This page has many ideas, suggestions and tools you can use (both within Zoom and other programs/Apps) …
… for managing participants, helping them feel relaxed, involved and connected, getting feedback and ideas, brainstorming, generating questions for Q&As.
You will need to consider and balance the following things as you decide what to use and when:
- The process, benefits and results you expect/hope for from the activity/tool
- The technological experience/ability that will be required of participants and their current level
- The number of people involved
- The time you have with people (an hour vs a series of sessions). It’s an investment.
I want to emphasise point 2. It is easy to expect too much of your participants in terms of managing technical things. Even things like Copy / Paste and switching between Zoom and another program can derail a session if just one person struggles with it. And I’ve seen this happen many, many times. So, to quote the popular saying in IT circles … KISS – Keep It Simple (Stupid).
Things you do in meetings that can be easily done online
- Check in (plenary / Chat / shared Google Doc / pairs in Breakout Rooms)
- Presenting information (share your screen) – with slides or without
- Group Discussion/Sharing (Breakout Groups/Rooms)
- Brainstorm (Chat / shared Google Doc)
- Simple decisions (Hand-up / Yes-No)
- More decisions / voting / priorities (other programs like Slido)
- Surveys/Polls (Poll / Google Forms)
- Take minutes (shared Google Doc)
Tools that can help you
- Hand up / Yes-No
- Google docs
- Various desktop software: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google slides, Photo display etc
- Slido (great for collating audience questions and suggestions and having people vote on their favourites)
- Polls / Google forms (surveys) (best if set up in advance)
Some extra tips
Learn the quick keyboard shortcuts
Mute Everyone is Alt+M (or Cmd+Ctrl+M on a Mac). More here.
Zoom sound “cuts out” when two people speak together
Explain that Zoom chops up people’s voices if more than one speaks at once (or background noise). And when people listening, say something like “yes” in agreement, it cuts out the speaker briefly.
Start off by muting everyone and tell people with laptops/computers, they can press and hold their Spacebar (un-mutes them) while they speak.
Encourage hand signals. They can improve a meeting’s effectiveness hugely. Start with just a few and add more at later meetings, as people become used to them.