Nobody can say that the last 7 months have been easy on anyone. We have all been in a storm, handling it all in our own ways. Some have lost their health, livelihoods and loved ones. Most all of us have lost a way of life that seemed unshiftable. No one could have predicted this and yet here we are.
When I look at my unmoved and unemptied training bag at the side of my room, I wonder why I have chosen not to empty it? To accept that I will not for some time be delivering face to face? Is it denial? Hope? Maybe a mixture of those things as well as where to put this physical “stuff” that has been such a part of what I do for so many years.
I love being with people and the online world is sometimes not the substitute I would like it to be. No hugs, side jokes, banter in the way it used to be. It can however offer so much more than we often expect of it.
Here we are and as an optimist and someone who is grateful to be back in the saddle after a gap a few months ago, I am grateful. Grateful for the opportunities presenting themselves. Grateful for the people I can help in this difficult situation. Grateful to be conversing, discussing, designing and doing what I love to do: help people on their journey of development.
The reality of delivering online is that it takes practice, patience and confidence. Preparation for me is key and just to give you a little insight into how I prepare, below is a picture of my desk set up.
Here are just a few things I thought it best to mention:
- Paper session plan so I can minimise the stuff on my screen
- Paper workbook to scribble things on and refer to easily for the participants
- Paper to write notes and thoughts and actions on
- Post-its to remind me of important things and also to enjoy the session – I love what I do, but in the anxious moments before they arrive, I may forget that!
- Lipstick, water, tissues and hand cream at the ready!
- I have a stand up – sit down, desk so I can be energised and feel like I am on my feet ready to ‘perform’
Today I bottled out of using my second screen in favour of using my ethernet cable – a little security blanket and in an area where our internet is pretty good. It made me less anxious at least to know the internet would not blob!
So anyone out there preparing to deliver online. Let’s be human about it. Things will go wrong and so plan for the worst but expect the best so your participants feel like they are getting a valuable experience and you get some enjoyment out of it.
Be easy on yourself and don’t try too many new things at once. Practice what you are comfortable with and maybe enlist the support of a colleague on your first few sessions, until you find your feet.
Mostly don’t ignore the creativity you used when you were doing this face to face. Don’t discard your valuable experience and skills in the face to face world. They are still valid, they just need a tweak!
Relax….. practice……. Enjoy!