Hi all. We hope that everyone is taking good care during this crazy week in the world.
We know that many people are looking for some quick and simple ways to take their meetings, training, and coaching online this week, as we all stay at home. We are talking to people this week to try and help. If you are new to online learning, you may appreciate our free 30-minute course, Archetype Jumpstart, which helps you get clear and work through the key structure for your online course or seminar. We will be posting links to useful resources as we think of them, and we will offer some simple tips this week to help. In addition, we will be hosting a few free, 1-hour webinars ourselves in the coming weeks to answer questions and brainstorm solutions. If you are interested in attending one of these, please email firstname.lastname@example.org at tell us a little about your needs and questions. You can also request a call back.
For now, here are 10 tips for you as you get your training, seminars, meetings, and coaching happening via video conference this week. They are not in any particular order, but are things we have learned over the years.
- Most video conference apps work in a similar way. Don’t get too hung up on which tool is best. Zoom, GoToMeeting or GoToWebinar, Skype, and many others work in a similar way. They all have a shared screen option for you to present ideas, the option to turn your camera on or off, a chat box option, and a way to record the whole thing for those who miss it. A quick online search can help you find the one that has the features you know you need.
- If you are new to being leading online videoconferences, practice using the software with a friend or colleague by creating a meeting and getting used to the interface before leading your first meeting.
- It is best to have two people running the webinar or meeting. One leads the group, talks and presents. The other takes care of the chat window, and can call, text, or email anyone who is struggling with the technology or having a hard time logging on. This second person can also monitor the chat feature to help people participate.
- If you face interference and struggle with wifi connection and are glitching and everyone is finding it very distracting, consider turning video off for those not presenting anything.
- Talk slowly if you are the leader. Pretend you are a radio host and talk way slower that you think is normal. (This advice was once given to me by the wonderful Tiffany Purn).
- If you are leading a class or coaching session, consider that students/coachees should have ‘homework’ prior to the video call, and should have the agenda. They should know what they will be asked to participate in. Some “learning” should be presented via website, LMS, email, social media, or some other way, before asking people to talk about it online.
- Especially for those new to being online, it can be difficult for people to feel comfortable participating, especially with people they don’t already know. People need very clear facilitation inviting them personally to share. People can be hesitant to join and hesitant to speak once they do join.
- For any group larger than 5 people, you can consider using the chat feature to have people “raise hands” if they are interesting in speaking. If you can’t see that someone is anxious to speak by reading their faces, it’s hard to know that people want to. Often people’s faces on larger calls don’t show unless they are talking.
- As a facilitator, give people the floor, or the mike, and don’t be as afraid of silence as you might be in a room. People need more time to get it together to speak sometimes.
- Finally, give people a way to connect and continue the discussion afterwards via email, social media, a forum, text or individual phone calls.