can be a powerful tool for collaboration, training and informational meetings. Engaging
participants in this setting requires some specific planning and
- Make certain all participants
have the correct date, time and locations.
Remember time zone differences.
- Distribute materials to
everyone who will be in the “room.”
- Identify and communicate who is
going to run the session.
- Ensure a comfort level with the
equipment. Designate someone in the room, other than the presenter or
meeting chair, as the go-to person in the event of a glitch.
- Establish a “Plan B” in the
event of a loss of picture or audio.
- Begin with an introduction of
all participants and check that everyone has the right view.
- Agree on protocols for
speaking, mute and reference to any materials that are being used.
- Encourage the presenter to
engage individuals in remote locations by asking questions and forming sub
groups who can work live via webcam.
- Introduce new people or changes
if and when they occur.
- Include frequent checks for
understanding through input, not simply saying, “Do you understand?” or “Do
you have that in
- Conclude with next steps just
as you should for any in person interaction. Follow up with commitments.
It also helps
when the amenities for participants are as similar as possible. This week I
conducted the second day of a three day leadership training course with 10 participants
uncomfortable jokes about the coffee, doughnuts and lunch that were available
for our group in
On the second day the continental breakfast in the main location was not as
much of an issue since lunch was delivered to the satellite location well in
advance of the scheduled break while ours was late. The smaller group with the
timely lunch politely moved the camera so we couldn’t watch them enjoy
sandwiches while our stomachs grumbled.
can save money, time and energy. The reduction in costs should be more than
enough to cover meals and breaks.