Preparing the Session

The technology

remote_facilitation_resources-27.pngAs a remote facilitator, you should be an expert in the tools and platforms you've chosen for your session. You should set up the whole workshop ecosystem at least a couple of days before your session — not just the platforms, the templates and the content too.  Then test, test, and test.

What works when you're preparing and testing the session might not work when you deliver it: you should always be prepared for live troubleshooting. Consider having a co-facilitator that could also help the participants with technicalities during the session, so you won't have to.

Test the technology with your participants days before the session: emulate an activity from the session (e.g. upload an image on the virtual board). And keep in mind that the preparation time will be much longer, so schedule accordingly.


The design

remote_facilitation_resources-29.pngYour most effective traditional tools and exercises might not deliver results as easily online without adjustments. Think about the ideal outcome a tool should deliver, and then consider how you might achieve that outcome online.

Switching between breakout rooms is more disconnecting than facilitating from one table to another — you should be comfortable with the number of participants or consider inviting a co-facilitator to help you manage everyone.

Maximize the time you spend collaborating in a two hours session by figuring out which part of the content can be sent beforehand, and which must be in sight. When you facilitate online, less is more: use a lot of visuals, keep videos short, and write clear text.


The information

remote_facilitation_resources-28.pngDeliver information within the least amount of time: if you plan on interviewing a client during the session, pre-record it and play the video. If there is a lot of informațion participants should know about, send it as reading material.

Think about how you will be recording all the input from participants, no matter the platform where they provide it, and where you might make it available for them during asynchronous work.

Will the participants need post-its, sharpies, or paper for specific activities (i.e. energizers)? Inform your participants of any analog items that they will need during the online session, so they don't spend time finding these items live.

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