Remote-First Institute
8 months ago

How do you make your meeting participants are engaged before, during and after your online meetings? Share your best tips!

Maaria Tiensivu
8 months ago

During the meetings, I keep the rhythm of the meetings changing and shifting throughout. Mixing "presentation-mode" with individual reflective exercises and sharing experiences with the group keeps people engaged.

Beforehand I like to create a pre-survey to get people in the right space for the meeting and for after I make sure the next steps are scheduled and clear.

Leon van der Laan
8 months ago

One tip I would give for much better meetings is this:

Share the agenda with a quick Loom video, explaining the meeting content.

Takes 60 seconds and makes the meeting much more lively in advance. :)

Darcy Peters
8 months ago

This is a super simple addition to a meeting, but one thing I like to do is to have a quick-fire water-cooler/icebreaker topic at the beginning or at the end. Even though short (~10 seconds each person), it amps up the energy, often brings on smiles, and is just a quick reminder that we're all human and have personalities beyond the potentially serious topic we're discussing. It can also be something they continue the conversation about later - "You mentioned that you'd rather be a rabbit than a snake or bull. I have to know why!" 🤣

On the practical side of things, listing out the clear action points and responsible parties at the end with everyone expressing agreement is really important to ensuring everyone leaves on the same page.

Rachel Davis
8 months ago

This is absolutely my kind of topic!

Friendly Workshop Creator and Facilitator here. I have so many tips for this so let me throw out a couple to start.

I love using IDEOs brainstorming rules as a place to start for my "rules of engagement" for workshops. While these are geared towards brainstorming, I have adapted them for use in every session and interactive workshop. I've included a screen shot of what I use below.

Sometimes I vary this and use things like "Bring your unfiltered truth" in place of defer judgement. You can really customize this however you wish.

I'll start another message here with some of my other approaches! :) This is just an initial one that sets the mood going in.

Rachel Davis
8 months agoEdited 8 months ago

Here's some other things that help keep groups involved in sessions and workshops.

➡️ Plan everything from pre-session, to opening moments, through to closing moments. Always remember things don't always go to plan and be prepared to adapt and be flexible.

➡️ Let participants know what to expect while also generating excitement. I run my sessions in Butter and always send over a quick little blurb which explains we will be using Butter and Miro, And also instructions if they have never used either before. This also comes with their agenda for the session so they can see that ahead of time.

➡️ Make sure your session is focused on the right things, there's a bunch of ways to do this a couple I like are: Co-creating an agenda with the participants, or using the "How to" method to refine your objective for the workshop. (I can explain this much better in a longer post but basically the 'How to' method takes what you think your initial goal is and you start to rephrase that into How to statements, these statements can help drive the true purpose and activities of your workshop.

For example if the initial goal of the workshop is: "The goal of the workshop is to understand the customer feedback on product and offerings and improve our brand." Some of your How to statements might be:

How to make sure the the team understands the feedback.

How to make sue the team doesn't down spiral in the negative and cam move towards ideas for differentiation.

How to make sure the team can share their expertise.

You start to see how those statements can shape your preparation of a session.

This relates a lot to engagement because if you can really pinpoint what's needed and tailor the session people are engaged.

➡️ Talk with people not at people. The more immersive you can be in your sessions the better. Information sharing is for speeches or asynchronous videos or things to read. Think about how you can make the best use of your time together, usually thats interactive activities.

➡️ Get to know your audience ahead of time (if you can) - Pre session Miro boards can help with this or if its part of a project anything you learned at the project kickoff.

➡️ Use a divergence and convergence approach (this is the double diamond if anyone has heard of it, once you master the double, you can even do triple and other variations!) In plain old non buzz-wordy language this is a structure that allows you to Go Wide on ideas and then narrow down with refinement and decision. Go Wide = Divergence, Narrow down = convergence.

➡️ Timing tips: Timebox your activities but be flexible and open to pivoting. Have at least one 5 minute break every 60 minutes. So if you have a 90 minute session, at least a 5 min break half way through.

➡️ Consider a Me-We-Us framework approach. I love this and use it often, independent work while all together is great, giving people time to get their thoughts independently perhaps on a Miro board before coming together. The We part also helps people get comfortable in smaller groups before coming back to the larger 'Us' as a whole group.

➡️ Close the Loops: Provide a workshop playback or something similar depending on what was accomplished during the workshop, try to get this this out to participants within 48 hours of the end of the session.

I have a ton more but figured this was good to start 😉

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