structure and reinforce their learning. Rather than rely purely on self- discipline, you can rely on the next e-class to arrive weekly (or at other intervals) and prompt and guide you through the learning. Key points document After the class, you may be sent some reinforcing materials such as a summary document or e-book, covering key learning points. Try to read the document soon after your receive it, so that you can ask any questions or add to your own notes whilst the class is fresh in your mind. © Mind Tools 2005 Page 7 of9
  • 8. Email support Teleclass programs often include email support from the teleclass program leader or host for a time-limited period after the class. Use the opportunity to ask any questions and validate your learning. The teleclass leader will normally respond to you within 5 working days. Further classes and support If you find that you want to learn something in more depth or get more support after the program, Mind Tools is happy to help you find this best way to do this. For example, there may be a more program or e-course that you can follow. And if you need further in the subject, the teleclass leader or one of our coaches may be able to provide this. Please just ask by emailing Your feedback We need and value feedback from you! It enables us to get our teleclass programs right and ensure participants get the most from them. We will send you a feedback form after your teleclass or program. Please take the time to tell us what you think! © Mind Tools 2005 Page 8 of9
  • 9. Teleclass etiquette and quick reference • Please be on time! – start dialing 2 minutes before the start of the class • Introduce yourself or check-in when invited to do so • Participate to add value! • Keep your questions and comments concise and on-topic • When you speak, please identify yourself by stating your name • For teleclass programs that include email support, email any questions to the teleclass leader’s email address given to you • If there is background noise around you, please self-mute by pressing ‘6’ on your telephone key pad • If you have problems during a call, dial back in, if possible from another phone You can email for other assistance Good luck with your teleclass program… and with building the very best future you can! © Mind Tools 2005 Page 9 of9