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Techniques & Tools for Training Strong Distributed Teams


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It can be challenging to navigate time zones, schedules, and technological difficulties when working virtually. Add in the need for specialized team training, and you might find yourself in a pickle. How can you train someone you've never met with in person? How do you ensure they understand what you’re teaching? In this presentation of Techniques & Tools for Training Strong Distributed Teams, we've got some epic tips and techniques to interactively train your virtual team.

This presentation is part of the Virtual Life Webinar Series, focusing on building a community of distributed workers and addressing common topics we all face.

The panelist in this webinar is Anna Danes with and it was moderated by Mandy Ross, Director of Social and Content Marketing at Sococo.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Techniques & Tools for Training Strong Distributed Teams

  1. 1. #SococoLife Webinar Series Presented to you in partnership by: Techniques & Tools For Training Strong Distributed Teams
  2. 2. Agenda ● :05 Introductions ● :30 Techniques & Tools For Training Strong Distributed Teams Presentation ● :20 Q&A ● :05 Key Takeaways & Wrap Up
  3. 3. Introductions! Anna Danes - Panelist Holds a Degree in Communication, working in web companies since 2000. She has collaborated in the launch of some of Spain's biggest websites, such as and During her years of experience working with online companies, she has encountered the types of issues that companies face by having workers outside of their offices, or even across their borders. In 2008 she founded Ricaris Have a Nice Day SL, and thanks to this experience she is knowledgeable in the tools that help strengthen online teams of workers, and a firm believer in the power of well-managed virtual teams. Anna is now the CEO of Managing Virtual Teams where she teaches courses and consults for companies with global teams. Her experience working in the United States, Asia and Europe brings the added advantage of understanding the ways of work on those three continents.
  4. 4. Introductions! Mandy Ross - Moderator Mandy recently moved into the role of Director of Marketing for Sococo, after serving as Director of Program Management since 2012. Her past employers include Handspring, Palm, Apple, Sony and Boeing. A telecommuter since 2005, she lives for helping distributed teams establish remote work best practices by connecting people to create thought leadership in the virtual world.
  5. 5. Let’s Get Started! Techniques & Tools For Training Strong Distributed Teams
  6. 6. People
  7. 7. People Activate "Super Communication" Distributed teams have their own particularities and challenges. To defeat them: communicate better, more and diversify your channels.
  8. 8. People The smaller the audience, the greater the interaction. Smaller groups (under 10 participants) are ideal for virtual trainings. The larger the group, the less opportunity for interaction is possible.
  9. 9. People Take the time for a longer icebreaker. Gauge the team’s familiarity with each other and make introductions with fun questions based on this. The more common ground a team has, the more open they are to learning together.
  10. 10. People Be particularly mindful of individual engagement. Ask direct questions of participants that seem to be fading. Reinforce what they say and give praise to encourage participation. Ensure they understand ahead of time that the training is interactive.
  11. 11. Process
  12. 12. Process Be extremely well prepared. Know your audience ahead of time, and ensure the training will meet their specific needs. A quick survey of the team to be trained can help you understand the level of team knowledge and how you can best prepare.
  13. 13. Process The more interactive, the better. We are used to a fast pace of media flying through our lives via tv, internet, etc. Subject matter expertise is not enough - it’s about gaining and retaining engagement.
  14. 14. Process Check results as you train. Without body language, gauging progress is tricky. Short quizzes will measure what is and isn’t sinking in. Provide opportunities for students to shine by demonstrating the knowledge they’ve gained.
  15. 15. Process Use real life cases frequently. Training subject matter becomes more relatable when describing a common frustration or problem the team is solving. Encourage them to share their personal use cases.
  16. 16. Process Repetition must be more frequent. Feedback, training and purpose must be underscored more often. Virtual teams don’t have the same immediacy of knowledge sinking in. Instructors must be patient with slower learning.
  17. 17. Technology
  18. 18. Technology Your virtual training toolkit needs to include: ● White board ● Video/audio/chat ● Video editor ● Accessible storage space ● Interactive quiz forms ● Tools specific to the training needs of the team
  19. 19. Technology Record and edit your training. Creating a set of 2 - 10 minute clips that capture the entire training. Students benefit greatly by having a visual explanation of the training to which they can later refer during practical applications. Make sure they are organized and accessible.
  20. 20. Q & A Q & A
  21. 21. Key takeaways ● Be prepared and know your audience very well. ● Repetition and reinforcement of lessons is the best way for a virtual team to learn. ● Keep trainings highly interactive. ● Monitor and encourage individual engagement. ● Learnings must be “real life” relatable. ● Hands-on training returns the best results virtually.
  22. 22. Virtual Life Webinar Series Thanks for coming!