Some people successfully use the presentation as an independent way to present material. However, it often becomes a part of a report, webinar, or online course. Presentation is a perfect way to give your students a brief overview of the materials for notes. Moreover, it can be a hint for you not to forget the information you have to present. You remain the key element for your audience, and it’s a big advantage of slides.
But it doesn’t mean that your audience ignores slides; that’s why you need to take care of the visual component — the design of slides. If you’ve never created presentations, you probably don’t know how it should look to seem attractive for your students. This guide will help you gain an insight into the basics of making a beautiful presentation.
Before you go ahead with the plan of your slides, you have to identify your aim. We hope there’s no need to explain why you must have a clear purpose. There are several ways how your presentation can be useful for you:
- Backing up the speech or report;
- Promotion and selling the product;
- Visual aid for listeners.
Our task is to review the structure of a good presentation and define the best order for its components.
This part will take you a few minutes, but you still shouldn’t ignore it. An introduction sets a tone for your speech. Tell the theme of your lesson, describe what aspects you’ll touch and why your students need this information.
The first slide you’ll create is a title slide. Don’t overburden it with the abundance of information. A perfect title should contain the topic of the seminar or online course and the speaker’s name. Feel free to add sponsorship logos, your contact details, etc.
The rules for your webinar
Not all your students know how webinars and online seminars work, so consider explaining to your audience your plan for this webinar: when they can ask questions, where they can find the answers to frequently asked questions, how they can get access to the recording, etc. This slide should be a notification for your audience, so include it in each new presentation.
When you start your webinar, you always inform your audience about the speakers or speaker if you’re the only lecturer. You’d better devote a separate slide to present a speaker. Add name, photo, place of work, area of activity, academic degrees, etc. Your audience should know who will teach them.
The plan of the effective presentation
A summary slide is a compulsory component of your presentation that’ll let your students know what questions you will consider and what theses you’ll discuss.
The main content and the ways you can structure it
The five slides mentioned above do not contain much information, but you should be attentive and don’t let them last more than 5 minutes; otherwise, your audience will get bored. Avoid presenting information as a plain text: structuring and maintaining the logical order make the main ideas clear for the audience, and it’s what we need to achieve.
There’s no point in describing all methods of structuring the material. Here are five of the most widespread ones:
1. Chronological approach
You may use this method for any presentation, but note that it suits best for various business presentations. Chronology presupposes that you’ll describe the past situation, how things are today, and what you offer for the future. If you discuss changes, boldly use this method to help your audience acknowledge that something has changed.
2. Geographical approach
There are certain topics that require the use of this method. In most cases, they are related to the situation in any country or region. For example, you may easily use this approach if you’re talking about something that influences people in a certain country of the world. The perfect example is the presentation about climate change. Describe the reasons for climate change, how we can notice it, and then tell how different countries try to fight climate change. Finish your presentation with a discussion about the measures your audience can take to do good for the world’s climate.
3. Problem-solution approach
Sometimes to be sure your audience understands what you’re talking about, you need to start with discussing and explaining the problem and then describe the possible solution. Here is a good way to implement this approach in your presentation:
- The problem your audience faces;
- Reason for this issue;
- Consequences of this problem;
- The solution you offer to tackle this problem.
4. Traffic lights approach
Use traffic lights to change the behavior of your audience. Red means they stop doing something, green means they should start doing something, and yellow means they need to continue doing something. Place them in an order you consider necessary and effective.
5. The list approach
It’s hard to call this structure effective because it’s the simplest way to organize the material. However, if you see that no one among the above-mentioned approaches suits you, use a bland list. Don’t forget that the perfection of the material mainly depends on the speaker but not on the presentation, so if you’re an expert in your work, don’t worry. When you use the list, you enumerate all details and elements and then describe each item in detail.
Interaction with the audience
Most of the speakers start communicating to their audience at the very end of their presentation. But we must tell you this approach is wrong. Think about the possible touchpoints when preparing for your webinar, and then try to organically integrate them into your slides and attract people’s attention.
We don’t advise you to ask people any questions after each slide. It’s much better to devote a separate section in your report to it. Create a slide “Questions and Answers” to let your audience know that now they can start asking questions. Some people may oppose and say that it’s better to answer the questions after each slide, but it’s an intensely personal decision. If you aren’t sure you want to devote a special time for q&a, try another approach and compare their effectiveness.
You’ve discussed certain questions and certainly want to know what the audience thinks about it. Why not include a slide with a short questionnaire. Be sure your platform has a special section for questionnaires and hire a manager to monitor this poll.
It’s no use denying that the beginning and the end of the presentation stick in the memory more than any other moment. That’s why both the beginning and the end should look perfect. Be attentive while working on them if you want your main content to be more interesting and want them to sign up for another course and buy another webinar.
The conclusion isn’t enough to finish your presentation. An abstract is a final slide where you overview the information presented at the webinar.
A path forward
If you decide to end your webinar with a concrete plan of action, create a slide with its description. It’ll help you create an algorithm based on these steps. There’s no need to complicate something here: just list your steps and nothing more. Everything you’ve stated in your presentation goes to your plan. If your task is to educate and inform, you don’t need to create any plan, moreover, you may ask your audience to develop it based on the information they’ve learned today.
Well, what’s next?
It is your final slide that’ll explain to your students what happens next: will you give them access to any additional materials, conduct polls, when the next webinar/lesson happens, and so on.
All course creators and speakers want their presentations to look perfect and contain as many materials as possible, but they often forget about one important aspect. Presentation and other materials will be aired through the Internet, but not all people have a good Internet connection to view large photos, tables, animations, videos, etc. That’s why there’s an important rule you should follow: make slides simple but informative.
Common design mistakes
The abundance of text and long lists are the most widespread mistakes that make your presentation useless. Moreover, they’ll make people get bored and leave your webinar. If you have to describe any highlights from the book or any other work, don’t list them word for word. People who are watching your webinar can open this book and find this information there. Get your creativity involved.
The same applies to people who add large images to slides. It works well with presentations alone, but not for webinars at all. Images require educational platforms to transmit huge amounts of data through the Internet, which often causes latency. It annoys people.
The effective design of the interactive presentation
You don’t need to browse the Internet in search of tips on creating a presentation with outstanding design. We’ve collected three major variants for you:
Devote one slide to one plan item
Don’t worry that your presentation will be too long; it’s okay. If you have a large plan containing more than five items, consider using this approach. You regularly change slides; people see a new slide each minute and don’t get bored or distracted.
Form items into groups
Schemes and diagrams always work better than plain text or lists. Create a slide with several groups and compare it to the list to see how informative and attractive it is. This approach also helps people see how items can coincide or even intercross.
Do you ask what software has this function? Microsoft PowerPoint and its SmartArt function let you group the information.
What about graphics?
SmartArt function can also be used for adding some graphics to the presentation. All graphics you want to add should be topic-based; it’s important. Use PowerPoint for this purpose if you want to save more time.
Check the table below to gain insight into the most convenient instruments for presentation creators:
The best software for beginners because of its convenient functionality and user-friendly interface. Has a lot of opportunities for process automation. PowerPoint presentations can be viewed through Google Drive.
PowerPoint contains many functions you’ll hardly ever use, and sometimes it makes the finding of a necessary function endless.
A minimum set of the most necessary instruments, so you’ll hardly need to spend your time exploring Keynote’s functions. Creates a pptx presentation that can be opened on any PC.
Only MacOS is supported.
There are no restrictions: you can design and format your presentation the way you like.
Be ready to spend some time making sense of functions and instruments.
You may think your slides are good enough and you can’t improve perfection; however, there’s always room for improvement. Here are some good ways to improve your design. Check them, and perhaps you’ll find a detail of your presentation that should be upgraded.
Correct a background
Don’t forget about the need to stream your presentation over the Internet, so the fewer details it contains, the better for you. Delete all unnecessary details from your background and make it self-colored. Nothing will distract the attention of the audience.
Get rid of the animation
All these transitions are outdated and useless, so try to find a way to delete them all. It would be challenging to do if they serve any function, but you must replace them.
Build your slides
The only animation you can use is the effect that lets you move an object to a slide. These are various build effects (building in and building out). Object means image, text box, graphics, table, etc. This effect is perfect for large slides containing a lot of information. If you don’t want to overload your audience, add the elements progressively.
They aren’t necessary at all. Everything they can do is cause latency and make people nervous, so get rid of them. Why do people still use transitions between slides? It’s time to stop thinking they can make presentations look beautiful. No one cares.
