White mouse pointer on black background

A Cursor is a Small Thing you can Change to Make Online Training Better

Jim Calloway shared a tip about changing your cursor color and size on his Law Practice Tips blog, and it reminded me of a little bit of a pet peeve that I often have with people doing technology demos or training remotely. They move too fast.

Rather, they move as if we all saw the screen exactly as they do. When you’re doing remote learning like that, you have to account for two things when it comes to your cursor. One is video lag. The other is how small it may appear in the shared-screen environment.

So let me share a couple of really simple things you can do to help your customers follow along a bit better. (By the way, this goes double if you are recording your screen to be viewed later.)

1. As Jim suggests, change the default cursor. Make it larger and brighter, so it stands out against the backdrop of your screen. It’s easy enough to do but more difficult to remember. In fact, I only recently remembered that I used to use a large, red cursor a couple of weeks ago when I watched someone give a demo and couldn’t follow where they were clicking. I apologize to all the folks who had to watch me do the same because I had forgotten all about that tip I had learned years ago.

2. Slow down. Like, really, slow down. Don’t just start clicking on things quickly like you do when working with the tool without an audience. You have an audience, so respect them. Talk them through where you are clicking as you are clicking. That will force you to move the mouse deliberately and make it easier to follow.

It’s not a big thing, but it’s something that will take you very minimal effort that could make a huge difference to your audience. At the end of the day, whether you’re doing a sales demo, technical training, or internal education, you’re there for them, the audience. Make it better for them.

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