What does it mean to facilitate an online meeting?

The topic and practice of facilitating online meetings and webinars is cropping up all around my work and play life. People are asking a) when to use online meetings and b) how do to them – WELL! I am in the midst of preparing some resource materials, so I’d like to ask for your favorite resources. And to kick it off, here is a little three minute introduction Chahira Nouira of UN University in Bonn and I made this morning. We had tried Wetoku but the images weren’t so great, so we reverted to Skype and my Flip Camera. Keep it simple!

YouTube – What does it mean to facilitate an online meeting?.

Don’t forget, please share your best online meeting facilitation tips!

3 thoughts on “What does it mean to facilitate an online meeting?”

  1. Moving to online meetings can be very scary for people new to this type of environment so my tip is make your participants feel as comfortable as possible ie

    – send clear and step by step instructions on how they can log on
    – offer to hold ‘practice sessions’ or encourage people to go into the room themselves
    – repeat and repeat the simple things like: which button to press to speak
    – encourage people to participate to their comfort zoneie via talking, text chat, whiteboard, emoticons etc
    – do regular checks that everyone can see and hear what’s going on
    – ask lots of questions to encourage interaction

    and of course (like in all of your wonderful online sessions Nancy) HAVE FUN!!

  2. I like to find ways to check in.
    -If people say or type in their name, include state or city or weather!
    -What’s a feeling you have right now, as our meeting starts? One word like EXCITED!
    -Let’s take one breath together, so we are all present with one another on the call.

    Make sure you know who’s on the phone vs. who’s online and acknowledge both. If some people are online chatting and other’s can’t see, read some of the highlights from time to time to the phone only participants.

    I model asking questions. So many times people just state their view. Encourage participants to ask questions of each other and about the content.

  3. Allison and Leilani, thanks for getting things started. Allison, your first one reminds me of a key base principle about setting reasonable expectations! All the bits you talk about help REACH those expectations!

    Leilani, your check ins remind me of my little “virtual chair circle.” (Funny, I first blogged about it in 2007 http://www.fullcirc.com/2007/01/ and then again here: http://www.fullcirc.com/2008/11/05/guesting-with-connectivism-connective-knowledge/)

    I realized I have other blog posts on this I should have cross referenced: (oh, dear, some of the archive pages aren’t loading. I’ll have to add the others!)


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