Welcome to the Emailogic blog
At Emailogic we believe everyone should be a brilliant email user. Training in email etiquette creates huge productivity gains that mean staff have more time, reduce email traffic and communicate more effectively. And it is not difficult to achieve - as hundreds of thousands of Emailogic graduates have proven.
What is the trick to delivering interactive live online learning, briefings or webinars that truly connect to the group?
We have all attended live online sessions- they are such an easy way of learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. Some will have been excellent, some bad and some just plain boring – which I suppose would count as bad!
But how do you define a really good live online session?
There are many answers people give to that question: they found the material relevant, the presenter kept them interested, s/he had a great voice and a very animated slide set.
But the one thing people will always say about a really successful and valuable live online session is that there was ‘lots of interaction which kept me interested and engaged’.
Have you ever wondered why contributing to some polls, being asked to put up a virtual hand or being asked to answer questions verbally or by text can turn an average webinar into a vibrant, valuable session?
Well then, it’s important to understand what actually goes on with the audience and presenter when interactions occur on a live online session.
To understand this we need to first think about face to face training.
If you deliver face to face sessions you will be familiar with what I call the ‘group feel’. The ‘group feel’ is the sense you experience after you have been delivering to a group for about 4-5 minutes. It is the sense that you are ‘bonded’ together and sharing the moment together. You have a group feel or group relationship. There is an unspoken understanding that the group ‘know’ understand and have accepted you to a degree – and vice versa.
Now let’s get back to live online sessions.
When you present live online sessions, once you start making the group interact with hands up, polls or written and verbal questions, you are creating a relationship in a virtual world. It is a virtual relationship, it will feel different, yet it is still very much a real relationship. And when you do this with a virtual group you start to create a virtual ‘group feel’.
As a presenter it is essential to be aware of this and to ‘work’ this into your content and material with relevant interactions.
- have the attendees interacting right at the start. In the first 30 seconds. Top load the interactions (the longer you leave it the harder it will be – research has proven this).
- encourage attendees to use the tools, show them how and also ask some questions relevant to the material you are presenting. Ask them to type in their answers
- feed back the answers given to let people know you have heard them. It is also important for everyone to hear what other attendees are typing in too (unless they can see others comments – which depends on the package you are using).
- keep the pace high and controlled. A script or good notes will help with this.
- keep interactions happening throughout the session to keep the ‘group feel’ going.
Then here is the magic trick – as the presenter you need to trick your brain. Imagine that every individual piece of feedback you receive in every interaction is the same as if you were receiving those same answers in a face to face session. How would it make you feel if you were receiving those answers in a face to face session? It would feel marvellous! So pretend you are! Then notice how it makes you feel connected to the group.
Your delegates will hear that you feel more engaged as it will come across in your voice, pace and your manner – they will immediately become more engaged and interested. You will be communing together and creating that magical ‘group feel’. The outcomes from the session will dramatically improve.
Just try it and see.
By following these tips I guarantee that the next session you present will be more engaging and you will really feel connected with the group – and they with you.
If you need to start delivering great quality live online sessions – click here to learn more about the Emailogic programme: ‘How to design and deliver successful webinars’.
Alternatively, if you have any questions about any aspect of live online session design or delivery feel free to contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0)1452 886556.
In your organisation has email communication and overload ever been raised as an issue:
- in a staff engagement survey?
- in a management meeting?
- at an away day focused on smarter working?
Often the problem of email raises its head and plans are made to tackle it once and for all. But then other higher priority items arise that require urgent attention and the email issue is ‘kicked into the long grass’.
The problem is forgotten – only to come up again the following quarter or year. The problem has not changed and often has grown worse.
As one HR Director said recently ‘my company is at crisis point with emails – people have just had enough’. Staff at her company were struggling to cope with hundreds of emails which they were unable to prioritise – and the thought of deleting created anxiety.
They were suffering from a form of email inertia – they couldn’t go forward and couldn’t go back. Staff were stuck in “email mud”. This was affecting well-being and productivity.
People seem to think that email will sort itself out. After all, staff should be able to cope with their own inboxes – shouldn’t they?
