Virtual facilitation #1: Good enough tech as a baseline
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 your transferable skills as an excellent facilitator.
In my previous post, I talked about what works well online, and how it’s not simply taking what works well offline and hoping for the best. Instead, it revolves around the quality of the facilitation on virtual calls.
See previous post… ‘Virtual Facilitation: What works well online?’
Having said that, a simple strategy for creating more engaging calls is having good enough tech skills.
Given basic technical competence, the art then is to exploit the difference in medium – to raise engagement, productivity or intimacy – depending on what we want from the call.
That means a decent control of the technology first, then this crucial step up into thinking more creatively and purposefully about ‘how better to use it?’.
Sure, it requires an investment of time, but not much. I’m not especially technically adept, yet I had the knack of using basic Zoom controls – let’s say screen sharing, putting participants into break-out groups and writing in chat – within a few minutes.
What mattered more was putting these few tools to productive use. For example, a simple tip, you can quickly work out how to add value to a call by tracking and documenting the main points in chat as the conversations go along.
Similarly, knowing when and for how long to run breakout rooms is less of a technical question and more one that mirrors what we already know about facilitating groups of people in a real room or conference setting.
It’s also not just about what you know, but how you bring the group along with you, given their various degrees of competence and confidence with the technology at hand.
Which we’ll go into in more detail in the next post… How to start your virtual meeting – Virtual facilitation #2
Meanwhile, what do you think are the basic competencies for facilitating an online group call or webinar?
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