Don’t use Prezi for webinars and seminars; this software works well only for personal presentations. PowerPoint, Keynote, and other programs use a slide-based approach to create presentations. Prezi is completely different. It uses a map layout to place your slides. It zooms in your ‘slide’ o to view it and then zooms out to return to a map. Looks well but causes lags.
Only small images are allowed
Images, as well as all other media materials, sparkle people’s interest and retain them. Since the difference in the Internet speeds doesn’t let us include any images we want, the only solution is to select small photos.
Do you really need eye candies?
Both your webinar and presentation aim to inform people but not to entertain. That’s why you’d better get rid of the majority of decorative elements such as the following:
- Gridlines on graphic or diagram;
- Shadows, reflections, and other 3d effects;
- Unusual frames near text boxes.
They distract the audience and make it difficult to concentrate on the main content.
Prefer linear art
We understand that it’s difficult to persuade you to use something besides photos, but we’ll try. Sometimes using linear art, such as tables, figures, and signs is more appropriate. They help you create slides that’ll be visually attractive for people and load much faster.
It’s not so difficult to create a presentation, but you’ll have to spend your time and even obtain certain skills if you want to create a good presentation. We hope this guide was useful to you and helped you to create an effective and good-looking presentation. You may use our instructions to update your old presentations to make them suitable for webinars. Ask your audience to share their opinions about the quality of your presentation at the end of your webinar: feedback is a significant motivator that helps to understand what should be changed.
- Do you need to include CTA in your presentation?
Presentation, as well as your webinar and course, aims to achieve something. You can increase its effectiveness by placing a CTA statement. It’s better to include it at the end of your presentation, and CTA may look like “sign up for English course,” “buy a new book by this author,” “sign up for a trial lesson in yoga,” etc.
- Does repeating the contact details at the end of the presentation make sense?
You may be surprised, but yes, it increases the chances your contacts will be saved. Thank the audience for the attention they devoted to you, and place your mobile phone, e-mail, and links to social media.
- Which color palette for presentation is successful?
Orient to your corporate style when choosing a color for formatting. The maximum number of colors you may use is five, but 2-3 is often enough to design a stunning product that’ll catch people’s attention.
- What font is better to use?
We can’t answer this question because each person here decides for himself or herself. There’s no successful font used in all presentations: some are more popular, whereas others are less. Sometimes people manage to one-up even the simplest fonts the way they start looking attractive and trendy. Make sure your font is readable, up-to-date, and has a normal size.
Everyone has met a person whose voice was so beautiful and nice that you ignored the meaning of words and just enjoyed this person’s voice. If you think that it’s a talent, you’re right but not 100% right. Some people are born with perfect articulation and intonation, whereas others need to train a lot to speak well. Although you don’t need to work on articulation and intonation, you may make your voice sound beautiful. It’s much easier and faster.
Many guides and educational materials promise to tell you all the secrets of developing a nice voice, but not all of them are really effective. And if you aim to feel and speak naturally in front of the camera, you need to use a special approach. That’s why we designed an effective guide that can help everyone speak well on camera and feel confident.
Don’t be afraid to be loud
Those who only learn how to speak well are shy, and it’s okay. When we are shy, we always speak quietly. It’s the first mistake that should be corrected. Answer yourself the following question: “For whom you’re talking?” If you’re talking for people, they must hear you, so try to overcome your barrier and start speaking louder.
Don’t show that you’re shy and you’re afraid of something — people lose interest in a blink of an eye. The key here is not to overdo it. Be loud, but don’t shout because it also shows a lack of confidence.
What about the speed?
Do you like people who constantly chatter and have to repeat what they told several times? You probably don’t, so avoid becoming such a person. Listeners will have trouble understanding what you tell and will even stop listening to you after some time. Professionals manage to develop their speaking style, speed the speech up, and slow it down when it’s necessary to emphasize something.
Trying to get ahead of yourself from the very start won’t help you to reach their level. Progress slowly, start with slowing down the speech rate and pausing when it’s necessary to draw in another breath but don’t speak too slowly. Otherwise, you’ll sound boring and monotonous. Try to maintain a speed of 120-160 words per minute.
Correctness is your first priority
Do you know another important characteristic of the perfect speech? It’s clearness. Clear speech is worth a lot because it’s one of the most important aspects of developing a good voice. Work on your pronunciation and watch every word you pronounce. Try not to make mistakes. If you don’t know how to pronounce this or that word — check it in the dictionary.
Not all people know that your organs of speech should be in a certain position when speaking. First of all, open your mouth and relax your lips. Keep your tongue and teeth in a natural position. It also helps conceal some speech impediments.
Remember about breathing
Deep breathing is one of the secrets of a full and intense voice. In real life, we breathe fast and shallowly, changing the tone of our voice to the negative side. Since you’re preparing to speak on camera, you must understand how to use the diaphragm. To understand it, place your fist on your belly, breathe in and out several times. If your stomach inflates, you breathe using the diaphragm.
But your task is to get used to diaphragm breathing, so practice it regularly. Take a deep breath for 5 seconds and then breathe out, counting to 5. You won’t even notice how you’ll start breathing with the diaphragm in real life. By the way, the quality of your breathing also depends on your position. If you want to breathe deeply, sit or stand still, shoulders back and keep your chin up. Such posture can also make you feel more confident; that’s why it’s a perfect position to speak on camera.
Breathe in at the end of each sentence to sound well and let listeners perceive information better. Use a deep breathing method, and don’t worry that you won’t have enough air to pronounce the next sentence.
Develop a unique style of presentation
Speakers who can’t control a pitch of voice may sound spasmodically and hesitantly. Listeners may think that these people are nervous, so to change your voice’s effect on the audience, try to speak calmly and make your tone of voice smooth. Don’t change the pitch of your voice. Try to find the natural tone of voice instead.
Singing a song and reading a text excerpt aloud are two best exercises for those who want to control the pitch of voice. Remember that you need to keep your tone on one level and place accents from time to time.
Do vocal exercises every day
It may seem that speaking has nothing in common with vocal, but doing these exercises can help you develop your natural voice. It’s better to turn on a video and start your training session, or you may do them in front of the mirror.
The aim of the exercise
Number of repetitions
How often to do them
Mouth and vocal cords relaxation
Yawn widely and jiggle your jaw while singing a melody; then massage your throat muscles gently
Once as a warm-up
Increasing the respiratory volume
Breathe out all the air out of your lungs, take a deep breath and hold it for 15 seconds and then breathe out again
Sing an ‘ah’ sound on your normal pitch and then gradually lower it
Do this exercise with each vowel sound
Use tongue twisters
Today you can find hundreds or even thousands of tongue twisters on the Internet, so you’ll probably find several phrases you’ll like. If you’re a creative personality, make up your tongue twister. Practice them every day, and you’ll see the changes soon.
Read texts aloud
It’s the easiest way to work on your pronunciation, rate of speech, and breathing technique. You don’t even need to search for anything: open a book or magazine that lay on the table and start reading. Remember about the proper posture we’ve mentioned before and try to control your intonation. Don’t read like a robot. And remember that practice makes perfect.
Record your voice
We know that most of our readers who’ll read this piece of advice will immediately remember the voice confrontation. Almost all people face it when listening to their voices in recordings. If you also dislike how your voice sounds, it’s okay. But let’s forget about this effect for a little. You need to record your voice to avoid mistakes and track progress.
Moreover, the recording reveals mistakes we don’t notice at all. Since you’re preparing to speak on camera, make a video instead of recording to see how you look from the outside. Perhaps you need to change the position, learn to maintain eye contact with the audience, change the way you move your mouth, etc. We don’t judge a book by its cover, but you’d better look stunning.
Smile is your new habit
Each speaker should know how to win people over. You may do it by your voice: just use a friendly, open, and encouraging tone, and you’ll see how attentively people start listening to you. Don’t forget to smile, because it’s the most obvious way to show your friendly spirit. We don’t ask you to smile from ear to ear all the time — get the corners of your mouth lifted. Many managers and operators who have to talk on the phone with clients use this rule to speak in a friendly tone.
Smiling isn’t always about making your facial muscles move. Smile is about adding some positive emotions to your speech.
Are you going to speak in a webinar or any online conference? Dry, run your speech in front of the mirror, look at how you smile and speak. Ask your friends to assess your speech if you aren’t shy to speak to them.
Care about your outfit
If you think that your online speech is not a cause for dressing up, don’t cry and regret it when your speech fails. Clothing influences your sense of self and boosts your self-confidence. Choose a look that reflects your individuality and, at the same time, is comfortable. If you hold an online lesson, choose a simpler and modest look.
Can you look at the camera?
