Ten Tips to Foster
Here are ten ways to invite people to participate more in online meetings:
#1 Plan for a few minutes of socializing before the meeting’s official start time. Invite people to come a bit early. This will also help you start the meeting on time.
#2 Increase trust. Create agreements about confidentiality and respect. Review them at every meeting. If people don’t trust members of a group, they won’t engage.
#3 Help the participants to say something in the first 5 minutes of a meeting. Even if all they do is read something, hearing their own voices helps them engage later.
#4 Help participants connect to themselves, to each other and to the purpose of the meeting. Do this as early in the meeting as possible.
#5 Find ways for the group to co-create meeting outcomes. Give people thoughtful questions to answer in breakout rooms. Liberating Structures can help you do this by design. To learn more, watch these videos.
#6 Provide instructions both verbally and in writing so the group can stay together. Some people understand better by hearing, others by reading.
#7 Take frequent breaks to rest everyone’s eyes, minds and bodies. Never go more than an hour without a break that invites people to move.
#8 Give participants choices, for example, about how or when to respond, whether to join breakout rooms or not, or what question to answer.
#9 Do things together. People learn by doing, and doing things together is engaging.
#10 Have fun! Laughter engages bodies and minds and contributes to group bonding.
BONUS TIP: Don't just read the tips -- download them and USE them! Experiment with them and observe your group. When do people engage – or not? Notice what helps them open up and participate. Whatever works, do more of that.
Want more tips for improving your meetings?