Covid-19 has forced all of us to work differently in one way or another. We are using virtual platforms more than before and many meetings and workshops are now being managed in this way. PCC is now using this technology for our events and workshops. We have collated our top tips on running virtual meetings to share our learning.
- Post the agenda and what you want to get from each item to be discussed prior to the meeting so all participants have time to consider their input prior to the meeting
- Send documents, and capture input in advance as well as during the meeting
- When starting meetings acknowledge this is a different way of working and we are all still learning
- If the meeting is small break the ice by every member sharing a recent success – if people speak/input early in the meeting they are more likely to continue doing so, or use another ‘chatty’ activity.
- Use chat to reiterate important points, to share input and open up to questions and comments to those who prefer to make them in writing – this will also help anyone with a poor WIFI signal. It can also be useful to use the thumbs up option (or use actual thumbs – over video) to get a good feel for agreement and that people are engaged.
- Resist the tendency to rush. Talking slowly is proven to be more effective and easier to understand, especially when not face-to-face.
- Encourage silent mind-mapping activities and then sharing points via a shared document or the chat function to allow personal reflection and time to think
- If the software has it available, use breakout rooms – many platforms enable the facilitator to move between rooms as well
- Just like a face to face meeting – identify who will feedback from each breakout and how – sharing a document, via chat or just discussing the key points with the whole group
- Use vote options – or use the chat function to allow voting where appropriate
With appropriate planning and understanding of what the software you have can do – facilitating and managing virtual meetings is starting to be part of the new normal.
For help planning your meeting or for virtual facilitation support contact firstname.lastname@example.org