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Seven tips for facilitating online conversations
Seven tips for facilitating online conversations

Seven simple tips for facilitators to help ensure your online conversation is easy and enjoyable

Danielle Quesenberry avatar
Written by Danielle Quesenberry
Updated over a week ago

Note, for information on how to set up an online Inclusivv conversation, see this article here.

Before your conversation

The most important thing to remember before your conversation starts is to have your Host Guide handy (either printed out, or available on your device).

We recommend reading through the Host Guide before your conversation starts. This will help you to feel prepared so you relax and enjoy the conversation.

For online conversations, we recommend logging into the virtual room 10—15 minutes ahead of time. This will ensure you’re there to welcome guests as they arrive, and it will also give you a bit of leeway should you experience any technical issues (we all know how stressful that can be!).

Make sure your computer or device is plugged in or well-charged and that you have a good connection to the internet.

Welcoming People

As facilitator, one of your roles is to welcome people as they arrive. Some people may be a little early, some right on time, and some a little late. While you wait for everyone to arrive it’s great to welcome folks and (if they’re strangers) ask them where they’re calling in from or how their day is going. While small talk gets a bad rap, just remember that small talk is how most big conversations begin :)

Video or no video?

Remember that everyone is different. Some of us are comfortable with our cameras on, and others are much more comfortable with them off. The more comfortable each person is, the better the conversation is likely to be.

As facilitator, you can help ensure this is an inclusive space by encouraging everyone to do what feels best for them in that moment.

Screen names and pronouns

As facilitator, you can encourage attendees to display their screen name. This can help attendees respond to each other in a more natural and personal way during the conversation.

As facilitator, you may also wish to include your pronouns in your own screen name and encourage attendees to do the same. The use of pronouns helps to ensure the conversation is an inclusive space.

To learn more about pronouns see our short article here.

The mute function

The mute function is a very useful tool during online conversations. If your group is really enthusiastic and you find people talking over one another in a way that’s counter-productive to the conversation, you can ask folks to go on mute and encourage a more orderly turn-based approach to the conversation.

Alternatively, if your group is on the quiet side, you can encourage folks to come off mute in order to foster a more conversational environment where people’s reactions and responses are audible. This can help build rapport and foster a more relaxed atmosphere.

Taking turns

As a facilitator, one of your main roles during the conversation is to give everybody an opportunity to share. Some folks may not feel like responding to every question, and that’s totally fine! What’s important is that everyone feels they have equal opportunity to share, both extroverts and introverts alike!

How to take a screenshot

At the end of your conversation we’d love you to take a screenshot of your very special group! Every conversation is special and unique in its own way. We’d love to see your smiling faces!

If you’d like to take a screenshot it’s good to ask folks for their permission first as some people are photo shy.

Send the screenshot to [email protected] or post on social media and tag us there via @inclusivv and/or #inclusivv

Don’t know how to take a screenshot? No problem! Check out this handy guide for how to take screenshots on any device. You got this! 💪 📸

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