One of the most challenging tasks for a facilitator is when your participants are in a room together and you are the only person on Zoom…
Preparing for a recent Inspirational Facilitator webinar, I found this neat tip for online sessions…
Online it’s easy for participants to turn their attention elsewhere. If we are all physically together in a room, the audience is likely to sit and listen to a speaker, at least for a while. How do you engage from the start?
Discussing trends with fellow facilitators, we agree that virtual is here to stay. Allowing people to work more at their own speed and in their own time, with neat ideas such as shared documents, can offer more engaging, enjoyable and productive working…
We have learned to hold events online that connect more people with reasonable efficiency. And yet, the virtual falls short when it comes to the quality of interactions..
Many of us have fresh experiences of working from home. While #WFH will remain a trendy hashtag for a long time yet, some of us will be making the journey back to shared offices. Wouldn’t it be great if we could merge the best elements from our domestic professional arrangements with the most valuable aspects of being face-to-face?
When we are not face-to-face with each other in real rooms, we can lose people’s attention very easily.
Participants drift away mentally and who knows what happens when the camera is turned off? There are some really simple ways to engage and sustain people’s attention on a topic…
We’re told that people are getting ‘Zoom Fatigue’, which results in meetings that lack energy and get too little accomplished. If you’re struggling to get what you need from your virtual meetings, it’s useful to know that a well-structured design can deliver results and leave people wanting to come back.
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!”
Turn-taking 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 first..
Why should you include quick warmups at the start of online calls? They help familiarise everyone with the technology. Then it’s less likely that people will feel excluded or marginalised.
Here’s a simple warmup which works well with larger groups..
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’.
Read on to find out more..
How many times are you hearing apologies for poor use of technology during online calls?
The good news is that there is lots that can be done so that in the long-term, you will gain confidence from your successes and your participants will gain confidence in you.
If you put your participants into breakout rooms, you can’t expect great conversations online to break out automatically. This is where you need to take even more care in an online world than when facilitating at a f-2-f conference or workshop..
Many of us are discovering new possibilities in lockdown and also wondering what the future might look like. We’re questioning the ways that we have been used to working all these years. Whether work simply stopped or was conducted exclusively from home, there was a sudden and unavoidable disruption.
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..
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..
Online meeting etiquette actually isn’t as different from face-to-face meeting etiquette as you’d think.
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 you’ve no energy for the topic of the meeting?
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 started precisely at the advertised time. So thoughtful use of a virtual waiting room can provide a gentler start..
You don’t have to be a tech wizard to be a great online facilitator but you do need to have good tech skills.
You need to know just enough to ensure you don’t let technical shortcomings hamper your skills as an excellent facilitator. It’s not just about what you know, but how you bring the group along with you..