We mean that you should be able to stare at your camera for hours and not just take a glance. Many people are afraid of the lens, but this fear isn’t justified. Don’t look around; if visitors see that your eyes are constantly moving, your authority as an expert will be undermined. The main thing you should also do is to be able to recognize your mistakes and fix them.
Stock up some water
Dry mouth is your biggest enemy because it can spoil everything. Keep in mind that nervousness causes thirst, so that some water will help you for sure. By the way, getting a sip of water is a perfect way to gather your thoughts and catch your breath. Moreover, it will save your lips from drying out. Take a lipstick to moisturize your lips if you’re familiar with this problem.
What about the atmosphere?
No one extraneous noise and nothing more should interrupt you. To avoid all such potentially embarrassing situations, you have to take care of the atmosphere in your room. Try to remember all factors that can prevent you from presenting your speech and eliminate them.
Being nervous and tense won’t help you get over this situation faster and emerge victoriously. Are you anxious? If yes, it’s not the right time to speak to the camera. You certainly remember what helps you alleviate stress, so do it before your speech to relax: listen to music, have a shower, do exercise. And only when you’re sure you’re cool as a cucumber may you start recording your video or participating in the webinar.
Gain control over your body
We hope you remember that camera significantly zooms the image, so the audience sees everything it should and shouldn’t notice. Moreover, they also analyze and assess your gestures and mimic. Learn some information about body language and choose a body position that’ll show your interest and energy. Newbies often use their hands to do something to calm their nerves, for example, strum any small detail. The audience will notice it, so find something to occupy your hands during your video.
Smiling with your eyes is a widespread trick of runway models. You also can do it to interest people. Stop thinking that you can smile only with your mouth, so involve your beautiful eyes. They at least shouldn’t show indifference; that enough for the first time.
Change your perception of the audience
Your audience isn’t strict professors with college degrees in acting, and they don’t open your video to criticize it. Some such individuals consider themselves the smartest people, but fortunately, they constitute a minority. You can laugh, but some psychologists offer people to imagine that people you’re talking to are naked. This approach helps people to build self-confidence and destroy barriers.
Use your personal experience
Everyone can find theoretical materials on the Internet, copy them and retell them. Many bloggers use this approach to create posts. What prevents your audience from doing this? Your content should have something unique, something that can attract people. Don’t be afraid to express your opinion, tell people about your personal experience, and discuss opinions. Be natural to make people fell in love with your personality.
Prepare text in advance, but present it so all people understand that you have reached this conclusion just a little while ago. Have you noticed that you feel more relaxed and free when you’re talking about your own experience? It’s another reason you should stop copying information and dilute it with your judgments. Try to stand while explaining materials. Sitting is more convenient, but it doesn’t let you radiate the spirit that’ll impress your audience.
Can I add a little humor to my speech?
Yes, but remember that you’re not a stand-up comic, so don’t overdo it. Do you want people to remember your course for a long time? Make it look casual and natural. And making people laugh is probably the best way to achieve it. Intended mistakes and awkward situations can easily clear the air.
Speaking voice coaches: do they really help?
Of course, they help people start speaking better. If you’re going to have an important event and don’t want to fail, take a few lessons with a voice coach. They don’t cost too much but help speakers quickly identify the main mistakes and fix them. Voice coaches are irreplaceable for those who have an accent: this issue isn’t so easy to deal with, and you won’t get rid of it on your own.
Your friend or family member can replace a coach: just practice your speech in the presence of someone and then ask this person to express his or her opinion.
What are the key obstacles to becoming camera-friendly?
If you see you have one of the following problems, don’t panic. They aren’t critical and are easy to correct. Here they are:
the abundance of pauses;
Increasing your vocabulary
People with a small vocabulary have huge difficulties speaking well on camera, so having a qualification and being an experienced professional isn’t enough to present information well. Listen to audiobooks and read fiction because these are the easiest and the most effective ways to broaden your vocabulary.
Modern technologies greatly expand learning opportunities and make education more available for people. There are many courses, software, and other special instruments that facilitate the organization of e-learning.
All course creators know that realization and organization of online learning are of paramount importance because they influence the perception of information and its retention. Selection of material and its organization are key aspects that guarantee the success of an online course.
Here, we tell you all the secrets of providing effective e-learning. Moreover, we’ll show you what you need to do, and of course, cover all peculiarities of online education.
№1. Defining your purpose
Do you realize why creating an online course is necessary for you? If no, you should brainstorm and find an answer to this question. Today, online learning is mostly used for such purposes:
- To promote expertise in a certain field and sell your knowledge.
- To boost sales of your products or services.
- To increase the number of subscribers by means of sharing interesting content.
- To make people trust the brand or product.
№2. Identifying the tasks your course should solve
Let’s imagine that you’ve identified the purpose of your course and can tell why you need to launch it. However, you should also know how it can help people that’ll buy it. We mean that you need to define its objectives and goals. It can be difficult enough to define them at once. Remember that learning objectives can’t be measured but can be achieved. Durability and extensiveness are other characteristics of distance learning.
Objectives are often called the results of education since they are directly related to the expected results of learning.
Your first task is to choose at least three objectives of the course. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine the goals, so we offer you to look through three following sentences and complete them to understand your goals:
- My task is to emphasize…
- The key topics students will learn are…
- The overall result I want to see is…
Use this planning chart to transform goals into objectives and vice versa.
Your beliefs regarding general educational experience
The choice of learning strategies, training materials, and training activities
Your vision of the course, a description of its tasks
What skills the participants will obtain?
The unmeasurable and long-term goals
The indicators you use for grading
What should your students experience while learning?
What is the task of your learning materials ?
№3. Pick the topic
The search for the topic shouldn’t present a problem at all. Answer these questions to help yourself find your niche:
- How often do your friends, clients, or colleagues seek your assistance with something where you consider yourself an expert?
- Have you ever solved a problem other people couldn’t?
- Do you consider yourself an expert in a relevant area people are interested in?
Coaches that know how to provide distance training appropriately also consider the following important factor when determining a topic — the potential return. The more relevant and useful the topic is, the more people will pay for the offered distance and e-learning technologies.
№4. Assigning a lecturer
If you’re an expert, you don't need to hire a specialist. Of course, if you aren’t sure you have enough experience and knowledge, you’d better invite a recognized and respected expert, or even several people.
№5. Defining the target audience
A target audience is a limited number of people expected to be interested in your product. A detailed analysis of your target audience lets you identify people’s needs. And this knowledge will become a basis for planning future marketing activities focused on promotion and sales growth.
№6 Tips to boost sales
Here are several ways of organizing and selling any online lesson:
- Pre-sales e-mail newsletter
This sales strategy presupposes that you have an extensive list of email addresses ( min. 100 subscribers), but it’s the easiest strategy.
- Involving people through personal interviews
If your target audience is small or isn’t interested in your content, this way of promotion is for you. However, be ready to feel awkward: when a person says ‘no,’ you may write with the refusal.
- No-cost consultations
Your task is to offer a useful free consultation people will get if they purchase your distance course.
- Create a perfect website
Using modern website builders, everyone can create stunning landing pages to sell or promote your products on the Internet. It also works well for online courses promotion.
№7. Preparation of educational material
Content preparation requires a little more time than other steps, so we ask you to be attentive and don’t rush. We’ll do the same.
Any experienced coach or teacher will tell you that creating a course or any other informational content from scratch isn’t a problem. Before you launch a course, you should review all information you have and systematize it. Many people don’t think that including their materials in course isn’t necessary and make a mistake. You’ve probably accumulated a lot of educational material, starting with informative leaflets to monographs and books, thematic materials from conferences, etc.
Use everything you have, including the materials you’ve created earlier. Are you a blogger? If you recorded the last seminar you’ve attended or the last webinar you’ve watched, give your students access to it. Do you want your course to be perfect? Include these types of content to it:
- Videos (recordings of your lectures, webinars, etc.);
- E-books and other text files (you may add your blog posts as well);
- Speeeches and podcasts.
№8. The choice of the teaching method and the way of providing distance learning
It’s also important to define the types, methods, and instruments of learning. The best option for you is to combine the following components:
Students may use special software (for example, Zoom) to implement various group projects.
- Tests and assignments
You should regularly check students’ knowledge to see if your course is effective.
Invitation to a discussion lets you increase interest in studying. A high level of student engagement is a key to success.
Video conferences are key to the implementation of synchronous distance learning. Otherwise, online software will be limited to self-directed learning without interaction with the teacher.
- Learning management system
Always use LMS to give all students one-stop access to all educational materials.
