Train The Trainer – How to deliver online live training using – Top 10 tips to make your training courses run like magic

If you’re new or nervous with live online training – we have 10 top tips to help you deliver like you’ve been doing it forever!

This blog was written by Warren Wint, lead trainer of Total Success Training Ltd. Warren and his collegues are available for training consultancy, workshops, training and presentations. You can contact him at or call total success on (020) 8269 1177.

For those who are new to running training courses via Zoom, Teams or Webex we have put together a set of top tips to allow you to become an expert in no time at all. Please refer to other sections of our website for more information about our live, virtual train the Trainer courses.  We also have a number of Train the Trainer newsletters and blogs which can help you to put together a perfect presentation.

Top Tip 1

Check your equipment

I once ran a Zoom workshop and was worried that no one had logged in, only to find that I’d sent out the wrong log in id. When you first start to use it makes great sense to check everything. This may seem like an obvious thing to say but please check that all of your equipment is working before you set up all log into a live training course using video and audio. There’s nothing worse and trying to log in 10 minutes before the start to find that neither the audio or video is working. BTW in the same workshop I suffered  a power cut that knocked out my wifi connection. It wasn’t a great day AND it was a course on Project Management!!!

Top Tip 2


Whether you’re working on an apple or on Windows PC ensure you know how to use the Keyboard shortcut functions. Here are some of the main ones we use on an Apple Mac. Windows shortcuts are on the site. You’ll not only be saving time and avoiding a lot of unwanted interruptions if you are able to:

Command(⌘)+U: Display/hide Participants panel

Command(⌘)+Shift+H: Show/hide In-Meeting Chat Panel

Command(⌘)+Control+S: Screen Share via Direct Share

Command(⌘)+Shift+A: Mute/unmute audio

Command(⌘)+Control+M: Mute audio for everyone except the host (only available to the host)

Command(⌘)+Control+U: Unmute audio for everyone except host (only available to the host)

Command()+Shift+V: Start/stop video to hide the video window on your screen

We have a bigger list of shortcut keys on our website blog at for more information

Top Tip 3

Guidelines and housekeeping points in advance

Send out Pre-course guidelines to all of your participants. These should include training aims and objectives and, more importantly, the rules of engagement. One of the rules which is recommended is for all participants to have the video on during the presentation. There’s nothing worse than having one of your group blanked out whilst the others are on full video screen.

Top Tip 4

Pre-course as much as possible

Set out activities for delegates to do during the course to keep engagement. Even the questions you ask should be prepared in advance to avoid the ‘any questions’ response. In face to face presentations studies have shown that attendees lose concentration every 8-10 minutes so it’s vital that you keep your delegates engaged throughout using a combination of exercises, tests, questions, videos, group work etc. A good rule to follow is give out an exercise every 7-10 bullet points.

Top Tip 5

Dual screens.

Use a second screen positioned at eye level to mimic your presentation alongside your presentation slides and notes. This will allow you to anticipate the next part of the presentation and this will enable you to have a much smoother training presentation because you know what’s coming next.

Top Tip 6

Breakout rooms.

Take a few moments to learn how to set up breakout rooms for your meetings and training sessions. These can be preassigned so you know who will go into which room and allow you to get the best out of the exercises and discussions by having a good mix of participants in each room. Ensure your delegates have access to the exercise you wish them to follow – you can include these in the pre-course materials

Top Tip 7

Lesson plans

Running training courses face-to-face can be a challenging experience, but when you are having to run the same course as a Remote, Life training there are different challenges which you must be able to overcome to make the training experience successful for both yourself and your attendees. One of these is to be able to run the course smoothly and proficiently. The key to this is setting out your lesson plan with instructions you can follow.

Top Tip 8

Post it notes

Prepare your presentation notes prior to starting your training session. You can use post-it note placed on computer table in front of you or on the wall behind you or  you can print off your presentation so that you can read your presentation notes written prior to the presentation.

By doing this you can learn how to ‘transition from one slide to the next’. Nothing makes a presentation smoother than the trainer  knowing where you going even before the audience has seen it. Think about how the people delivering the weather transition between points they are making. Smooth operators make it seem spontaneous. Try practicing; ‘……. And that last point brings us onto the next part of our journey. What I’m going to show you next is the plan we have for delivering the project on time’.

Top Tip 9

Activities and engagement

Send out pre-course activities that you wish delegates to complete before the training. Live training is different from face to face in that things move quicker and you lose attention of the delegates quickly unless you keep them engaged. So, ensure that you build in a lot more smaller individual and group exercises that are completed on the course but the pre-work (such as questionnaires etc are done before you start the course. Here’s an example of some of the pre-course assignments we send to our delegates prior to our Time Management course.

Pre-course activities and exercises

Please complete the Pre-course form and return it to us via email. The activities that need to be done prior to the course are set out below. Complete:

Pre-course Briefing form – please send to us the completed copy

ACTIVITY 1 – Time Management Questionnaire – complete all 35 questions

ACTIVITY 2 – Your To-Do List – Complete your tasks for tomorrow and for the week

ACTIVITY 3 – Delegation List – Complete the list of tasks that you do that can be delegated. Only fill in column 1, the rest we will discuss on the course

Have all pre-course work sent to you printed off and check that it’s been done satisfactorily

Send out reminders 24 hours in advance of the course with the pre-course instructions attached so not only are the participants reminded about the course, they are also reminded about the work they need to do.

Top Tip 10

Activities – Lots of them

Prepare your activities and send out the delegates prior to the course. Ask them to be returned to you at least 24 hours in advance. The advantage of this is the dead time taken for activities to be completed on the course. A real time saver

Ensure that you have an activity for the group after every 10-15 minutes. This may seem daunting but it’s not as arduous as it sounds. Keeping attention when your delegates are in front of a computer for a long period of time is a challenge so it’s vital that they are more involved than for normal face to face meetings. The types of activity you can use are:

  • Open questions that each member of the group answers
  • Splitting the attendees into groups and getting one member of each group to answer a question
  • Having 30 second chats – each member will write an answer to a question asked or posed on a slide
  • Have one or two delegates summarise their learning from the slide
  • Have each attendee to create an online ‘action plan’ using Outlook tasks or online notes and each attendee to complete an action at the end of the slide. You may ask for volunteers to read out their ‘actions’.

If you’ve found these tips valuable you’ll find the others on our website under our newsletters and blogs section, freely given and enthusiastic enjoyed.. We’ve a wealth of free tips and techniques for you on loads of subjects. Try it, we’re sure you’ll love them.

Warren Wint and, is the lead trainer of total success training and is available for training consultancy, workshops, training and presentations. You can contact him at or call total success on (020) 8269 1177.