Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) is a scalable, interactive way to deploy learning material across an organization. Although these sessions aren’t held in person, it’s important that both facilitators and learners look the part.
Check out our 7 tips on how to appear professional during virtual instructor-led training:
- Make sure you’re lit from the front
- Angle your camera at eye-level
- Utilize solid backgrounds or digital wallpapers
- Wear neutral, solid-colored clothing
- Ensure your sound levels are balanced
- Take advantage of mute
- Consider investing in a high-quality webcam
89% of employees say video conferencing helps them feel connected with their colleagues. When you connect with your peers over video, you’ll want to present yourself in a professional manner in order to feel more confident.
At Roundtable Learning, we’ve worked with partners across the globe to leverage activities, assignments, and technology for VILT programs. We know that looking professional can have a profound impact on facilitators and learners when entering each training.
In this article, we’ll define virtual instructor-led training and explore 7 tips that will help facilitators and learners look their best during each session.
What Is Virtual Instructor-Led Training?
VILT is when an instructor facilitates a training session for a group of learners or an individual over a virtual setting. This learning modality is synchronous, collaborative, and reaches remote learners in real-time through a virtual learning platform, such as Zoom or Teams.
VILT can be held in several ways, from a webinar with several participants to a virtual classroom with hundreds of participants. Regardless of how VILT is held, this training modality comes with several advantages, including:
- Cost-Effective — Organizations don’t need to worry about covering costs associated with in-person training, such as travel and accommodation costs.
- Convenient Remote Learning Option — Learners can access VILT from anywhere as long as they have the right device and stable internet.
- Access To Tools That Engage Learners — With tools like polls, Q&As, and breakout rooms, learners will actively engage in their learning throughout VILT.
Now that we know what VILT is and its benefits, let’s check out 7 tips for looking presentable and feeling confident during VILT sessions.
Tip 1: Make sure you’re lit from the front
Lighting is critical. Try positioning yourself where light directly hits your face from the front. This helps illuminate your face and give you more visibility. In addition to indoor lighting, we recommend embracing natural light as much as you can.
Any light coming from behind you will create a silhouette effect and make it harder for others to see you. If you can’t position yourself where light in your room is directly hitting you, try increasing the brightness of your device.
Pro Tip: Consider investing in a ring light. These lights are circular, come in different sizes, and range from about $20 – $100 or more depending on the quality. Ring lights are great for giving users an even balance of light that dispels shadows.
Tip 2: Angle your camera at eye-level
Now that you have your lighting covered, our next tip is to angle your camera appropriately. First and foremost, make sure you’ve identified where your camera is on your device. It’s common for the camera to be centered at the top of your device, but some positions may vary.
Once you locate your camera, we recommend keeping it at an arm’s length from you at eye level. You can achieve the right height for you by stacking your device on books or using a stand. Make sure you’re centered in the frame and the camera is directly filming you.
Read More: Six tips for looking great in a Zoom meeting
Tip 3: Utilize solid backgrounds or digital wallpapers
Another important element to consider for VILT is your background. You have two options: real-life or digital backgrounds. For a real-life background, we recommend trying to position yourself somewhere with as few distractions as possible. Try to have a background with the following characteristics:
- Solid colors that compliment what you’re wearing
- Limit distractions that may take away from the conversation
- Utilize plants, an offset window, or an organized bookshelf
Apart from a real-life setting, another background you can use is a professional digital background. Some organizations have gone as far as creating and distributing custom digital backgrounds for their employees. By simply uploading and selecting an image as your background, you can eliminate any visual distractions that are out of your control.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for examples of what to do and not to do, check out Room Rater on Twitter to see how other professionals rank.
Tip 4: Wear neutral, solid-colored clothing
For VILT, we recommend sticking to solid-colored, non-distracting clothing. Consider wearing neutral-colored clothes that look professional and clean. Reconsider wearing clothing items that may distract other learners, including:
- Off-putting patterns that may be disorienting
- Colors that match your background
- Graphic tees with distracting images or words
Tip 5: Ensure your sound levels are balanced
Depending on the size of your VILT, you may be placed into a breakout room where you collaborate with other learners. During this breakout session, you’ll want to ensure your sound level isn’t too quiet or too loud.
First, you should know where your microphone is located. If you’re wearing headphones, there’s likely a built-in microphone. If you use your computer’s built-in microphone, you should test your audio to make sure your levels are balanced.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of previewing your appearance and testing your sound before your VILT commences. Popular VILT platforms, including Zoom and Google Meet, allow learners to preview what they look and sound like before entering meetings.
Tip 6: Take advantage of mute
VILT platforms offer a mute button for a reason. It’s common during large group sessions and workshops that learners stay muted for the majority of instruction. Mute allows learners to shut off their microphone, eliminating any noises they may make when it’s not their turn to speak.
Some platforms offer a mute option for facilitators as well, so it won’t be necessary for learners to manually mute themselves.
Tip 7: Consider investing in a high-quality webcam
If you want to go the extra mile, consider investing in a webcam to help improve the quality of your video. While built-in cameras do the trick for most, webcams elevate the quality of your video by providing a more crisp, higher-quality video.
Additionally, webcams provide a wider frame of view and some even have built-in microphones to help pick up your sound. An added bonus is that the majority of webcams are plug-and-play, meaning they don’t require any software download or complex setup.
Look Your Best During VILT With Our 7 Tips For Success!
While VILT takes away the in-person element of training, it’s still important that you look the part. We hope our 7 tips will help you enter each VILT session feeling professional, confident, and ready to learn.
Looking to explore more about all things VILT? Book a meeting with one of our experts or check out more of our training resources.