- Planning network
All students need to contact teachers for counseling. It would be good to launch a platform where students could schedule meetings with teachers.
- Providing access to the resource base
Make sure your students have all the necessary sources of information and opportunities to search for educational materials.
№9.Is it possible to create a distance learning platform alone?
Well, you’ve completed all the stages mentioned above, but holding distance learning using a special platform is still a mystery for you? Today the range of such services is broad enough, and the functions of these services are almost unlimited. Edx, Coursera, Udemy are the most commonly used distance learning sites.
All these sites have one significant drawback: people who upload and sell their courses there must be ready to share the income with platforms. And the part of income they require is big enough. Moreover, you must be sure that your course can compete with similar products.
Sounds like not the best way to promote your knowledge.Some people may ask: can these platforms boast of any advantages? A large variety of functions is a key advantage for all course creators.
You’d better use an independent platform to create and promote your online courses. KWIGA is the best option. Feel free to download the course you’ve already created or use its functions to create it from the very beginning. Having any technical skills isn’t a must at all.
№10. It’s time for quality assurance
Any new software should be tested, and especially online courses. Testing is important because it’s the only way to avoid bugs and mistakes. Don’t forget that you must release a perfect product. Your family members or friends can act like QA engineers: ask them to pass your course and tell you about the mistakes they’ll find. At the very least, you may gather a group of real users for testing. Please, don’t ignore this stage. Perhaps you’ve missed something or forgot to add a slide or a button, deleted a test you’ve mentioned in your previous task, etc.
Look through the course on your own and fix the mistakes you see. Then ask friends to do the same, perhaps, they’ll find more inconsistencies. You must know that people working on something for a long time don’t notice the mistakes because they’ve read the information multiple times. Quality assurance will let you know how to improve the quality of distance learning and achieve the main goal — to make it useful.
№11. Start your online learning
All right, you have finally learned how to hold online lessons, have prepared to be a lecturer, handled all technical issues, designed and tested your course, et. Remind your group about the launch of your online course via e-mail newsletter or SMS messaging. Enjoy sharing your expertise with other people: hold lessons, discuss interesting topics with students and assess their knowledge to see the results of your work.
Well, we’ve examined the methods of organizing distance learning and now you’re almost an expert in creating informative and useful online course. We hope that now you understand that the right approach is everything that separated you from achieving your goal.
- How long should video content be for e-learning?
If you add videos to your course, you should be very careful because not all of them are suitable for online learning. We mean if the content you add is too long and too difficult to perceive, students will hardly stay interested for a long time. Student engagement is a very important aspect in online learning, and all course creators should understand this. Here are the videos that can be used for distance course:
1) up to 5 minutes. Short introductory information statements.: вводные короткие информационные сообщения.
2) from 5 to 10 minutes.Separate videos that answer a particular question, but not the whole topic or chapter.
3) from 10 to 20 minutes.Detailed videos containing a lot of useful information. They can cover the whole chapter from your course; however, in this case, they should be very interesting and catch the attention of your audience.
- Do students need textbooks and guides for e-learning?
If we are talking about creating a distance learning system, we can’t omit a text component because it’s very important. One of the best ways to implement this component in your course is to use electronic books. Giving students access to ebooks may be a good decision, but we advise you to rework these materials and create your ebook using design templates.
- How to calculate the right price?
Setting a price is a difficult stage for many course creators. A perfect price is a sum that is affordable for people and at the same time offsets the efforts and money you’ve put into it. Find a happy medium. You may be surprised, but the price of your course impacts the level of student engagement: the more they’ll pay, the more interested they’ll be. Don’t offer your content for free; otherwise, people won’t trust it and
- How to put your group together and create a community?
The opportunity to find new friends and found a community is one of the advantages of studying. Learners like to interact with like-minded people and share their ideas. That’s why it’s especially important to encourage communication between the students. It helps them all pass the shared path during their learning. The community also makes them feel supported.
Instilling a fellowship between coursemates will be good for everyone in the long turn. Found groups among your students and your subscribers, initiate discussions, and unite people.
Online learning has recently become a fast-growing and very profitable industry. Thanks to the capabilities of modern technologies, such a business is easy to start with minimal investment. At the same time, the amount of income from it can reach six figures or even more.
According to experts, the online education market is expected to grow to $300 billion by 2025. This means now is the perfect time to join the e-learning industry. Your own course can bring fixed passive income or become a new source of permanent profit.
First off, you need to answer several vital questions to run a career in this profitable business. You have to:
- decide what you want to share with others and why doing it online is the best way to accomplish it;
- choose a course topic;
- analyze whether your course will be profitable;
- think of your sales strategy;
- figure out how to conduct classes remotely.
This article provides answers to the mentioned questions with detailed instructions.
Before creating online classes, you need to know the course's purpose and target audience. Make sure to evaluate your knowledge and experience because every person has unique skills that others can benefit from.
№1 Goals, Assignments, and Actions
Always remember that you teach people something useful. It is your business's responsibility. If you still don't know what you are good at, try to recall what people ask you about most frequently.
The purpose of training is the course's basis. It would be best if you defined this purpose at the planning stage. Usually, it is general information about concepts students will learn and skills they will obtain. The goal helps set the work's direction and allows the teacher to understand how to make online classes most effective. In turn, students learn what they will achieve upon completing the course.
You can try building an entire and logical sequence of the course's stages, assignments, and evaluation methods. The course's purpose should be more general and long-term. On the contrary, the assignments should be short-term and more specific.
№2 Criteria For the Effectiveness of Online Classes
A good course always meets the following criteria:
- It solves problems;
- It teaches something new;
- It helps achieve goals.
It is necessary to convey the course's objectives to students to link them to their focal goal.
№3 The Most Common Forms of Conducting Online Classes
This is a short author's course conducted by an expert in a specific field to teach students certain skills.
Music, painting, cooking, writing, acting, sports, dance, fashion, etc.
The ability of the master to interact with the audience; the students’ ability to solve complex problems during the course; receiving instant feedback.
A course for achieving personal or professional goals, where the teacher or mentor, i.e., the coach, supports the student by working with the latter one-to-one.
A course for achieving personal or professional goals, where the teacher or mentor, i.e., the coach, supports the student by working with the latter one-to-one.
Professional experience of the coach, communicative skills, such as purposeful repetition, active listening, explanation, and leading questions, help the student choose a strategy for achieving the goal.
Massive open online courses (MOOC)
An accessible and affordable online course aimed at training a large number of participants. In addition to educational materials, students receive professional support from competent people.
Formal Sciences (Mathematics, Physics, Programming), Humanities, Business, Technology.
An open online course can become an alternative to traditional education. It can also make higher education more accessible. Flexible schedule, constant development, online support. A comprehensive evaluation system.
It is usually held for training and retraining the company's employees. The goal is to find qualified specialists.
Services, Marketing and Sales, Healthcare, Administration, Management, Production, Personnel Management.
Continuous professional education of employees, advanced training, and retraining for the necessary fields. Issuing certificates confirming the knowledge.
A short online course lasting from 30 minutes to 2 hours. It is usually used for advertising purposes, for market research. It does not require large investments.
Any field of professional knowledge.
It helps accurately identify and “nurture” an online audience. A great tool for beginners. It saves time and allows the owner to predict sales of other courses.
A course from software developers or cloud services teaching how to use a particular product correctly.
Any software and services (SaaS).
Training people allows the owner to attract new customers and retain existing ones. It helps users solve problems and employ the product more effectively.
Once you decide on the purpose and form of training, you can proceed to the next stage.
The course structure is built after setting goals and objectives. When you decide on the main topic, many additional ideas might come to your mind. Make sure to write them down and divide them into smaller sub-topics. Then structure and group them by subject and content.
№4 Class Structure
For example, you can use the following template:
“The course's curriculum”
- Main topic 1
–– Sub-topic 1
–– Sub-topic 2
–– Sub-topic 3
№5 Choosing Learning Methods
Before performing online classes, you need to enlist several steps that students must complete to acquire the skill. Every task of the course must comprise these steps. Some assignments may require completing more actions; others, in turn, fewer. However, there shouldn't be more than twelve of such steps. It is essential to include them in every task, as they are taken into account when constructing the curriculum.
Distance learning can have the following learning techniques:
- Small victories: Simple tasks that give users confidence and steadily improve their skills.
- Expanding expertise area:Moving from simple to complex, students enhance their knowledge of their already familiar topics.
- Active learning:Those who take the courses should make an effort and complete different exercises to understand the tutorial video.
№6 A Specific Topic For a Speaker or Vice Versa?
