PG-NASM Personal Trainer Charlotte Tooth will cover top tips on using technology to maximise your client's experience and best practice when it comes to cueing online sessions!
Video and Transcript
Charlotte Tooth (00:00):
Hello everybody. And welcome to my Technology Masterclass. Today, I'm going to take you through a virtual class setup, how to best utilize technology, but also some tips to coach and cue verbally. So in terms of physical setup, the least I would recommend that you have is a tripod.
The Amazon Basics one is literally about 15 quid, and it is so useful because you can change your angles. You can utilize it on different levels in your room. And it's a really great way to make sure that your clients can best see you, particularly if you are teaching group PT or group classes.
Charlotte Tooth (00:35):
So for those of you that cannot afford a tripod right now, or for your clients that do not want to invest in a tripod, this is where the trainer comes in. All you have to do with your trainer is stick a pair of socks in it, and then like magic, you pop your phone in and you've created your own little tripod that can be moved wherever.
Nice thing is obviously depending on the size of the pair of socks, you can tilt it as well. So it's super, super useful for those people that do not want to invest into a tripod.
Charlotte Tooth (01:01):
Remember the reason why we'd use tripods or the trainer is so that we can create some distance because what the clients don't want to see is your lovely face right up against the screen, when really they need to see your body as you're moving.
So, squatting, whatever you're doing, demonstrating, they need to be able to see the shape of your body.
Charlotte Tooth (01:16):
If you are teaching classes, I really recommend a ring light. I've got one arm behind the camera here today. This is another one that I use for my classes as well. This one came as it was as a ring, but I also added in another one on top of it. And it just brightens the room and makes it look a lot more professional. How many ring lights do you need?
Well it depends on your room, if your room is very, very dark, I would use ring lights. They're also quite flattering as well. So if you are doing filming and things like that, you don't look like you've had four hours sleep, it actually makes you look a little bit more alive, which is kind of useful. Older clients might struggle to see you, so make sure you tell them to put their brightness up on their device.
Charlotte Tooth (01:55):
In terms of microphones, there are loads of different options. The only ones that I found that are very, very useful are super duper expensive, but there are a few that you can get, especially from Amazon, where they clip into your mobile phone and the mobile phone acts for the microphone. This is particularly good for those of you that are teaching group classes.
Charlotte Tooth (02:13):
Those of you that are just doing PT, you guys could probably benefit from using something like Beats or the wireless Air Pods, because they have a great microphone in them already in built, it's not as if you need something separate as a microphone for that.
The benefits of using microphones are that when you are demoing and you move away from the camera, I could be super, super far away demonstrating something, and you can still hear me. It's not as if you have to go, "What is she saying? What is she doing?" I'm super, super clear despite the distance from the camera.
Charlotte Tooth (02:44):
So, that pretty much covers your physical setup. We've gone through ring lights, microphones, tripods, fake tripods with your trainer, and all sorts of things related to that. But now we're going to cover the actual online technology that you can use.
Please make sure you check with your client, what technology they prefer. If they have only ever worked with FaceTime before, use FaceTime, set them up for success. You want them to have the best experience possible.
Charlotte Tooth (03:10):
Some of the apps I recommend are Zoom, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, WhatsApp Call, Skype and Microsoft Teams. These are all fantastic. The ones I personally use, I use Zoom because my calls are all over 14 minutes. Zoom is about $15 pound a month. If you do the free version, I think your call cuts off about 40 minutes in, so it's a call limit.
But yeah, Zoom is fantastic, only $15 pound a month, and great, if you're going to be doing PTs all day, every day, I've also used Google Hangouts with the TRX team. That's a fantastic one because it links directly to your Google Calendar.
So when you go to your Google Calendar and you say, "Oh, I've got something on at five o'clock," you click on it and it takes you straight to the link, so you don't have to go searching through your emails or whatever to find your meeting, it is there directly in your calendar.
Charlotte Tooth (03:59):
If you are using Zoom, I really recommend, really watching some videos on YouTube in terms of how to use it. There's some fantastic options on there that I think people miss out on a lot, in terms of the preferences, there's advanced screen sharing, so you can add music to your session as well.
There's some great ways to ensure that your classes are not disturbed. You can mute everybody. You can keep them muted and ensure that they don't have the choice to unmute themselves.
You can create a waiting room, which is what I do. So when clients are logging in, I don't have to be awkwardly on the camera, like, "Five minutes to go guys." The waiting room is there for them to sort of pause and get ready for the class, whilst you are setting up.
Charlotte Tooth (04:39):
A really, really important one guys, is not to sit down when you're taking your calls too much. Make sure you're standing up, you're demoing, you're energized. It is not inspiring to stare at a face, that's very sedentary and very still.
Your clients will feel good if you're moving with them and doing something with them, it doesn't mean you have to do the whole session, but just get up, move a bit and for your own sake as well, it's not going to feel great, if you're a personal trainer used to moving all the time, if you're sat down.