Independent research conducted at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has shown that email training will:
- Save staff 31.1 minutes on email per person every day
- Help staff work more effectively under pressure and feel less stressed
- Reduce anxiety
It does not make any sense to kick the email problem back into the long grass again – it is time to knock it on the head once and for all.
If not now – then when would you suggest?
As a senior manager said recently: “We shouldn’t be trying to get better at using email – we should be brilliant at it. It is the main way we communicate for goodness sake!”
Click here to watch a video about the research conducted at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Why has a solution to the “email problem” still not been found – despite it still being the main way that we communicate in business?
Email overload comes up time after time in staff surveys as one of the main causes of stress and anxiety in the workplace.
There are 0.825 billion business email accounts currently active which send and receive 89 billion emails every day. A staggering statistic!
So – what can be done to make email more manageable?
Some recent academic research jointly commissioned by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Emailogic looked at how email stress can be tackled.
Emailogic showed managers the skills and techniques they needed to deal with email overload and manage and prioritise their inboxes effectively. The impact of the Emailogic course was measured by an independent expert in well-being both at the time the training took place and one month later.
As well as monitoring the experience of those who attended training, the study included two control groups: colleagues who were sent email etiquette guidelines to read, and another group who received neither training nor guidelines.
The managers who attended the training clearly benefited from the programme compared to their colleagues in the two control groups. The results clearly showed that staff who attended email training reported a statistically significant improvement in their well-being and performance.
Staynton Brown, Associate Director at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust was emphatic in his praise for the course and had no hesitation in recommending the course.
Simply reading guidelines did NOT have the same impact on people’s wellbeing and productivity –whether or not the managers actually read them!
What was evident during the study was that to actually change behaviour around email a training intervention was needed.
To see a video of Staynton talking about the research click here.
How many times during the day are you alerted that you have new mail?
And how often do you then stop what you are doing to read it only to find that the email is the latest copy of an old supplier newsletter that you never unsubscribed from? Or perhaps – frustratingly – a “reply-all” email from a colleague which simply says “Thanks”.
Regardless of how relevant these emails are to you it is the impact they have on train of thought that does damage.
No matter how trivial they seem – those constant email interruptions take your focus away from your main tasks – you will miss, delay or be distracted from more important business matters.
So what can be done?
1. The first thing is to switch off all audible and visual email alerts – unless your job role really means you have respond to an email immediately you receive it (this is extremely rare).
2. Check your mails at a time that is appropriate given your role – for example twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon.
3. Unsubscribe from email from companies or organisations whose products or services no longer interest you. A simple click could save you many minutes or even hours of interruptions in the future.
These simple tips can have a very positive impact on your productivity, concentration and focus – and they take just two minutes to put into practice.
What reason do you have for not to starting to do them today?
What does ‘Being a responsible email user’ mean?
The issues surrounding work related email continue as traffic reaches truly astonishing proportions.
Global email traffic is set to rise at a rate of 13% every year – unlucky for some. Business related emails alone will reach 143 billion as early as next year!
With this in mind it is imperative that email users in organisations take responsibility for the emails they generate.
The benefit is clear – they will reduce the number of times that colleagues are unnecessary distracted with a loss of focus and wasted time.
Over the next few weeks we will be publishing a series of blogs on the most common problems that people experience with email.
To kick off this series we have listed below responses to a recent work related email perception study which identified the top 5 issues with business use of email.
Below each is our recommendation on how to easily tackle it:
1) Excessive back-and-forth replies:
Make it a rule to pick up the phone if an email bounces back and forth more than twice
2) Using email when the message will probably prompt a short (or long) conversation:
Often we respond to an email when it is quicker to pick up the phone or walk and talk
3) Unnecessary use of “reply all”:
Default to not doing a reply to all unless you can really justify it
4) Poorly written emails that lack clarity:
Use a clear subject line so your recipient can prioritise from their inbox – tell them what you want upfront
5) Copying others unnecessarily:
Don’t be lazy – reduce the unnecessary CC’s, take people off reply to all lists and save them time
Email productivity training tackles all of the above behaviours and many many others – it also reduces email related stress.