In an online learning system, the importance of choosing a speaker and their qualities vary depending on the form of training. The speaker's expertise, experience, communication skills, and charisma play a pivotal role in conducting online classes or coaching. The topic also depends on the speaker's capabilities and knowledge.
It is crucial to be proficient in the subject and know the company's peculiarities for open and corporate classes. For a course on a particular product, only the necessary knowledge and the ability to convey it is important. That is why speakers are invited based on concrete requests.
It is necessary to determine how interaction with students will be organized initially. Many ways should be considered. Among them are: Sending invitations;Receiving feedback; Accepting payments;Issuing graduation documents; Engaging in various interactive processes.
You should also think about monetizing classes. Basically, you have two options. You can create a free course to attract subscribers and increase the loyalty of the target audience.Or you can plan to design a program immediately for sale. Suppose you focus on making a commercialized course. In that case, you need to create a strategy so that the right people can find and purchase/subscribe for the course.
№7 Identifying the Target Audience (TA)
Potential consumers of the content presented in the classroom are people who have a specific set of qualities. They should be studied as thoroughly as possible: age and gender composition, marital status, geography, interests.
It will be useful to divide potential customers into groups based on these criteria: this process is called Market Segmentation. Doing that will help identify the most pertinent part of the target audience with the highest purchasing power.
№8 What Does a Potential Customer Look Like?
It is recommended to create a portrait of such a client and describe in as much detail as possible who they live with, what they dream about, where they work, how their day goes, and what problems they encounter. All this will help choose the most relevant topic and correctly present classes to the target audience in the future.
It will also be useful to know at what time and from what devices users access the Internet and which social networks they are more likely to visit. Knowing this information will help plan an advertising campaign.
№9 Social Media Selection and Ad Settings
Every social network requires planning and configuring a unique advertising campaign. Instagram, Facebook, VK, Odnoklassniki, Yandex direct, and Google AdWords are the most popular ones.
Contextual advertising is the most sought-after targeted advertising method. It is displayed by keywords in the user's search query. Native advertising embedded in the environment is also gaining popularity. For example, an ad can mention the proposed product in an informative, relevant article or blogger's post. A naturally embedded commercial in an article about how you can conduct classes online will also do well.
You can perform market analysis manually or employ special tools, both free and paid. Alternatively, you may use particular services or turn to a marketing specialist or SMM manager.
Building your own training course is a creative and unique process that requires time.
№10 Preparing Training Materials
The more ready-made materials (content) you have, the less time it will take you to coin a full-fledged course. Having the following materials will significantly reduce the time spent on an entire program:
- Recorded videos;
- PDF files;
- Quizzes and tests;
- Landing pages.
If you have training materials at your disposal, you can create classes in just 2 weeks, working several hours a day. Creation costs can vary and reach thousands of dollars. It all depends on expenses, used services, and hiring expert people, such as professional video recording staff, designing team, etc.
№11 Organization and Schedule
There is no one-size-fits-all way to organize remote learning. Every created course is exclusive. However, all of them utilize educational platforms to reach the audience. The owner's task is to choose the most convenient platform in terms of cost and functionality and provide technical support for continuous and high-quality interaction.
One of the critical factors for the course's success is its flexibility and accessibility.
Courses can be:
- Self-paced: The student chooses a convenient time for classes.
- Modular: Training is divided into topics (modules); the student can start with any of them, then move on to the next one;
- Traditional: Similar in structure to the academic semester with midterms and final examinations.
After completing the training and finishing all tasks, a final test, quiz, or other knowledge assessment is conducted. Then a certificate of completion is issued: in electronic or paper form (in this case, the document is sent by post or e-mail).
№12 Technical Features
Online learning must include interactive components, for instance, collective or group work, tests and home assignments, discussions in chats, forums, and video conferences. Also, it is imperative to know how to organize a productive webinar that can compete with others.
How to conduct online classes most effectively? Utilizing this list of cutting-edge technology is unavoidable:
- Video conferences, using software for individual and group communication. This can be Skype, ZOOM, Webex, Google Hangouts, and alike. To maintain good communication quality, you need a high data transfer rate.
- “Smart” 360° camera for creating an interactive classroom effect.
- Learning management systems (LMS) allow you to collect all course materials in one place and enable students to access them.
- A platform for planning and configuring class schedules.
- Various useful services for students to help with their studies.
- A personal and easy-to-access library of training resources.
- Employment counseling and assistance: communication with employers who are ready to hire young professionals to serve internships.
? Recap To conduct a remote class as efficiently and profitably as possible, you need to:
- Set a clear goal and objective;
- Choose a topic, course form, and find a suitable speaker;
- Identify and segment your target audience, create an advertising campaign plan;
- Resolve technical aspects;
- Optimize your ad campaigns.
If you follow the correct procedure, have a positive attitude, and work hard, everything will work out!
- How much can I earn from online courses?
It all depends on the invested funds and the scale of training. Income ranges from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. At the same time, each subsequent course brings more profit, as grateful students leave feedback and bring their friends.
- What do I lose if I fail?
Absolutely nothing, since most of the services for creating and organizing courses are freely available. You won't even waste your time because you'll gain practical experience at the end of the day.
- Where can I find good specialists and the necessary software?
On freelance web pages and relevant sites, through friends, and at specialized conferences. All the necessary software is available on the web and can be found with just a few clicks.
- Which platform is better to choose?
The best way to find a platform is to read reviews, ratings, use the trial period, and test the capabilities of each service.
If you can’t find a business to devote yourself to, we may advise you to start an online school. Not many endeavors in 2020 are worth your attention, but it doesn’t apply to an online school. Distance learning gains popularity because it’s a lot easier than full-time training. People don’t need to leave their house to get new and valuable knowledge and then transform it into skills. Here we’ll discover all the secrets of running an online school. This article will be beneficial for people who have zero knowledge of this niche.
Don’t underestimate the importance of preparation because it’s the basis of your future course. It’s better to care about all aspects of launching a distance school than to deal with the consequences later.
№1. Let’s define the aim of launching a distance course in your school
A business that doesn’t have a clear purpose is doomed to failure. If you don’t know why your own school is necessary for you, give up the idea of starting it until you find a good reason and proper motivation. Check some statements and if you feel that one of them perfectly describes your situation - start preparation:
- You’re an expert who wants to share the accumulated information and skills.
- You have a blog and want to get more subscribers.
- You want to advertise your goods or services in an online course.
№2. Choose a direction, theme, and teaching methods
Take care about the subject and vector of your school and online courses — they should be sought-after; otherwise, you won’t gain the required number of subscribers. The next thing you should do is select the teaching methods. Your choice will influence the type of classes, the information they'll contain. Moreover, the format of the school depends on the teaching methods you choose.
Remember: studying doesn’t happen independently; students are in a social environment affected by numerous factors. Online learning should include various activities, including teacher-student and student-student interaction. It can be various social events, group lessons, and feedback to the teacher through messengers or emails.
№3. Gather a team of professional teachers.
The teaching staff is an essential element of your online school. At least it influences the reputation of your school. So you understand why you should be attentive when hiring teachers.
Can you describe what ‘good teacher’ means for you? We suppose that a good teacher is a highly respected person having long experience. Sometimes finding the right person takes months. If you want to be a founder of a school in good standing, please, be patient.
Besides having a vast body of knowledge, both practical and theoretical, your teachers should have outstanding communication skills and clearly articulate their thoughts. One of the best features of a professional instructor is to explain even the most complicated material the way everyone can understand it.Note that you may not hire teachers if you consider yourself qualified enough to hold lessons. Meeting the criteria mentioned above isn’t enough to be a teacher. You must also understand how eLearning works. If you think that it’s too difficult for you, don’t worry. Learn how to start an online school, become its administrator, and invite professional teachers to hold online classes.
№4.Target audience: Is it necessary to know it?
The target audience or TA are people who may be interested in attending your school. Any business owner will tell you that the analysis of the target audience is a key step in launching any startup. Online courses and schools aren’t the exceptions. You need to define your TA because it lets you get the necessary information:
- Where your clients get new information, it lets you find the best way to advertise your online school: in blogs they read, websites they visit, materials they search in Google.
- Their manner of communication. Write an ad copy that will be the most effective because it will be very similar to how they talk.
- How they choose and compare products of your niche. This knowledge helps to structure aspects and prioritize them when creating content.
- What do people want? Offer people a product that will align with their values and priorities. Finally, your website will look 98% relevant for them.
№5. How to create a portrait of the TA?
Answer the following questions to complete this step.
