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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org I hope you like the pictures from my session.
Let me know if this was helpful. Thank you and take care.