What grinds my gears – online facilitation

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

Another in the series where I vent. This one is quite specific but, if you know I’ve been in one of your sessions, please don’t assume it’s about you – this has been in draft for a loooong time.

Talking. All the talking. All the time. Please stop and leave space for a chat. You’re facilitating, not lecturing – or are you?

Explain the platform. You might be entirely familiar with the sound controls, the highlighter and chat but that doesn’t mean everyone else is.

Be a human. Sitting stock still in front of the camera, staring at yourself on the screen is very disconcerting for the audience.

Use the written chat to engage with people. It’s there to help you so ask questions. You’d do it face to face so do it online.

If there are only 3 people in the room, you CAN ask people to ask questions directly – they don’t have to raise their hand.

Reading slides with tiny text on them is really difficult, more so on a laptop or phone screen, so STOP USING TOO MUCH TEXT ON YOUR SLIDES.

While we’re on slide design, DARK PATTERNED BACKGROUNDS TO SLIDES ARE AWFUL. Especially with light text.

Can we come up with something other than the tired
verb – noun – to – verb – and – verb structure at the end of presentations? E.g.

  • Find people to create and inspire
  • Choose strategy to drive and innovate
  • Believe experts to teach and challenge
  • Ask managers to lead and support

Get a decent USB light. Or two. Or three. As many as it takes to light up your face so we can see you properly. The light from your window won’t cut it.

Practice more. This is a skill that you need to learn and you need to practice it. You can’t call it an online classroom and expect to use the same skills as at a face to face event.

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