- Who do you work for? This information includes their age, sex, the sphere of activity, level of wealth, marital status, hobbies, habits, etc.
- What do these people want to accomplish?
- What do your customers need, and why can't they satisfy their needs?
If you answered all these questions, you understand your TA and can turn to the next step.
№6. Launching a school: marketing plan
You may think that finishing the previous steps is enough to run your own school. However, if you run your school without a marketing plan, people will hardly hear about you, and still, less buy a course. Online schools, like any other business, should have a clear marketing plan and follow it. Here are the marketing instruments you should use to develop an effective promotion strategy:
- Develop a high-quality website. Do you know what high-quality means here? It means your website should be comprehensive and contain information about you as a founder of this school, about your training courses, and don't forget to explain to clients where and how they can sign up for courses. It’s important because it lets you take advantage of SEO.
- Have you ever been a blogger? No? Then it’s time to become one. Turn your private account into a blog or create a new page to devote it to blogging. Post information about eLearning to engage people in your personality and your products.
- What about SMM? Having your blog is good, but your school shouldn’t be sidelined. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok are good sites to promote your online school. Pay your attention to TikTok because it’s on the rise these days. Share interesting materials about eLearning and place promotional posts to invite more people. The higher activity is on your page, the more attention to you and your products. Initiate discussions in comments and interact with your audience to maintain their interest.
- Place your courses on a unique platform. Courseindex.com is an example of such a service. It’s a catalog of courses from all over the web. Courseindex.com does more than just collect training courses. It uses the most effective affiliate marketing instruments to promote sites and these courses.
- Don’t forget about your graduates. Friendly relations between teachers, managers, school administrators, and students worth a lot. Make every effort to maintain them. Ask students to write reviews about your courses and recommend you to people. Reviews, especially negative ones, are a powerful motivator to become better. Product launch emails are another good way to not just stay in touch with grads but attract them to start another course in your school.
- Start a discount period at your school. Coupons and special offers are good instruments that are often used to heighten interest in a product, and they also work well with eLearning. Here are several applications for coupons: Can be given as special offers; May be presented to standing customers; Can be placed on coupon-providing websites and partners; It may be sent as a part of an email promotion.
- Catch potential clients. This trick is used to make people subscribe to a newsletter. Offer all visitors to join your mailing list to stay current on news and relevant proposals. But remember how you react to the offer to share your email address? Of course, you never fill all these order forms, just like your visitors. That’s why you must write a proposal in some other way. Offer them to join a newsletter and get a bonus: Checklist; Presentation; Ebook; Guide; Course; PDF document, etc.
The overall number of marketing instruments is huge, so you can test all of them to find the best one to make your training course effective.
After you’ve specified all moments and details, have chosen the most effective sales method, it’s the right time to proceed with creating an online school using a special platform, preparation of educational resources, QA testing, and then you may start your classes.
№7. Creating an own platform for online school
First and foremost, our task is to develop a website to place your online school. We advise you to start this process with the creation of the landing page. It’s the first page your website visitors see, so it aims to catch as many people as possible. Create a nice logo, add it, change the template’s colors, change fonts, and do everything you consider necessary to personalize your website.
Modern website builders do everything for you: they offer a wide range of templates you may customize.
The choice of the right templates, fonts, heading, images, and other elements is crucial. A good landing page is the one that can make people check the content in a matter of seconds. It’s your aim.
A landing page isn’t everything you need to perfect. The ‘About Us’ page should look stunning because it can be used to introduce your brand, ‘The rules of studying’ page, ‘Training program’ page, and other pages require your attention.
№8 Ready-made solutions for online classes
If you don’t want to spend time developing a platform for online school from scratch, it’s okay. Use pre-made online platforms. These are short descriptions of the most popular platforms for online school creators:
Monthly cost (RUB)
It has a convenient courses and classes builder, fast money transfer, detailed statistics of all sales and received income.
GetCourse has software to develop courses, its own payment system, CRM, and detailed statistics
Supports SCORM courses
Russian platform with a user-friendly interface for fast work
5% of all sales
Ample opportunities to sell and promote your course.
If you want your school to be a profitable business, devote time to prepare resources and materials for students. Your primary goal is to share knowledge, so do your best to achieve it.
№9 Defining approaches
Start with identifying the educational purposes. Good educational purposes should meet the SMART criteria. We mean that good purposes are concrete, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Courses and all materials must solve students’ problems.
Develop a logical order of materials you’ll use based on thematic categories. There are several pedagogical approaches:
- Integrative learning.
- Case studies.
- Open discussions.
- Experiential learning.
- Student assessment.
You can follow any of the approaches mentioned above. Mix several methods if you can’t choose one; it’s a good alternative. Some people who launch online schools and academies don’t think that pedagogical approaches aren’t necessary.
However, if you won’t use them, you won’t achieve your studying goals.
What about the forms of instructional materials? Online school creators should pay attention to two main forms: educational videos and text documents.
№10 Using educational videos in eLearning
Video is a powerful and irreplaceable tool for online learning — video content increases student participation. If you want to make the most out of video content, include interactive videos in your course. Specialists recommend creating videos and adding some interactive elements or actions to them.
№11 What about using text documents and ebooks?
Students like watching videos because it’s the most interesting type of educational content; however, most students also like reading. Ask any course creator, and you’ll make sure that text documents are so much simpler to create. Moreover, it’s a good way to include more information than videos. Text documents can be different: educational leaflets, guides, reports, case studies, or any other material students can use.
Do you want to know the best format to use in online studying? It’s a PDF. Modern services also let users create ebooks. For example, LearnWorlds offers people interactive ebooks: students can read them, make notes and use other instruments.
№12 How to start an online school that’ll be profitable?
In addition to electronic books, PDF files, documents, presentations, animations, videos, and audio lessons, your courses should contain enough gamification techniques: Tests; Signs; Quizzes; Certificates, etc.
Your courses system should support discussion forums, blogs, podcasts, quizzes, infographics, etc. It’s also important to define how often you’ll hold lessons and what types of content you’ll present. Is your approach independent? Can your students get access to learning materials conveniently, or is it limited in time?
Well, now you have the best educational platform full of learning materials. You already have a training plan and successfully attracted your TA. Take your time and test the final product before releasing it to prevent yourself from failure.
- Is it possible to use Youtube to attract students?
All’s fair in love and war and in your attempts to attract more people to educational content. Do you want to use Youtube? Do it. Upload your promo video to Youtube or start a channel for your online school. Share useful videos with integrated advertising and be ready to accept new students.
- How to select the best virtual learning platform?
Before you choose a platform, ask yourself about its availability:
How and where do you want to use your school?
Can people access it from mobile phones?
Can people access it using OTT software on their TVs?
Depending on the school you want to launch, people will expect different levels of accessibility from you: students will prefer watching lessons in yoga school using their TV, whereas drawing academy should be easily accessed from PC.
- Can you provide examples of effective online schools?
Well Learning Library, Hung Kuen Kung Fu Academy, Start Social are the best examples in terms of design and presentation of material
- What payment systems are better to use in an online school?
Here are several payment systems you can connect to your school. They are very simple and convenient: Edusys, PagSeguro, PaySchools, 2Checkout, Paypal.
Launching online courses became a widespread way to go into a business because it’s not so difficult to create but still profitable enough. However, it doesn’t mean that making a course from scratch is easy for everyone: this work still makes a person spend a lot of time and effort. The eLearning niche grows rapidly worldwide, and experts state that its value will rise to 300 billion USD after five years.
If you think about becoming a course creator, your head is probably full of various questions, and you want someone to explain to you the strategies of selling and promoting your product, the principles you must use when designing a course, the ways to identify the topic that’ll be interesting for people. We'll become your guide in this new world.
Be sure that this article will answer these and many other questions that may seem unclear to you. Moreover, we’ll answer the key question: how to create an effective and profitable online course from the ground up?
🖌 Early-stage: preparation for the launch
Step 1. Goal setting
Teachers must set goals and create a step-by-step action plan firstly. It’s a kind of investment in the future because it helps the teacher achieve maximum results among the students. Goals are general guidelines, what the teacher has to give students and what they should know by the end of a course.
Step 2. What about your priorities?
Normally people create courses to teach people and gain profit. It would be best if you sort out your priorities the same way. When people set a profit as their primary goal, online school starts to lose its value. Focus on education. If money is everything you want - choose another niche to launch a business.
Identification of objectives should help you define if the topic is understood by users or not. Moreover, you can’t write a plan for the lesson without mentioning the objectives of learning. When students can list their studying goals, they can easily handle all their difficulties during the course.
