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Seven Tips on How to Facilitate - Virtually

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Stick with what you know

- If you have a creative process that your clients are familiar with, focus on re-creating it versus finding something new.

- You will be better positioned to leverage the technology in a way that supports a successful outcome.

Stay within the constraints of your organization

- People will be more forgiving.

- They already understand the technology and will be able to self-navigate and help their co-workers navigate.

Always have a Main Stage

- This is where everyone meets and re-convenes between activities.

- This is a central place for the facilitator to set the stage, provide guidance on activities, and the specific time everyone will come back together.

Assign each working group a Dressing Room

- This is an assigned meeting or room where working groups break-out to complete their activities.

- Give the Dressing Rooms a title that is specific to that working group and assign this title to any activity templates.

- Monitor the Dressing Room chat and drop-in for a few seconds to listen quietly for a pulse on progress; offer support if there are signs that the group is stalling.

- Invite the group back to the Main Stage via their chat when their working time is up.

Assign a Facilitator to each Dressing Room

- Give clear direction for success in advance of the meeting.

- Let them know how they can prepare and how they can help (eg. keep track of time, help working group navigate the technology, ensure everyone has access to activity templates or tools, know where to go with questions).

- Don't be afraid to give your Facilitators specific actions that will help the working group stay focused and minimize confusion.

Ask for help

- This will allow you to rehearse your approach and get feedback for making it better.

- Do a dress rehearsal with a group you trust so you feel comfortable and have line-of site to potential hiccups.

Don't be afraid to try new tools

- There are lots of Apps and Virtual tools out there that will support a successful outcome to your creative process.

- If your client loves post-it notes or you need to re-create Roger Firestein's 100 ideas in 10 minutes innovation process, try IdeaBoardz. It worked great for me!

- If your clients are creative enough, give them a virtual White Board and the freedom to structure their own outcome.

- If your clients already have a vision for the creative process, listen deeply and focus on helping them to make it real.

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