I actually go to this bit sometimes and use my ledge there to balance my laptop on, especially if the devices are charged, and then I can move around and do what I want to do with the client, and it's not as if I have to get up and get down all the time.
Charlotte Tooth (05:20):
In terms of actual online programs for client tracking, I personally use Google Sheets. Google Sheets is within the Google Drive, top right-hand corner of your Google Mail, and it's a great way to hold live forms with your clients.
So saving the world by not using paper, you set up a sheet and they can fill it in, and as they fill it in, you could see it live. It's a document that's saves automatically. So it's not as if you have to click, save as, remember the world of floppy discs and save as. It's not that, it's a live document, so you can both edit it.
So you give your client a program, they fill it in and you can check each day if they've done what you wanted them to do. And then Google Sheets is very easily converted into a PDF. So you can click on the file menu, and you can download it as a PDF, should you want to send it to a client just as a set program that is not adjustable.
Charlotte Tooth (06:13):
I don't use these myself, but a couple of my friends have recommended them, the True Coach app and My Fitness Pal are great for your clients to do some tracking in terms of calories and exercise as well.
Tracking is a really, really great way to build up client adherence. If they can see where they're going, if they can see that it's directed towards their goals, they're going to be a lot more likely to stick with it. Great for client adherence.
Charlotte Tooth (06:34):
I probably don't need to say this, but make sure you know where the best spot in your house is for your Wi-Fi, okay? Because a lot of the time, especially now everyone's online, there's going to be moments where your Wi-Fi drops out or it's not so great, or the connection's a bit funky.
Make sure you know where that spot is, that's your sweet spot. You're going to go there, if ever you have any problems.
Charlotte Tooth (06:54):
I probably don't have to say this because you are all professionals, but please make sure that you're not stacking your clients back to back. Sometimes it's inevitable, but if you can help it, leave 15 minutes or 30 minutes buffer time.
So in case the connection goes, or there's some sort of problem you can make up the time, it's just a good courtesy, and it looks very professional.
Charlotte Tooth (07:13):
This last section is on coaching and cuing verbally. My biggest advice is to keep things simple, talk in their language. You might think that your clients know the names of all of the exercises, but the fact is, right now, they've got a lot more stuff going on.
So instead of saying a lateral lunge, maybe it's just a step out to the side, pick something up from the floor and bring it back in. Yes, speak in their language.
Charlotte Tooth (07:40):
It's also great to get to know their setup, okay? So one of my lovely clients, she always has a pile, a box of wine behind her, and then I know that this door on this side is the exit door to go outside, and then I know in front of her is the balcony.
So instead of saying north, east, south, west ,left, right, front, back, I just say, "Face towards the wine, face towards the door, extend your leg out towards the wine." And she knows what it is then, because she's actually in that space and it's going to really help her. It's also difficult because sometimes people have their screen on mirroring and you don't know that.
So you might be saying left and right, and it's actually very confusing. So just check what their space is, what can you reference and use those points to deliver the session.
Charlotte Tooth (08:25):
A lot of these programs will have background noise cancellation. So let's say for example, your client is working out online with you and they have music in the background. Oftentimes, it will pick up that music as if they're speaking.
And then when you go to speak, it will register you as background noise. So get into the habit of saying something that isn't so important at the beginning of the sentence.
So I've got used to saying, "Okay," and then delivering the sentence, just so the first couple of words of what I say aren't missed off.
Charlotte Tooth (08:58):
I use this a lot just from my background in Pilates training, but using key, cuing words to keep clients moving. Oftentimes, people struggle with movement because they overthink. And I think just using key catch phrases or key cuing words, is going to help them to move, particularly now we're working online. A good example of this is just simply a step back lunge.
So if I step my leg back, I'm going to go, "Step back and lunge, pull the knee to the chest. Step lunge, knee chest." So I'm just repeating what it is, in a, quite a catchy, catchphrase, and it really makes the difference because they're going to then repeat it in their own head, like a broken record, and they're going to be able to continue the movement.
Really great as well, if you're doing compound movements or some sort of combination movement as well.
Charlotte Tooth (09:46):
And my biggest piece of advice for today to finish this video is to take things slowly. You cannot speak as quickly as you normally speak. You cannot deliver as much information as you normally do.
So take a step back, ease off a little bit, listen to your client and only speak when you absolutely need to, keep the conversation minimal, but effective.
Charlotte Tooth (10:09):
So please remember any of you that wanted the virtual training setup PDF that I have sent previously to quite a few of you, this is a sheet that I devised for my clients, it's a little PDF, and they can go through and just check the checklist to see how they're setting up their space, and they can use it for optimizing their space as well. So if anybody wants that, just drop me a message.
I'm charlotte_tooth, on Instagram. I know a couple of you struggled because I went into your junk folders, so just message me again, should you have not received that. If you enjoyed this video, please like, comment and share. Send it to anyone that might find it useful, and I look forward to taking you through your next Masterclass in just two weeks time.