27/05/2020

Just because your workshop is online, it doesn't mean that you can't have meaningful engagement with your community. It's more important now than ever to create inclusive online collaboration spaces which stimulate authentic engagement, even if through a screen.

Tip 1 - Know your tools

Before going live, it's crucial to understand the tools you are using to deliver your workshop. Experiment, plan and test them before the day to make sure you're ready.

Tip 2 - Get your audience ready

Ask your audience ahead of time to contribute questions into the chat function, or suggest they use the raise hand feature (if this exists). By inviting them to contribute, you will keep them actively engaged and help create more of a community feel.

Tip 3 - Get your host ready

Speaking on a camera instead of face to face with an audience can throw some people off, so ensure they know what to expect, and that their technology is good to go. It's also important for them to think about their background and clothing choices (think simple!), as they can be distracting!

Tip 4 - Consider having the groups or rooms

Dividing the audience into breakout rooms is a great way to have them drive the conversation, engage with each other and help them connect. It's wise to have a facilitator or leader in each of these groups to help move the conversation along.

Tip 5 - Decide how you will answer questions

Decide ahead of time how you will be answering questions, whether audience members will ask in the chat, or raise hands to ask at the end of the session, it's important to be clear from the very beginning.

Tip 6 - Don't over facilitate, let humans be human!

While facilitation is important, you want the conversation to be as natural as possible. Even online we are able to connect as individuals and find common interests, bringing together different perspectives, skills, and knowledge.

Tip 7 - Connection is important

Online workshops run the risk of treating all the attendees the same in the name of efficiency. Try getting everyone to briefly introduce themselves, pending your numbers, and help grow natural connections.

Tip 8 - Remember, have fun!

During this period, everyone is staring at screens all day and flooded with online meetings. Make it fun and you'll find people are a lot more willing to engage!