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Facilitation
A good way to finish an online call – Virtual Facilitation #10

A good way to finish an online call – Virtual Facilitation #10

What’s a good way to finish an online call and ensure that you end with a continued (or increased) sense of engagement, and bring a feeling of completion?

This is my adaptation of an activity I learned at a recent gathering of Oxford University alumni.

“We’re all familiar with emojis? Yes!
Well these are Humojis!

“Everyone lean out of view of…

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Why turn-taking is so important online – Virtual Facilitation #9

Why turn-taking is so important online – Virtual Facilitation #9

Turn-taking was and is a prominent part of a meeting, whether off-line or online.

When we used to meet face to face in the same rooms with each other, we all knew whose turn it was. It was always the turn of the next most confident or senior speaker – unless the meeting was facilitated to allow others to step in as part of the process. Establishing a talking order is…

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Include quick warmups – Virtual Facilitation #8

Include quick warmups – Virtual Facilitation #8

Why should you include quick warmups at the start of online calls?

1 They help familiarise everyone with the technology. Then it’s less likely that people will feel excluded or marginalised.

For example, here’s a simple warmup which works well with larger groups…

If the technology allows it, invite participants to change what shows on their name line by…

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Simple activities for Zoom

Simple activities for Zoom

You can easily get inventive with simple activities on Zoom. This picture from a London meeting of the Applied Improvisation Network illustrates a quick game, based on ‘Where’s Wally?’ and retitled for our gang as ‘Point to Peter’.
With everyone preferably in Gallery View or equivalent, the facilitator names one person and everyone points to the area of the screen in which that person appears.

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Apology not accepted – Virtual Facilitation #7

Apology not accepted – Virtual Facilitation #7

How many times are you hearing apologies for poor use of technology during online calls?

‘Sorry, I haven’t quite got the hang of Zoom’. Well, we don’t want to hear it – for at least three good reasons.

1. I reckon that you really should have the hang of it by now. If you are creating training or learning sessions, particularly if they are paid-for, you need

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Encouraging constructive conversations online – Virtual Facilitation #6

Encouraging constructive conversations online – Virtual Facilitation #6

If you put your participants into breakout rooms, you can’t expect great conversations online to break out automatically. They might, but equally might not. And this is an instance where you need to take even more care in an online world than when facilitating at a f-2-f conference or workshop event. In the latter, there’s…

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How to create engagement in virtual meetings – Virtual Facilitation #5

How to create engagement in virtual meetings – Virtual Facilitation #5

How do we create (more) engagement in virtual meetings with a group that’s still pretty unfamiliar with good Zoom meetings? And that likely means most of your participants. If you can do that, you’ll immediately stand out from the cavalcade of everyone and their uncle who are now offering online sessions.

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How to warm up a virtual meeting – Virtual Facilitation #4

How to warm up a virtual meeting – Virtual Facilitation #4

One great question to warm up a virtual meeting is, ‘What are you enjoying about the lockdown?’.

While that may seem paradoxical, there will be some things that people are benefiting from by staying at home, whether they have thought about them yet or not.

Here’s a sampling of answers from one recent call: vivid dreams, my exercise routine…

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Online meeting etiquette – Virtual Facilitation #3

Online meeting etiquette – Virtual Facilitation #3

Online meeting etiquette actually isn’t as different from face-to-face meeting etiquette as you’d think, and you’ve probably been on enough online meetings by now to know what you like and don’t.

Have you been on those Zoom calls where the first 30 minutes (of 60) is taken up with elaborate introductions, and by the time everyone has described their new routine…

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How to start your virtual meeting – Virtual Facilitation #2

How to start your virtual meeting – Virtual Facilitation #2

Most virtual meeting systems offer a waiting room, where you can hold your participants until you are ready to begin.

It can put a lot of pressure on you to have to get straight into the substance of the meeting, precisely at the advertised time. So using a virtual waiting room can provide a gentle. You can let participants enter as they arrive…

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Good enough tech skills – Virtual Facilitation #1

Good enough tech skills – Virtual Facilitation #1

You don’t have to be a technology wizard to be a great facilitator of online calls but you do need to have good enough tech skills. You need to know just enough to ensure you don’t let technical shortcomings hamper…

Given basic technical competence, the art then is to exploit the difference in medium – to raise engagement, productivity or intimacy…

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Virtual Facilitation: What works well online?

Virtual Facilitation: What works well online?

What works well online is not simply a matter of taking what works well offline and hoping for the best.

It’s not a bad idea for starters, as many principles and practices are directly transferable. But you also need to be aware of what’s possible – and not possible – in each medium. As the context changes, so do the interactions. I’ve been on virtual calls…

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