You may have noticed that meeting leaders need to work harder to engage participants during virtual meetings. Compared to face-to-face meetings, there is a tendency in a virtual meeting for participants to feel like they can take a back seat and just “watch” the proceedings, or their attention is easily drawn away by emails and multi-tasking. As well, speaking up on a virtual call can be intimidating or even confusing with participants thinking: Should I speak now? How do I get the facilitator’s attention? Should I record my idea in Chat, raise my hand or just unmute? Why is Malcolm allowed to ramble on and on?
As facilitators, it is our role to set clear expectations regarding participation when we open a meeting – especially in virtual meetings. Here are a few tips drawn from our Managing and Engaging Participants in Virtual Meetings micro-workshop that might help:
Set Expectations Regarding Participation – do this at the outset so participants know that they will be called on to provide input:
Participation Map Example
|Omar||√ √ √ √|
For more practical tips to raise engagement in your virtual meetings, check out our Virtual Facilitator Series of Micro-Workshops
Do you have a unique meeting challenge not covered by one of our blog posts? We’re always looking for different dilemmas to discuss in our articles!