Preparing for a recent Inspirational Facilitator webinar, I found this neat tip for online sessions.
Use shorter breakouts in virtual settings than you might for in-person events, especially until you are confident that your participants are working well together.
For example, instead of sending a group off for a lengthy ‘role play’, rename the sequence as ‘Rehearsal and Practice’. Chop it down from 20-30 minutes into segments of 5 minutes each, so groups can work together briefly, then return for a plenary check in, ensuring we’re all staying on track for the next breakout.
Before our course on ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’, we prepared a short scenario with our client. In the webinar we shared this scene, which would be recognisably typical for the participants, and invited them into groups to formulate their likely strategy in that circumstance and return with a short statement of ‘What would you say next?’
You can set the tone for a quick discussion by saying, ‘You have 3 minutes for this, which is 3 more than you’d have in real life!’
What are your top tips for productive break-outs?