“Probably the most effective investment of training any organisation could make.” – Nikki Evans, Human Resources Manager AIT
What are you going to do to ensure that your company email volume doesn’t grow by an unlucky 13% next year?
One of the great things about using webinar technology to deliver training products is that you can train people who have different working patterns, who work in different countries and speak different languages.
As long as you can adapt, translate and deliver that product to suit the local needs you can expand your company’s offering fairly easily.
The challenge of course is getting the correct translation from the original text, a native (or at least fluent) speaker / Trainer to deliver the training and (in the case of webinars) a system that has foreign language flexibility to ensure that all communication regarding access is easily translated into the language in question.
GoToTraining (which we use at Emailogic) translates joining instructions etc into the language of your choice automatically.
For 17 years Emailogic have been delivering award winning email training face to face and for the last 4 years via webinar. Now we are able to deliver this course in French and next year we aim to roll out tour flagship email course in other European languages.
This training has already been delivered “en français” to staff at AXA IM, Fellowes and L’Oréal with more sessions scheduled in the coming months.
Excitingly, in 2016 Emailogic training will also be available in Spanish, German and Italian – via live webinar and face to face. So if you want to be able to cascade this training to your European colleagues give us a call today and we will be able to help you plan your foreign language delivery.
All evaluations are delivered in your language of choice too.
Have you ever sat through a webinar and at the end thought to yourself “That was fabulous!”
Here is a recent quote from the CEO of a law firm after she attended a webinar that Emailogic delivered in partnership with the CIPD:
“That was truly excellent. I was blown away by it – the best webinar I have ever been on. It was very interactive (you didn’t dare check your emails)! The content was focused and just the right length.” Sally Marsden – CEO at Grosvenor Law
You will be unsurprised to hear that Sally rated her overall experience of the webinar 5 out of 5 (you can attend the same CIPD/Emailogic webinar as Sally – its running again on 2nd December 2016 – click here).
The hallmark of a brilliant webinar is that it captures every attendee’s attention from beginning to end. That sounds straightforward, but how do you achieve complete and constant audience attention?
Here are a few Golden Rules of Wizard Webinars:
1. Interactions – ask for quick feedback with open and closed questions, run polls and use the software tools (chat pane, hands-up, survey tools, audio, whiteboards).
Golden Rule: The key to any interaction is that it has to be congruent with your content.
2. Slides – Make your slides more graphical with few words: use diagrams and pictures. Keep your slides simple. Have more slides and more builds.
Golden rule: Never allow any visual content to be shown if it is not being covered in that moment. The audience must NEVER be looking at something that is not being spoken about.
You need to consider the technical side too.
3. Bandwidth – Will the attendee’s bandwidth be broad enough for your webinar? If you are using Video and/or VOIP (voice over computers) the bandwidth can easily be pushed to the limit and the webinar can falter for everyone.
Golden rule: Test the software, find any network bottle necks before the session.
4. Be Fabulous – Keep the pace high and momentum flowing. This means being 100% confident with your material, agile with the software and effective with your facilitation skills – all at the same time!
Golden rule: Rehearse your material thoroughly and never – under any circumstances – wing it.
Aim for your audience to react like Sally.
Emailogic are not masters of webinars – we are Wizards! Trainers from the RNLI, Chelsea FC, Gloucestershire Constabulary and Zurich insurance have trained with us in how to design and deliver live webinars that surpass colleague expectations.
Marc Powell (Chief Webinar Wizard) will put a virtuous virtual spell on you – give him a call today on: 00 44 1452 886 556 and start to deliver magical virtual training.
When asked “What’s your poison” many of us might choose a Gin and Tonic or glass of Whisky. The benefits of the odd tipple are obvious (in moderation): a sense of relaxation, a nice warm feeling in your tum – perhaps increased social interaction?
When the drinking becomes an everyday occurrence though, that when the problems begin: too many headaches, missed deadlines at work – maybe inability to focus or concentrate on the important things.
