Photo by: KucherAV via Canva
I basically grew up in the kitchen. In high school, I took all the baking and cooking classes I could. I loved them all! Then I went to college and graduated from the baking and pastry arts program. I started my career in the hospitality and food industry, which led to my current love of making decorative cakes and desserts. So how did I go from a career in the food industry to one as a virtual classroom producer?
Like producing in the virtual classroom, the process of baking is all behind the scenes. I can design, bake, and create an edible art piece, but you don’t actually see me while I am creating the products. You only see the finished result. It’s similar in the virtual classroom, where you don’t see all the open tabs on my three computer screens, the pile of notes in front of me, or the sticky notes on my walls. All you see is the final production and how all the prep work has paid off.
As I am still new to the virtual classroom producer role, I know I have a lot to learn, and I am just at the beginning of the road. It reminds me of when I was just getting started with my baking business. I constantly find myself comparing the two roles.
If you are someone, like me, who is new to the live online world of virtual training, here’s my advice—my “ingredients” for success in the virtual classroom:
When you bake, you need to plan. You need to be prepared with all the information. What equipment and tools will you need? What ingredients will you need? How much time will it take to bake and decorate your products? It must take a reasonable amount of time and be finished just before the client expects the product so it’s as fresh as possible. The same goes for the virtual classroom. You need to plan. You need to do the prep work. Review your lesson plans, course material, and the pre-session, intersession, and post-session work.
You also need to do your research, so if a client has more in-depth questions, you have the answers. And just like baking, your virtual sessions must be delivered on time and in a specific timeframe.
When you first start out with anything new, you won’t be an expert. Far from it! When I started baking, I sometimes used boxed cake mixes, I would use margarine instead of butter, and my baked goods didn’t really look the best. But, at the time, I thought they were pretty good because, in my mind, they looked decent enough. I received feedback that would make them look better and tips on ingredients to make them taste fresher. Again, at the time, I thought they were already pretty good, so I didn’t want to change anything.
As the years went on, I started to realize that all the feedback was helping me improve. Now clients tell me they love my products, and they keep coming back for more. I have brought that same mindset into my new role as virtual classroom producer, and it has helped me tremendously. Right from the start, I considered how I could improve my skills, do things better and more smoothly, and take the constructive criticism to make my work stand out.
The feedback and guidance I’ve received since starting this role have helped me advance and feel comfortable in this new role. I know I will continue to compare my baking experience to every new thing I learn as a virtual classroom producer.
Do you compare any hobbies to your present role in the virtual classroom? What are your “ingredients” for success in the virtual classroom?