Step 3. Select a course theme
You won’t spend a lot of time completing this step if you know what you want to achieve. Let's imagine that you have a high-class knowledge of a certain sphere. It's pretty obvious that you will share your knowledge in this course.
However, we understand that not all course creators can boast of having an academic degree or something like that but still want to popularise education. If you recognized a part of yourself here, have a look at these questions and answer them to understand what theme to choose:
If people ask you for assistance, with what problems do they turn to you?
Can you remember a situation when you easily found an answer to a question that seemed too complicated for all people?
Step 4. Go deep into the chosen topic
Even if you’re an expert in the chosen topic, it isn't worth being indifferent to the process of searching for the information. A search for information and the action plan based on it are the most significant steps to achieving your goal: an effective online training course.
Put yourself in the shoes of your client: would you buy a course without knowing how many lessons are there, what topics you’ll learn, and so on. Structured and verified data are what people can pay for.
Step 5. How to find the students?
An online course makes no sense without listeners or students. It's not so easy to get through to the people; that’s why it’s crucial to know as much about your target clients as possible to create a portrait of your TA. Carry out a small study, hold opinion polls on a convenient platform, and find the common problem of these people.
If your product solves this problem, then it's fine.
Step 6. Who will hold lessons?
Speaker is more than just a teacher who presents the material. In eLearning, the speaker is at the same time the face of the whole project. Making an online course popular among people is easy: be attentive to who you hire in your team.
Lecturers should be respected and qualified because it impacts the quality of information perception, students' motivation, and desire to continue studying.
📚 What materials you'd better use?
Step 7. Educational content preparation
Do you have a powerful imagination? Use it. Both teachers and course creators want to encompass as much information as possible, but the number of study hours doesn't let them do it. Well, what about a little brainstorming session? This approach will help you decide what content to use in lectures.
Don't forget to upgrade your qualification and refresh your knowledge on the chosen topic. It applies to professional teachers as well. You do not always have the time to attend courses, so check forums and blogs to learn something new and see what people like to read.
Step 8. It's time to handle the course's structure
At this stage, most course creators gain an insight into how to create an online school, a course, and what information to use. The current goal is to systematize the ideas that came to your head during brainstorming, separate them into groups, and finally put them in order.
Here are some recommendations on the course content.
This approach presupposes giving students easy forms of assessment (tests and exercises) that can make students feel confident in themselves. Add such assignments to maintain a high level of enthusiasm and curiosity within them.
We recommend you allocate all tasks equally among all topics and add more exercises to the topic that seem to be more difficult. You’ll quickly notice the rise in the academic performance of all your students.
This is a broad term, but it means a certain strategy of building the learning process that helps students move towards their goals progressively in an educational context. In other words, the teacher gradually adds new information to the learned one and helps students accumulate information without stress.
You’d better increase the complexity of tasks progressively. And simultaneously with learning new material, your students should do assignments to strengthen their knowledge of previous themes.
Active learning is the use of practical tasks across the curriculum. If you think that selecting ten videos and texts and giving them to students is active learning, you’re wrong. Create interactive materials, find good tests to check the knowledge they gained before, etc. It’s what active learning means.
To take the most out of the active learning approach, the teacher needs to allow students to turn knowledge into action. We’ve mentioned that you need to use interactive elements, for example, quizzes, games, crossword puzzles, etc. Also, teachers must maintain communication between group members, encourage discussions. Create a group chat in messenger to let listeners discuss lessons and perhaps even make allowances.
Step 9. How can you prevent the decrease in student engagement?
Teachers who use the old-fashioned teaching methods and ways of presenting information often see that students aren’t active. They just get bored. If you want your course to differ from hundreds of others, you must understand that the diversity of content is a way to achieve this goal. No student likes reading long texts and writing notes. Quizzes, games, listening comprehension, and many other activities can make students fall in love with your training.
Step 10. Add the chosen content
Your task is to integrate all materials used in this course and arrange them according to the plan. Although you’ve checked this material at the very beginning of your work, it’s better to do it again and correct all mistakes. The time you’ll spend on this stage depends on the amount of educational material you’ve prepared.
When you finish it, create the necessary interactive elements, certificates and check everything once again.
Step 11. How to make people more interested in your product?
If you want to make more people sign up for your course, make it entertaining. Add some interactive elements we’ve mentioned above and use your own ideas.
⚙️ Technical aspects of course creation
Step 12. What online platform to use?
Now the obvious question arises: how to organize the learning process and where to hold lessons? You’ll need to use a special platform for online courses. Well-known eLearning platforms that are all over the Internet seem to be the easiest solution. You’ve probably heard and even visited such sites as Udemy, Coursera, Khan Academy, Skillshare, edX, etc. But they don’t let you manage everything you can, including prices and the learning process.
Moreover, one of the key conditions of using these platforms is sharing a part of your income with them. You hardly want to give your money to someone and struggle with the competitors at the same time.
KWIGA is a completely new platform that uses another approach to cooperation with course creators. Use KWIGA if you want to create courses, hold lessons and promote your products simultaneously. Grow your eLearning business with KWIGA.
Step 13. Upload a course to the platform
KWIGA lets you not only create a course from the ground up but also download the course you’ve created before. The platform’s interface is user-friendly, so you can get access to any element or instrument you need in just a few minutes. You don’t need to have any technical skills to use it — it’s the main advantage of KWIGA.
Don’t worry about the inconsistencies in format; our platform adapts all courses to the screen size and orientation. No matter what devices your students use: smartphones, PC, laptops, tablet PC. All will work well. Course creators often complain about the difficulties with payments and record-keeping. KWIGA will help you forget about these problems as well.
If you have your own platform and your subscribers know about it, place your course there.
Step 14. Develop your own eLearning platform
Stop thinking that only developers can create websites. There are so many free and paid website builders that don’t require you to be a web developer and have any technical skills at all. Social media accounts also can become a platform for your online course, but it’s better to separate your blog from education.
Do you want to know one effective way to promote all your products? Record all your webinars and masterclasses and sell them.
Step 15. QA Testing
You may think that you’ve done everything well and it’s time to launch the studies. No, you forgot about one important aspect — testing. You can be sure your course is effective until you check it. Some course creators prefer hiring experts who examine educational materials, correct mistakes, and make judgments regarding the effectiveness of the course.
Studying happens in the social environment, so motivate learners to maintain dialogue and form groups. First of all, they may become good friends, and it’s good in itself. However, communication between learners lets them help and support each other, search for the answers together and study the information with zeal.
As you see, creating your own online course isn’t as difficult as you thought earlier. You must be sure of your qualification, know how to keep listeners interested, and the main requirement is to desire to make a difference. If you’re sure you meet all these criteria — begin designing your course.
If you’re a course creator, you must know that this job is not only well-paid but very useful. Not all people have money to obtain a college or university degree, so you make education available and affordable to a higher number of people. Be proud of yourself and do your job well.
- Where to begin?
We’ve already mentioned that you’d better rely on your creativity and imagination. If you really want to be useful to people, your brain will generate cool ideas without help.
- How difficult is it to make a course?
In other words, you have to gather educational material, generalize it and place them on the chosen eLearning platform. Your TA will find and buy this course. As soon as you gather a group of students, you may announce the start of your studies. That’s all.
- Tips to popularize your training
Do you want to see what a successful and effective course should be? Here are the criteria:
It presents new information and teaches new knowledge/skills;
It offers a solution for a widespread problem;
It assists in accomplishing people’s goals.
- How to set a reasonable price?
Some course creators believe that high prices make people think this course is valuable. No, it doesn’t work this way. This rule works in the opposite direction; when you set a too low price, people think that the information isn’t valuable enough. The sum should be higher than the average. Compare the prices of your competitors, consider your TA and find a happy medium.
The webinar is a type of web-based conference that is conducted over the web. All participants of the event are located in a comfortable place for them, next to their computers, smartphones, tablets, or other gadgets.
Today it is an economic and effective way of conducting personal events, which allows you to solve the following problems:
- Personal brand building.
- Attracting possible clients.
- Building expert image, selling webinar organizer as an expert in the industry.
- Target audience training.
- Introducing goods and services.
- Demo version of services, when we talk about educational services.
The online-based seminar can consist of different visual elements, like a speaker's video or slideshow. The last one usually ends with frequent questions.
This article will give you few tips for successfully plan and run the webinar.
The key benefits of webinars
- Location independence. No matter where you are located, attendees from anywhere can take part in the event.
- It's easier to attract an audience online. Since event listeners don't need to attend the event physically, spend time on the road, and on preparing themselves, they will more willingly take part in it.
