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Top 10 Tips for Facilitating an Online Meeting

When I first developed this blog post in April 2020, I never realized we all would STILL be primarily leading online meetings in April 2021. Since we are still mostly leading online meetings, let’s revisit my Top 10 Tips for Facilitating Online Meetings for you again today! 

We have a complimentary worksheet that guides you through questions to consider as you plan your next online meeting. Download it now.

Be clear about the meeting purpose

Write the purpose in one sentence. Say it out loud. Check in with your staff or other coalition leaders. This is a key to avoiding “online meeting fatigue.”

Garner support from your team

This is particularly important if you are leading a large group meeting online. You need help in order to effectively host the meeting. Don’t try to do it alone!

Set expectations about participation

Just like an in-person meeting, it helps everyone know what to expect and how to work together. Also, start the meeting with a question that helps actively engage participants. One of my favorite resources this year comes from We and Me connect cards.

Share your scree

When you are working on a project during the meeting, this is essential for helping participants focus and engage.

Use video to see one another

You can more effectively facilitate the meeting when you are able to see nonverbal communication. This also helps increase the “energy” in the virtual room.

Mute all lines 

You can ask folks to mute themselves but there is always one…and it just takes one…:) This is where you need your team from #2 to have the power to mute all lines.

Call on people directly 

The goal is not to ‘call them out” but to encourage engagement from attendees you know have something to contribute on a particular topic.

Use the chat feature

Use the chat feature to support engagement and active participation. The chat feature (and reactions or polling) can also help you get immediate feedback from the group.

Keep meetings short 

Why does every meeting need to be an hour?!

Follow-up in a timely manner 

When you follow-up within a week of your meeting, you support productivity, follow-through and continued engagement.

As you reflect on these tips, think about which one(s) you want to try during your next online meeting. Download my online meeting worksheet to help you plan and lead your next online meeting.

Which of these 10 tips have you found most helpful in leading online meetings over the past year?

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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