Virtual Classroom Facilitation—A License to Thrill

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When you watch a James Bond movie, you know you are going to be entertained by the secret agent’s incredible skills, risky manoeuvres, and great chase scenes. In essence, get ready for a bucket load of action. 

Sadly, though, most virtual classroom learning experiences are more likely a box office flop than a blockbuster. But you too can have the license to thrill—whether that license is for Adobe Connect, WebEx, or any of the other virtual platforms that support virtual learning. 

Enter the Virtual Gurus Competency Model. This model allows the would-be virtual facilitator to focus on three critical areas, each required to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be a superstar virtual facilitator.

Figure 1. Virtual Gurus Competency Model

Virtual Gurus Competency Model


Platform Fluency

Like James Bond has Q to provide him with the latest gadgets, your virtual platform of choice offers many tools to get the job done. However, you need to become an expert with those gadgets. Learn not only the nuts and bolts of how the virtual platform functions, but also how you can leverage the virtual dynamic to the best effect. 

Virtual Presence


You may not wear the Saville Row suits and bow ties of James Bond, but you do need to work on how you “look” during the virtual event. Remember: first impressions count. Make sure you have a strong presence in how you engage your virtual audience and direct and command your invisible participants. In other words, ensure your online persona delivers.

Event Chorography

Bond is always on a mission. Thankfully, as virtual facilitators, our mission is less likely to include explosions, balls of fire, and other amazing stunts. But we do need to ensure that the virtual event is choreographed with the same impeccable timing as 007. 

Join me at ATD Techknowledge 2018 in San Jose in January for the session Virtual Classroom Facilitation—A License to Thrill, which is part of the Virtual Classroom track. We will explore the Virtual Guru Competency Model in depth and identify what you need to make your next virtual event a box office hit. 

About the Author

David Smith is global director and co-founder of Virtual Gurus, a company dedicated to supporting individuals and organizations in harnessing the potential of virtual classroom technologies as part of their
digital learning journeys. He is a skilled facilitator and organization development consultant. He has more than 25 years of solid business experience and takes great enjoyment and pride in helping private, public sector, and not-for-profit organizations implement training and development initiatives that produce results.

His passion is the transfer of learning, one of his favorite quotations being “Knowing is not enough we must apply, willing is not enough, we must do!” - Goethe 

His ability to craft engaging and interactive training sessions has been his mainstay and his passion for learning is evident in any engagement that he undertakes with his many global clients. 

David is a certified virtual classroom facilitator and instructional designer and regularly speaks at global conferences and training events on the subject of live online learning and how organizations can leverage the learning technologies of today.  One of his greatest achievements was leading a group of 18 multilingual European facilitators in delivering sales training to a group of 10,000 account managers and 2,500 business managers over a three-month period using WebEx Training Center.

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