Maybe you don’t drink much or even at all? Perhaps your “poison” is the large latté you get from Starbucks every morning on the train in to the office? Can you imagine skipping that? How would you feel if you didn’t pop into that corner coffee shop every day?
Yet while the odd glass of wine or take-away coffee may be pleasurable why are they so hard to give up?
Is it because we are addicted to the good feelings they give us?
We know in our hearts that they do not do us any good in the long run but can we imagine life without them?
Many of us are addicted to our emails – or more specifically the new email “ping” that we get when our alerts tell us of a shiny new email waiting for us.
What payoff we do we get from that?
We know from years of delivering our course that the seductive “ping” is distracting – yet so many of us (bright, successful, professional people) find it irresistible.
We know it distracts us. We know we get a shot of happy chemicals when we hear it – like a shot of espresso coursing through our veins – which is probably why it is so addictive.
Someone once compared emails to weeds – if you ignore them they keep on growing. Spraying them occasionally will slow them down but won’t stop them altogether. To rid your garden of weeds completely you need to be ruthless – kill them, spray them, pull them out by their roots. And repeat – every time.
Be good to yourself – turn off your alert, put down the coffee and take a walk instead – just not to Starbucks!
Want to know how to wean yourself off your email addiction? Join us for an exclusive, live webinar event hosted by Emailogic and CIPD. Book your place here.
Over the past 4 years Emailogic has trained over 100 trainers to design and deliver their first live training webinars.
Here are some common themes which you may find valuable to consider if you are aiming to use live webinars to replace face to face training:
Don’t know what you don’t know?
It can be daunting to begin considering delivering internal training by live webinar. There is a lot of detail to take on board. This includes – but is not limited to – content design and duration, facilitation skills, engagement and interaction of delegates, choice and use of software, planning, technology constraints and so it goes on. None of the detail is rocket science – but with webinars any knowledge gaps will show up very quickly and very obviously for both delegate and facilitator. The key is getting the right training for your trainers and getting them up to speed quickly.
Nervous learning new skills?
Trainers teach people new skills. However they are sometimes nervous when learning new skills themselves (they don’t want to get it wrong and who can blame them?). There is no easy way to get up to speed with webinar design and delivery. The route to success is – put on your best “learning hat” and invest the time. Designing and delivering live webinars is a fabulous opportunity for stretching creative skills. Trainers are often surprised at the range of learning content that can be delivered virtually – and how easy it is to reach out to people or groups all over the world whilst increasing efficiency and saving time and money. Now that is exciting!
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Often trainers are unclear where to start. This can be because live webinars are new for many of them, so without knowing the distinctions of how webinars work it can be difficult to choose what content to deliver first. The best place to start is with content that is easily manageable. Otherwise there is a danger of producing content of a quality that is lower than delegate expectations. That will cause more problems than it solves.
If you want some help – speak to one of our experts.
These are some of the companies that already have: Spirit Pub Company, MENCAP, Chelsea Football Club, RNLI, Gloucestershire Police, Hanson PLC, and University of Northampton.
Can you honestly say that every minute of your working day is spent productively?
Taking lunch and coffee breaks out of the equation, how do you really spend your “working” time?
If most of your day is spent managing email – and dealing with overload, irrelevant traffic and unnecessary copies – then you are not alone. If this is the case then you will almost certainly not be productive, you will definitely be stressed and – more than likely – you will feel unhappy.
According to a City AM report, the average British worker spends 36 (36!) days per year just writing emails – which based on a 71/2 hour day means that each person spends just over one hour composing emails.
Now add reading the unnecessary emails, deleting the irrelevant emails, reading the copied email (that you should not have been sent in the first place) forwarding the emails for your colleagues, managers or associates to deal with and you have probably another hour or two of working time that is fundamentally unproductive.
It’s the productivity equivalent of pushing unwanted and un-eaten mushy peas round your school dinner plate – an activity that takes up your time, adds nothing nutritionally and all you end up with is a pile of uneaten peas – which are now cold.
To avoid a pile of cold peas just learn to get back in control of your email. Get some email training, learn how to use your email package features to automate many of the daily tasks, turn off your email alerts to avoid unwanted interruptions and start to get back to actually doing your job.