Virtual trainingprogrammes at Zuidema

Virtual training programmes. How do they work?

We notice that a lot of people find it hard to imagine what online trainings are like. Very understandable.  Switching to online just like that, is this possible? Will you be able to get the same out of it? Due to the rise of smart online tools it is remarkable how much is possible. The challenge is: how do you achieve the same effect as you would through a classroom training?

Together with our team of behavioural experts, we have developed a completely different approach to learning online. Online training at Zuidema is much more than having a trainer in front of a webcam.

You can expect the following from our virtual trainings:

Our approach

These here are the key ingredients to a virtual training:

1. The trainer is ‘just one button away’.
He/she is there for you. Normally conversations might arise organically in the hallway or at the coffee machine. That is not possible now. That’s why we plan individual 10-minute talks, during which questions can be answered, feedback can be given or reflection can be done together. Besides that, the trainer is able to help out more quickly and more often in one of the break-out rooms. After all, the trainer is ‘just one button away’.

2. Fun
Laughing and relaxing. Time for drinks, individual attention, and fun. We encourage participants to stick around after the training, to have drinks and talk things over. By then our trainers have usually retreated from the group. This way  people can discuss things online and continue learning in an informal atmosphere.

3. Energy management
Active and energetic: learning through a screen naturally requires energy. By providing a good learning pace with lots of variety, you and your fellow participants will remain alert, challenged, and active.

Our trainers will keep an eye on you and your group’s energy level and check what is needed in the moment, e.g. an extra break.

4. Interactive and dynamic sessions
During the training you will not spend a long time behind your laptop. Plenary sessions in ‘Teams’ are alternated by interactive ‘break-outs’, Q&A sessions, Kahoot! quizzes, videos, and writing down personal insights. Role playing is done through 1-on-1 video calling. You could call other group members while taking a walk outside for instance. You can reflect wherever you feel comfortable.

5. Technology that works
There is no bigger nuisance than technology that doesn’t work. That’s why we have five Zuidema owned studios at our head office in Leusden, and at our own training location, the House of Influence. In these studios, good connection, lighting, image and sound, are key. The trainer is able to completely focus on the group, since our technical support is always stand-by.

By sending a Whatsapp to our technician you can get help straight away, when there are technical issues at your end.


Yes, you can indeed. The interaction with the trainer and the other group members, the continuous feedback, reflections and challenging assignments make sure you will step out of your comfort zone and learn from, and with each other. More than you think.

During our online programmes you will never be in front of your laptop for very long. We provide variation, breaks and a dynamic learning process. Mirror neurons in our brains act differently through a screen than they would during live interaction. Because online interaction is quite different, your eyes will need rest from the screen every 20 minutes.

Desiree Nouwen, one of our trainers, commented: ‘Participants are definitely tired at the end of a training day, but that is no different from our normal classroom courses. They indicate that it is certainly doable, even better than expected.’

No. No binge watching, no daylong lectures. This is your training programme, so you’ll be put to work. Your training days are active and dynamic. Short theoretical sessions, lots of variety, lost of breaks. The start of the programme, with explanations and introductions,  is the longest session, taking one and a half hour, immediately followed by a thirty minute break. From this moment on you’ll be working in groups of 3 or 4 participants in different settings.

During one exercise you will be sent outside for a walk while talking on the phone with a group member. During other exercises you will do role-play in small groups in virtual breakout rooms. Practicing to be more inspirational? Stand up for a moment. 

Groups and people are able to give energy to each other more easily during ‘live’ sessions. Personal interaction (verbal and non-verbal) tends to be more intuitive and faster. Virtual sessions may seem more business-like, since there is less time for informal conversations. The advantage is that at a faster pace you can learn more in less amount of time.

The main disadvantage is a lack of spontaneity and palpable energy. A chat during breaks, or a one-on-one,  is something you will miss. Sometimes it can be somewhat businesslike and more process-oriented. This is why we provide a lot of breaks, one-on-one calls with each other or with the trainer and a virtual drink at the end of the day.

No travel time and it is of course Corona-proof. There is more contact with the trainer,  in the safety and the comfort of your own home, or wherever you are at. Because of this, we notice that participants tend to step further out of their comfort zone.

You will start your training programme in our online learning environment, the so called Influence HUB, by doing an intake and (if this applies to your specific training) an online 360-assessment. To get the most out of your virtual training, it is important to sit comfortably,  have your earphones ready, make sure your camera is working, your internet connection is stable and you are logged into ‘Teams’. Pour yourself a coffee and have a bottle of water ready and you are all set.  Our trainer Desiree:  ‘I sometimes see sleepy people starting  the day with a cup of coffee. That’s not any different from what I see happening when I do a classroom training.’

We swiftly and frequently alternate working methods throughout the day. You will start the day taking part in a plenary session,  continue working in small groups in virtual break-out rooms,  do 1-on-1 exercises,  spar with the trainer, and reflect while taking a walk. There will be enough breaks throughout the day. We will  end  the day with a social get-together.

Our flexible conditions

These times ask for flexible conditions. Would you initially prefer a classroom training on location?

Any other questions?

Let us help you! Our customer service is available on working days from 08.30 to 17.30 hrs.
Call +31 33 434 58 00 or send a mail to

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