What is this magical thing you call Soapbox? And will it help me with Virtual Training Sessions?
What is Soapbox?
Soapbox is an online tool that allows you to create virtual training sessions and face-to-face training presentations with accompanying materials (facilitator guide, PowerPoint slides, handout templates) in about 10 minutes. While Soapbox cannot predict your actual content, users report that it has gotten them 50%-80% of the way to their final training presentation, saving hours’ or even days’ worth of development time.
Will Soapbox help me design and deliver virtual training sessions?
Absolutely! Soapbox has thousands of activities to support your training online or in person. Each virtual activity is designed to be delivered using a virtual platform like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, etc. We've done the work of figuring out which activities work on those platforms so you don't have to.
How does Soapbox work?
You enter the essential characteristics of your presentation, such as the amount of time for your presentation, the number of attendees, what online platform you'll be using (like Zoom or Microsoft Teams), and what you want your training participants to do by the end of your presentation. Soapbox instantly searches its library of thousands of activity variations to generate a sequence and flow of activities for your presentation.
So will Soapbox create my entire presentation, or do I still need to add stuff?
Our goal is for Soapbox to get you somewhere between 50%-80% of the way to a final presentation. We can’t (yet) predict what your topic or content will be, but Soapbox provides the structure for your presentation. Instead of trying to figure out how to engage your learners, you need only add your content.
What if I can’t find an Outcome Starter that I like?
We get it. Different people use different words to describe what they want people to be able to do by the end of their presentation. We suggest having some general ideas in mind about what you’d like people to be able to do by the end of your presentation and then choosing one of the 30+ outcome starters that most closely relates to your general ideas.
Why is there a limit to the number of outcome starters that I can choose?
One important concept to keep in mind is that the outcome starters are learner-centric actions that your participants should be able to do by the end of your session. While many presenters claim that they can cover many, many topics in a given period of time, what is it that your learners can realistically do with the information that’s been presented in that same amount of time. Soapbox is a tool designed to make learning engaging and meaningful, and therefore it’s been designed with realistic parameters that account for what your learners will be able to do with your content in any given amount of time.
My presentations are usually 10 minutes or fewer. Will Soapbox work for me?
Soapbox-generated presentations need to be a minimum of 15 minutes.
But I want an activity bank!
What if I don’t love all of the activities that Soapbox generates for my presentation?
You can choose to swap out any activity generated by Soapbox. Each activity comes with two to five alternatives that may better fit your presentation and/or the facilitator’s comfort level and will always fit the situation (if you're platform doesn't have breakout rooms, you won't get breakout rooms in your activities). If you feel a presentation is at risk of activity fatigue from all of the activities generated by Soapbox, you can delete activities you find to be superfluous.
Is there rhyme and reason to the sequence and flow of activities generated by Soapbox, or does it randomly generate activities? Is this based upon any research or theory?
Whether you are facilitating training online or in person, Soapbox will generate activities based upon the following formula:
Based upon Gagne’s 7 events of learning and Malcolm Knowles’ theory of adult learning, this formula is designed to connect learners to the information you’re planning to present (Anchor), provide information in an engaging way (Content) and then allow your learners to spend some time exploring your information to see how they would use it (Application).
Can I add my own activities?
While you can edit and customize the activity instructions for any activity Soapbox generates, you cannot add activities to your Soapbox facilitator guide. If you feel we are missing an opportunity for an amazing activity, drop us a line at email@example.com so that we can add it to our activity bank!
Can I just have access to your activity bank?
No. Soapbox is calibrated to generate a sequence and flow of activities with instructions specific to the variables you entered when you set up your presentation (duration, number of attendees, seating set-up and learning outcomes) and plugs those activities into the Anchor → Content → Application formula. That’s the magic behind Soapbox and its ability to generate 50%-80% of your presentation within 5-10 minutes. Over the years, we have shared many of our activities through the Train Like a Champion blog. Once you try Soapbox we think you’ll see that the change in your work is more meaningful than accessing great activities.
Slides, Facilitator Guides, and Materials… oh my!
How do I download the PowerPoint and/or the Facilitator Guide?
You bet! Once you generate your presentation, you will have the option to click on a download link to generate your PowerPoint slides and/or the Facilitator Guide.
Exactly what does Soapbox generate?
For each presentation you create, Soapbox will generate a facilitator guide with detailed activity instructions and a PowerPoint deck that can be downloaded and customized in PowerPoint. Some activities call for handouts and Soapbox will generate handout templates for those activities that can be downloaded and customized in Word.
Can I swap out the slide backgrounds generated by Soapbox for my company’s slide template?
We don’t yet have an easy way to do this, but if this is something you or your company really need for all of your presentations, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can make it happen.
Can I customize the handout templates?
Yes. Anything you download from Soapbox – from PowerPoint slides to handout templates – are fully customizable.
What other magical spells can Soapbox cast?
Can I create multi-day training courses using Soapbox?
Yes. You may want to consider breaking multi-day sessions into smaller chunks based upon time blocks (generating four hours of presentations at a time, for example) or big-picture topics.
I mostly deliver training via webinar and virtual delivery. Can Soapbox help?
The activities currently generated by Soapbox were created with in-person, classroom training in mind. Some users have reported that they are able to modify the activities generated by Soapbox to better engage their webinar participants. We are currently working on an option to have Soapbox generate activities specifically designed for virtual delivery/webinars.
We’re so close to signing up but we still have questions
Can I try Soapbox before I commit to buying it?
Yes. You may try Soapbox for free for up to 14 days and the presentations you generate during that time are yours to keep.
I think this is a cool tool, but now I need to convince my boss to pay for it. Can you help?
Yes. This one-pager about the Value of Soapbox should help with the conversation about the value that Soapbox can bring to your organization.
Will other people have access to my presentation once it is generated?