Virtual Training: Professional Development Courses

Don’t let our newly virtual world stop you from providing development opportunities for your employees.

The following courses can be presented as a 60-minutes format all the way to a full-day format.


How to communicate and engage with a virtual team

The whole world just changed. Your whole world just changed. And your team needs more guidance, support and encouragement than ever before. How can you ensure your team members are happy, healthy and productive when they’ve unexpectedly moved operations to their home?

In this virtual training, we’ll show you how to be an active and effective virtual leader. We’ll cover the basics of good virtual communications skills to ensure you keep your teams engaged and motivated.

During this session you’ll learn how to:

    • Maintain employee engagement and organizational culture with good communications – especially when employees may feel isolated and anxious.
    • Set yourself up for success with our “Virtual Communications 101” crash course: What to communicate, where to find information, how to listen and when to lean on the comms team for help.
    • Master essential tips for communicating in the “new reality” when professional and home lives are blurred.
    • Help alleviate employee stress and keep your team motivated and focused.
    • Carve out time in the day to focus on your own work.
    • Check in with your teams beyond business talk– make sure they’re okay and build lasting relationships by lending your support and understanding
The essentials of business writing

This virtual training moves at an aggressive pace beginning with a refresher on business English and moving into the essentials of business writing to accommodate varying skill levels. The learning approach employed is a building block concept.

In part one we’ll guide everyone through a business English refresher:

    • Grammar and punctuation review
    • How to avoid common and job specific word usage, jargon and buzzword errors
    • Additional resource guides to keep by your side (e.g., style guides, grammar handbooks)

In part two we’ll cover business writing essentials:

    • Define a purpose (e.g., inform, educate, persuade, recognize)
    • Understand the benefits of selecting the appropriate communication medium for the message
    • Gain the reader’s attention with clear and concise writing
    • Select wording that demonstrates an appropriate business tone and style
    • Understand and use active voice vs. passive voice
    • Keep the reader’s attention with transitions between paragraphs
    • Recognize the importance of drafting, revising, and refining a communication
    • Identify and correct common errors with proofreading and editing standards
    • Email writing tips that work every time
How to put more vigor into your virtual presentations: Tips and techniques to engage and inform your distracted virtual audience

Presenting virtually just isn’t the same. You can’t go as long, your slides have to be more dynamic, and you have to inject more energy into your presentation, using your voice and body language.

We’ll help you be more effective in this virtual, not-very-normal world. In this session, you’ll learn how to:

    • Ask and answer key questions to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. (Without these, your efforts to persuade or inform will fall short.)
    • Master the four audible skills of volume, speed, animation and limiting non-words.
    • Organize content to maximize persuasiveness.
    • Strike the right balance between text and visuals on slides.
    • Manage the Q&A environment to ensure that your answers support your presentation effectiveness rather than unwind the credibility you’ve built.
Influence without authority: Persuade others to comply, collaborate and contribute—even if they don’t report to you

Imagine what it takes to get things accomplished in today’s world. We work in matrixed organizations. We have colleagues we may never meet in-person (whether local, and now, virtual). We work on teams or as individual contributors and we need to get others to cooperate, comply, participate or do work where there is no reporting relationship. One key learning from this class – influence happens by plan, not by chance!

This virtual training will help participants to get more of their ideas accepted and successfully implemented by:

    • Being more persuasive – don’t just thinking of this as a short-term, one-off strategy but also as a long-term strategy
    • Build influence—over time or “in the moment” – by generating “currency” with others (one-to-one or one-to-group)
    • Recognize the need to stretch outside your comfort zone to build influence with others
    • Change your behavior in order to move toward others’ views and get others to shift their behaviors so they move toward your views
Make your writing jump off the page or screen every time

Good writing has never been more important – or more valuable to organizations desperate for their messages to reach overstimulated audiences with too many options. Jim Ylisela, an award-winning journalist and teacher with more than three decades of experience, will share practical tools and tips to help your writing sizzle.

You’ll learn techniques for elevating everything you write, from internal news and social media posts to executive communications, talking points, press releases, blog posts, intranet posts and more. Take your writing skills to the next level with practical tips to help you before, during and after you write – including spicing up boring topics, replacing jargon and clichés and juicing up quotes and anecdotes.

You’ll learn:

    • Key elements that make stories compelling—and how to incorporate them into everything you write
    • Employ the fundamentals of good writing – for anything you write
    • Practical tips for fixing paragraphs, sentences and words in your own writing
    • Why some quotes sing while others fall flat
    • How to find and incorporate details that create interest
    • Overcome the obstacles to effective storytelling, including writer’s block