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Virtual Training: How to Have a Powerful Presence

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Virtual training, while an uncomfortable experience for coaches, can lead to great growth for those providing the service and for their business. Like training programs in clubs, the value of virtual training is about more than time, sets and reps. Connection is key, and a coach’s self awareness toward exuding their best presence can offer an outstandingly encouraging experience for clients. Maintaining the standard of intentional connectedness in virtual services, just as in-person, can be a critical component to your virtual training success. 

Below are best practices for using body language and the voice to create impactful experiences for clients in a virtual training program:

Body Language

Bo Eason, former NFL safety and current world-renowned speaker said, “Your audience trusts your body 100% of the time because your body can’t lie.” Bringing proper physicality into how you present yourself in sessions can build trust, and help those you are coaching perform well and challenge themselves to give maximum effort. I always start my virtual sessions with a power pose and a smile. When I am positioned this way, my clients know we are ready to begin, and I’m also framing myself in a starting cue that sets the tone for me to direct the entire session with confidence.

Here are some additional best practices for body language:

  • Use your hands while speaking
  • Move about your space and speak with good posture
  • Maintain eye contact with the camera as you speak
  • Include fist pumps and applause
  • Speak with a smile throughout
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets
  • Incorporate the occasional dance move

Intimate Vocal Connections

Level up interactions with your clients in the virtual environment with your spoken actions and intentions. Providing solid and simple cues for proper execution of exercises can assist with performance. As stated above, always direct your voice and eyes at the camera, especially when it is time for clients to learn the important parts of their workout. Also, during breaks, bring yourself closer to the camera and ask powerful questions to clients. These interactions can create connectedness that some clients may not have had in a while.

Ask questions such as:

  • What are you thankful for today?
  • What are you doing after this session?
  • What has been something you’ve learned recently?

Also, here are best practices for what to speak about before you log off:

  • Remind participants about their next session
  • Compliment everyone on their efforts
  • Express gratitude for participation

Bring it all Together – Virtual Training

It is also suggested to speak with inflection. Virtual sessions may have many participants and using your voice can create a more personable feeling.

  • For example: If you’re saying, “I am so proud of you!” emphasize your tone on “so” and “you” and bring a friendly point with a smile (body language) into the mix so each person feels the love.

A final nugget on connections is to own it if you mess up. It’s OK if you have a moment where you count incorrectly or hiccup when trying to state an exercise’s name. Humanize yourself by acknowledging your error and implement humor if this occurs.

All in all, be creative, positive and your best self. Virtual training is here to stay and having fun can be the catalyst for using this service to increase profitability for your personal training department, and uniquely serving the health and wellness of your community.

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Ethan Smoorenburg

Ethan Smoorenburg is a franchise business consultant with Anytime Fitness Corporate. He can be reached at ethan.smoorenburg@sebrands.com.

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