If you run online workshops, it’s likely you want them to be slick and welcoming. These five micro tools are a great way to put participants at ease and get your meeting off to a smooth start.

    1. Tech check. Some people worry and panic over digital meetings and so an optional 30 minute technology check immediately before the session can help to put participants at ease. This is a time to check their software and connection, and that their microphone and camera are working well. It also gives useful insight into the tech-savviness of your group before the session starts.
    2. Use the chat. As people join, ask them to share something in the chat whilst they wait for everyone to arrive. Having an immediate instruction to follow is much better than hanging around in awkward silence.
    3. Plan your introductions. Agree the order your facilitation team will speak in and let presenters introduce themselves rather than have one person go through everyone. Adding more voices to the start of your meeting keeps things interesting and ensures people have something to say rather than repeating the information shared by the meeting host.
    4. Netiquette. A lovely term for expressing the conventions you are going to use in the meeting. Cameras on or off? Are pets and dependents welcome on screen? Should people contribute in the chat or by speaking? Giving a friendly outline of what’s expected helps people to relax and know what’s expected.
    5. Tour the tech. Very simply a two minute walk through your platform, signposting features such as polling tools, reactions or raising a hand digitally. Not necessary if you’ve worked with the group before, but a great confidence builder for a group who have just formed.


Got further ideas? I’d love to hear from you.