Shana Bosler - Apr 7, 2020

Keep All Learners Engaged in Your Virtual Training Sessions

Shifting from in-person training to virtual can be tricky, particularly when you have had little time or warning to transition your programmes. As a Learning & Development (L&D) professional, much of your work has likely been turned upside down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With in-person training sessions put on hold, employees, managers and leaders are beginning to ask for more virtual learning and support, which puts pressure on you to deliver an engaging digital experience.

As you prepare to deliver more programmes digitally, we invite you to consider these recommendations to engage all seven Emergenetics® Attributes with your programme. By doing so, you can feel confident that you are connecting with the collective needs of your virtual audience.

A WEApproach to Virtual Facilitation 


Individuals with an Analytical preference want to understand their trainers’ expertise. This Attribute is also interested in the outcomes they will gain from attending a training session as well as their relevancy.

Tips for your training:

  • Share your credentials and qualifications at the beginning of the programme
  • Tailor your session objectives to current business needs
  • Get confident with the delivery platform you’re using to display competence in technology and facilitation


The Structural Attribute likes to receive guidelines and often learns best through hands-on experiences. Individuals with this preference tend to appreciate predictability and seeing others follow through on commitments they have made.

Tips for your training:

  • Stick to the agenda you present and share it in advance if you can
  • Ensure participants are prepared by providing handouts in advance and referring to them during the training
  • Provide recommended next steps to help attendees put their learning into practice


The Social Attribute is relational, socially aware and intuitively considers the needs and actions of others. Individuals with a preference in Social thinking often learn best working with and through others.

Tips for your training:

  • Acknowledge questions that come in using the participant’s name
  • Deliver brief and relatable stories during the programme
  • Encourage discussions where participants can learn from each other by sharing individual takeaways


Those with a preference for Conceptual thinking are intuitive about ideas and are often forward-thinking. This Attribute enjoys the unusual and can become bored quickly if there isn’t enough variety or engaging visuals.

Tips for your training:

  • Use metaphors and imagery as part of your presentation
  • Move quickly through slides to maintain engagement
  • Acknowledge the unusual surprises that come with virtual training like the occasional dog barking or a child who enters the room


On the spectrum of Expressiveness, you will have participants who learn best by processing internally and taking in information before speaking as well as those who will learn best by sharing their thoughts

Tips to support attendees across the Expressiveness spectrum:

  • First-third – Include activities that encourage individual reflection
  • Third-third – Include activities that encourage discussion or role play


When considering Assertiveness, some of your participants will prefer to proceed at a steady pace and move through the content together. Other participants may prefer an accelerated pace and want to have a forum for discussion.

Tips to support attendees across the Assertiveness spectrum:

  • First-third – Use polling or chat features to seek consensus on topics
  • Third-third – Be direct when responding to questions and keep discussions moving


Across the Flexibility spectrum, you can expect to have participants who are energised by seeing a chosen direction through to completion as well as those who may want some variety in the way they approach the sessions.

Tips to support attendees across the Flexibility spectrum:

  • First-third – Establish and commit to group norms for the session so attendees know what to expect
  • Third-third – Encourage participants to monitor their own needs to stay engaged whether that means changing locations or standing up and physically moving

As trainers, facilitators and Learning & Development professionals, we have all been given an opportunity to hone our virtual training skills. By implementing these tips to connect with every Emergenetics Attribute, you can easily engage staff, teammates, colleagues or clients to support their learning when working remotely.

Download this template and checklist to prepare to lead upcoming digital learning programmes from a WEapproach.

Interested in discovering how you can apply Emergenetics in your training programmes? Fill out the form below to get in touch with our team or click here to learn more about Emergenetics Profile Certification.

This article was originally published in Emergenetics International Blog Keep All Learners Engaged in Your Virtual Training Sessions " .

Written by Shana Bosler