- Ample opportunities for communication. If listeners have questions about the presentation or product that you are demonstrating, they can ask it in real time, which helps to increase conversion.
- 40% of visitors are transformed into target leads.
You should understand that planning the webinar is not an easy task, which requires the best efforts and responsibility.
№1.Define the webinar purpose
The main webinar goals are:
- Sales of goods/services.
- Increase your subscriber base, attract new customers.
- Loyalty increasing.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Build the expert's image.
№2. Choose an interesting topic
The most important element of the webinar is content. It is the basis of the entire planned event. Attendees visit webinars to find out something new. Therefore, the topic should be interesting.
One of our main goals is to show yourself as a top-class specialist. The presenter must convince the audience that he knows what he's talking about.
The topic must be useful to your attendees to run an effective webinar.
For example, the marketing theme is too general for discussion. Try finding a narrower theme — SMM.
Check here a few ideas on how to come up with the topic:
- Find common questions.
- Search the Internet for the most frequent requests.
- Communicate with the team. Your sales manager can tell you what he discusses with the client.
- Ask your subscribers what they interested in.
№3. Detect the best speechmaker
You can invite a speaker from your company or another expert. Also, you can attract influencers. The speaker should be experienced in the topic of the webinar.
№4. Find the intended audience
To understand who your audience is you need to know their problems and goals.
After you discover who your visitors are and what problems they face, then you will have a better chance of running a successful webinar.
№5 How to sell your product during the webinar
Don’t start your webinar from the selling. Offer your product in mid-broadcast to make it not look like an ad. But you should remember 2 important points:
- Information provided during online seminars should be valuable to your viewers. No matter whether they buy or not,
- Talk about your product only when it is appropriate. It should be pertinently in context during the broadcast.
After that, we determine how we will advertise the event to attract the intended audience.
№6. Creation of welcome page
The landing page will give the main information about the event: what the webinar will be about, information about the talking person, date, and main points for discussion. This will motivate an audience to register
№7.Post in your social about the event
Post information about your web seminar on your blog even if you don’t have thousands of followers. The posted information can be in the article form, accompanied by additional useful information, or as a concise announcement.
Provide a link to the event landing page, where will be the ability to register for the webinar. It is also useful to place ads on partners' social media with a similar audience.
№8. Social Media Ads
Advertising on social networks can bring you a lot of new attendees. Create your personal branded hashtag, as it can be a good interaction tool.
If you have some contacts, email them with a short invitation. It should be easy to register.
№10. Prepare the visual components
The visual of your presentation or webinar poster should match your brand book. Put your logo on the first slide or where it makes sense.
Fonts, colors, designs, and other visual elements must be of the same brand style.
№11. Consider the possibility of conducting paid webinars
The organization of web seminars can be expensive. Get paid for webinars can recoup costs. This model raises visitors' expectations about quality.
If you can guarantee a quality webinar, set the price for registration to get additional income.
The paid event might reduce the number of attendees, but instead, you will get a more interested audience. Try to set different prices till you find the optimal one for your audience.
№12. Get help and support of administrators
Be ready for multi-tasking if you decide to organize a webinar by yourself. It requires a big effort and much time. So it will be much easier if you find someone to help.
The assistants must be responsible and understand how the webinar platform works.
They may not be experts in your field, but they must be able to fix problems and interact with participants.
№13. Select the timing
Don't forget about the time difference If the event start will be at 7 p.m. NY time, it will be a bit late for the viewers from Paris.
№14. Pick a model
The models can be:
- An expert shares his experience, ideas, or advice.
- Two speakers event. This type is more detailed because it shares more information with the attendees.
- A panel group event. Multiple experts discussion.
- The interview format. It will be a good idea to invite an influencer. A popular guest will attract a lot of viewers.
- Your product demonstration for its effective promotion.
Try a few types to reach the best format for your audience.
№15. A test run of your event
Get your team together and do a trial run. The test run will show basic errors and what is needed more to be at the highest level.
№16. Make notes of all steps
You will create several webinars to find the best format. Making notes in the process will help you in the future.
It will be easier to prepare webinars, as you will know all details and what is required.
Make notes for each step of your webinar to forgot nothing. Do separate notes for each webinar format.
№17. The platform searching
Technical problems on your broadcast provoke unpleasant feelings among viewers. You will meet bad feedback and low sales.
That means the platform for your webinar is the most important element in success. Check all advantages and disadvantages before you choose a platform. To make a proper analysis use the next questions:
- How much you can pay for the platform?
- Are the required functions and options available?
- How many visitors can attend the event?
- Is there a record option?
The table shows the most popular platforms
Please note that more than 25% of viewers watch the webinars using mobile devices. This part of viewers can be easily lost if you do not optimize the interface for mobile devices.
It is important when choosing a digital educational platform to take into account if it is adaptive for mobile interface.
№18. Check readiness and test equipment
You can’t lose sight of any important point. Test your equipment and do a test run. It will be the best way to make sure everything is done properly
Be ready at least 30 minutes earlier before start to make sure everything works.
№19. Mute the sources of noise.
- No children and pets in your webinar zone.
- Mute all devices, that you will not use during the event.
- Mute your doorbell.
№20. Start without delay
Your viewers are busy, so don't waste their time. Waiting for the speaker is very unpleasant.
№21. Double preparation
The first impression is very important. The start of the event always sets the tone, so take all effort to ensure that it passes at the highest level.
№22. Quickly capture of audience attention
Catch your viewer’s attention from the very beginning. A good reason should keep the audience interested till the end. Tell them what information you are going to share. Highlight what problems you gonna solve and make it sound exciting.
№23. Prepare answers for frequent questions
Your audience will be asking questions. Prepare in advance to sound sure and not get confused.
№24. Something can go outside your plan
Even if you do your best, some things can be out of your hands: no electricity in your house, no Wi-Fi, etc.
№25. Write a good script
Your script will be your cheat sheet, that will help you keep the structure step by step. Speaking for half an hour can be hard if you don’t prepare a script. Even if you are a professional expert with in-depth knowledge you still have a risk to fail.
№26. It is normal to change something or go out from the script
Even if a script is an important thing, you don't have to follow it completely. Remember, something can go wrong.
Sometimes, going off-topic is the only way to save the webinar and make the audience active.
№27. Try to practice your speech
You should practice making your webinar speech sound professional.
A well-spoken speech will set a good impression on your attendees.
№28. Create slides
Don’t use presentation in a webinar if it will consist of hard text only.
Use more visual elements when creating slides to make them exciting.
№29. Try to add more media formats
Don't rely only on presentation. Use as many media formats as possible to make your broadcast more diverse.
№30. Сome up how to interact with the viewers
No matter how hard you try your viewers can get tired of a lot of information. It is so exhausted to listen to someone talking for an hour.
In this case, start to communicate with your audience asking them questions, or giving interactive tasks.
№31. No stress — take your nerves under control
You can be nervous in the process. And that's okay, especially if it's your first speech. Try to joke that you feel a bit nervous, but don't show it too obvious.
Prepare a glass of water in advance to prevent dryness in the throat.
№32. Sell by giving new knowledge
Do it at the same time. Give new knowledge and sell your product native in the process. It will be a big mistake to first teach, and then try to sell. This will make the audience feel used.
На протяжении вебинара вам нужно учить свою аудиторию и органично вставлять предложение товаров/услуг.
№33. Help your viewers understand what to do next
Your viewers should leave the webinar with a full understanding of what to do next.
If you want them to sign up for your course, tell them and provide links.
№34. Give the viewer a choice
By allowing choosing the theme of the next webinar, you show the attendees that their opinion is important to you. Just ask them to leave a comment.
№35. Gather feedback
Find out from your audience whether you like or don't like your webinar.
Ask them to leave a survey. It will help you to clarify if they are satisfied.
№36. Offer additional content
Provide your attendees additional checklist or link to the presentation. People like to get bonuses.
№37. Analyze the results
Key comparison points are amount of registered vs attended people.
This will help you check how effective the webinar promotion has been!
- What kind of equipment is required?
Not much equipment is needed. The minimal set consists of a PC, Wi-Fi, microphone, and a webcam.
- What is the minimum Wi-Fi speed?
To broadcast a quality video, the minimum speed is 1 Mbps. If you don’t need a webcam connection, 512 kbps will be enough.
- What number of attendees will be optimal?
As much as possible. However, you should involve your target audience. Other attendees probably will not be relevant.
- Is it worth saving on the functionality of the platform?
First, clearly state what functions you need 100%. Maybe you can refuse some of them. Never exclude chat where people can communicate with you during the event.