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How to Conduct a Training Session on WhatsApp

The Notice

Learning is always fun and this past week, I had an interesting opportunity to do just that as I was invited to mentor a group of about 120 people on WhatsApp. It’s a relationship hub but for some reason they wanted to hear about money, business and investments and they chose me because they saw my thought provoking video with the title – What if you don’t get a job.

Timothy Inyang came up with the idea and did an excellent job bringing it to life. He informed me about the session a few hours before it was to begin so I quickly gathered my thoughts on what to share with them.

Timothy I. – The facilitator

Getting Ready

I joined the group via the link provided and was made an administrator so that all other participants could be restricted from sending messages while I was speaking or sharing content. The plan was for everyone to be free to comment and ask questions at the end of my pitch. This may work for some people, but as I observed the first teacher and the quietness in the group, I decided I wanted a more interactive session.

The Right Picture

When it was my turn, the facilitator introduced me and shared my picture on the group. This is a good way to let the participants know who they would be listening to and set their expectations accordingly. So don’t take this for granted. Let the introduction clearly highlight your roles, achievements, profile and make sure the picture is on point. Remember, as you dress, so will you be addressed. On WhatsApp, your picture is what people judge.

The picture I used

Find Your Voice

Once the introduction was done, I asked everyone to write out their comments and questions as we went along so I could easily read them. I also opted for a combination of text and voice notes in sharing my content. There’s something about speaking that makes communication more effective and impactful than it is when you write. It allows people to hear your tone, observe your emphasis, and feel your passion and excitement in a way that mere text cannot convey.

Too much energy…..

Data Bank

In case you have pictures to share, save them in a folder or album that you can easily attach them from. Pictures speak volumes but you must be mindful of your audience; too many voice notes and pictures, and they may run out of data. You could spice things up by announcing upfront a data giveaway to those who engage the most. This could be via questions and comments during the session. Remember to fulfill your promise.

 

I absolutely enjoyed myself and it’s obvious that I really love empowering others with valuable information. Each opportunity I get to do this is a breath of fresh air.

Wrap up:

So to wrap this up, remember:

  • Inform the group in advance about the session, ask them to set a reminder on their calendars
  • Send the group link to all invitees and speakers
  • Introduce the speaker / mentor when it’s time
  • The mentor uses text, voice notes, pictures, or short video clips to share
  • Participants ask questions and the mentor answers
  • Facilitator wraps up

 

Introductions are not necessary if the facilitator is also the mentor / trainer, is already part of the group, and is well known to everyone.

 

I hope you’ll enjoy your first WhatsApp training / mentoring session and will leave a comment about some strategies you use for WhatsApp meetings. Please send me pictures on anietie@bature.com I hope you like the pictures from my session.

Reading a question….

Let me know if this was helpful. Thank you and take care.

Memory Lane 5 – Cakes 2

Memory Lane 4 – Cakes 1

Aha! Cakes! I knew how to make cakes.

Good enough, a kind gesture towards helping a friend make her birthday more memorable had led me to buy the basic cake decorating kit while I still had money. So I thought – if I could make her birthday cake for free and it came out so well, why can’t I do the same for others and get paid?

I designed and printed flyers, and after some weeks of having them in my locker, a friend of mine named Oge, said ‘We have to put them up this night. What are you waiting for?’ So together, we posted all the flyers at strategic locations around campus. It was about a week to February 14, St. Valentine’s Day.

The next night, some guy came to my window. Guys weren’t allowed into female hostels; that restriction came with the territory. He said he wanted a Valentine cake for his sweetheart. He went on and on about how he wanted to make her feel special. I told him the price; he agreed and said he would be back on Feb 13 to pick the cake.

Excited about my first order, I went shopping for consumables and made an extra ¬†cake in case someone swung by for a last minute ‘make my babe happy’ solution. Feb 13 came and the guy didn’t show up. What was I going to do? Bongzie, another friend, put a quick end to my misery when she suggested that we sell the cakes at a supermarket in town. We were able to sell one and on Feb 15, she said, ‘We can’t lose the money for this second cake. Let’s cut it up and sell it off piece by piece’. I agreed, and she went from room to room shouting ‘delicious chocolate cake… have a piece. Fifty naira only’ until every piece was sold. With her help, I earned more money than I would have if it was sold as a whole. Now I think about it again. Without these two friends, I may not have overcome those challenges I faced at start up.

I documented the lessons learned from this experience and restrategized accordingly. I offered smaller cake sizes that students could easily afford, took down contact details for each client and didn’t proceed with any order until a down payment was made by the client as a show of commitment.

Orders began to trickle in and I applied my engineering skills in designing colorful cake boxes and in replicating a gas fired oven such that my cakes, though baked in a pot, tasted and had the aroma of oven baked cake. That gave me an advantage and drew more clients to me.

Eventually, I had to maintain a log to enable me track all my orders. I planned my days and weeks in advance to enable me manage my time well and keep from negatively impacting my academic performance. I bought materials in bulk and made additional earnings from retailing eggs and renting out my large pot. My visits to the bank were now more for deposits than withdrawals. I gradually became financially independent and it felt good. I also enjoyed helping people out from time to time when they had a financial need and when it was time to deal with research project related expenses, there was no anxiety.

I maintained this art as a main or side income stream for a while after graduating from the university. I’m ever so thankful to my mum for teaching me to bake and to God for wisdom, strategy, good friends and prosperity.

What skills are you passing on to your kids and younger relatives?

Who are your friends? Do they make you better and vice versa?

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