Our thanks to Julie Hogan and Kate Knowles of the Concurrent Planning Service (a partnership between Adoption Matters and Caritas Care) for contributing this article. To find out more about becoming a concurrent carer or the service in general, please visit https://concurrentplanning.org/, ring 0161 743 3682, or email [email protected].

So, we got the email…CVAA has asked us to do a practice seminar. “Of course!” we said, “We would be delighted to.”

And then reality hit. Would people want to hear about our service? Would we be interesting?  What should we put into the presentation? And a big fear – how would be manage the technology? This worry was easily alleviated.  Sam and Petra from CVAA were so supportive and made sure everything technology-wise ran smoothly. Both were such a great help that nobody thinking about presenting at a CVAA workshop need worry about that side of it at all. 

Here are our top tips for anyone running a virtual CVAA practice seminar.

1. Listen to advice from CVAA – they are so used to running these webinars that they know what works and what works well.

2. Don’t worry about the technology, CVAA will take care of all of that for you.  

3. Plan ahead. Preparing a presentation takes time and we all have day jobs. Plan some time in your diary where you can sit and focus on the information you want to share and prepare your PowerPoint.

4. Seek advice – ask the team what they would share.  Different perspectives are great and different view points are always helpful. Colleagues may think of something you have not thought of.

5. Know your facts. Think of 3-5 key messages that you want to deliver and make sure you know your facts – we ensured we had up to date data for our service.

6. If you can, break the presentation up with different media. Use videos, sound bites or a colleague co presenting to make it more interesting for the listener.

7. Have a clear agenda and stick to it. Training virtually is hard. No matter how interesting the subject, people need time away from the screen, so breaks are even more important with virtual training.

8. Have a colleague share the training. This worked well for us. We had Kate as the lead presenter and Julie monitoring all the chat and answering questions and posting links to relevant resources. This would have been challenging for just one person.

9. Invite questions and answer them as you go along. We find an informal and interactive style of training works well for us.

10. Relax and enjoy it! People have come to learn from you; they have signed up to the training for a reason and are interested in your topic. You are the expert and you know what you do better than anyone so don’t be nervous do what you do best. These events are an opportunity for us all to learn from each other. We planned a topic to discuss in the breakout sessions, but found that people just wanted to talk more generally about the subject and ask questions of each other – this generated interesting and stimulating conversations.

Good Luck!