Leaders in virtual learning
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• Don’t feel, because you have been given 45 minutes to speak, that you must speak for 45 minutes. If you can put across what you have to present in 20 minutes, do so, but first inform the organiser so that the entire programme is not thrown out of gear.
• Audiences today have been raised on television. Segments of 10, 20 or 30 minutes are acceptable. Executives hearing one presentation after another welcome the short, succinct presentation.
To enhance the learning process trainers must create and develop a positive relation with learners. Factors to consider are:
 Making learners feel welcome and at ease
 Encourage learners to express concerns, make comments, ask questions and participate in discussions
 Observe learners non-verbal communication
 Communicate with learners in a manner. Level and pace appropriate to their abilities, personal beliefs and preferences
 Identify barriers to communication and minimise them
A) Greeting learners
The correct way in which to greet learners is to say:
“Good morning” (or afternoon) or Good day. Unless you know a learner very well, saying Hi or Hello is not appropriate in the work environment.
Similarly, terms such as Cheers or Ta ta, instead of Goodbye, are unsuitable.
B) Addressing learners
Always address adult’s learners by their last names, unless you have asked permission to use their first name.
Even if you hear your colleagues addressing senior staff members, or clients, by their first names, don’t copy them until the individual concerned indicates that you may do so.
• If a person introduces herself as Maria Nkomo, establish her title by asking “is that Miss or Mrs?”
• If she responds by saying something like, “Please call me Maria”, then do so. Otherwise address her as Miss or Mrs Nkomo.
• If a man introduces himself as John Zulu, address him as Mr Zulu.
• Never use terms of endearment such as Lovey, Darling, or Dear. This is patronising, and sounds unprofessional.
• Unless you are working in a service industry in which you deal with numerous people without learning their names (such as a shop assistant), avoid using Sir, Madam or Ma’am to address people. Instead, use their names.
• When people ask you to give your name, give your full name, or title and last name. Don’t give your first name only, for example, John.
• If you have a complicated surname and you find it awkward to spell it out each time, you can, for business purposes, use a shortened form.
• For example, Marcus could be shortened to Marc. However, do remember to inform your colleagues, particularly the receptionist and telephonist!
C) Introducing yourself

To make a positive impression, you should proffer your hand, and use one of the following phrases:
“Good morning. My name is Andreas Zuma. ”
“Good morning. (I am) Andreas Zuma, from the Engineering Company. ”
Welcome, please come in
Have a seat.

D) Hand shaking
Hand shaking is a pleasant way of acknowledging someone as it allows you to draw closer and maintain eye contact during a greeting.
Although it is a woman’s prerogative to extend her hand first, if a man proffers his hand, accept it graciously. Extend your right hand with the fingers extended, and then clasp the other person’s hand firmly and briefly.
A handshake can convey an image of a person, thus a soft or weak handshake can be perceived as disinterest or uncertainty, whereas a firm handshake gives a positive impression.
E) Remembering learner’s names
It is important to agree with learners that you will be calling them by their first names. It’s always creates a positive environment if you make to trouble to remember learners names.