Category Archives: Engagement

Virtual Meetings for Humans

dogs sitting in a circle, looking up at the camera.

High angle view of French bulldog and one Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy sitting in a circle, looking up at the camera on a white background.

Hello friends, it’s been a while!  After my last trips to Alabama and Toronto in March 2020,  I shoved my travelling-facilitator suitcase to the back of the closet, as COVID-19 swept the world. Since then, like many of you, I’ve found myself developing “Resting Zoom Face” after facilitating or attending literally hours of back-to-back virtual meetings. All this collective screen time can nourish collaboration and connectivity – or it can suck a person’s life force. In my quest for more of the former, I’ve been gathering tips and tricks and am excited to share them. From my facilitator whiteboard to yours, here are 10 principles and tips for making virtual gatherings more effective, engaging and life-giving.  If you’re hungry for more detailed tips, strategies and sample activities, click here for the full 12-page article.

Top 10 Principles and Tips for Virtual Meetings

  1. Make the meeting count: don’t meet if you don’t have to
  2. Keep it short: Maximum 2 hours max, with breaks
  3. Less is more – shift one-way “content” to pre-reading/pre-watching where possible
  4. Basic facilitation skills still apply: active listening, reflection, excellent questions, tracking threads, ensuring shared airtime
  5. Make it super-interactive: use breakouts, chats, polls, hands, virtual brainstorms
  6. Invite the whole person: encourage physical movement, presence, feelings, story-telling and visualizations
  7. Start strong: acknowledge locations and context, handle introductions with care, and bring participant voices in early
  8. Share documentation: consider collective online note-taking
  9. Don’t do it alone; work with a team
  10. Communicate clearly in advance and again at the start, including the link, password, time, instructions, purpose and outcomes of the meeting and the agenda


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Filed under Engagement, Facilitation, Tips & Tools, Virtual facilitation