Online facilitators are hosts in digital spaces. We are not digital janitors. We don’t fix virtually stuck doors, replace online window panes, or live in the depths of a VR office building. Instead, our trainings teach you how to pick up and engage your participants in online formats.
Facilitation has nothing to do with facility management, on- or offline. We should call it online moderator, but that sounds a lot like TV announcer. To stay in the image of the building: We are the digital space fitters, interior designers, habitation makers. We care about making people feel comfortable, productive and creative in digital spaces.
So why online facilitator? Workshops (and meetings, too) always need a facilitator who plans and structures the event and skillfully and confidently guides the participants through it, so that at the end there are results in the form of to-dos, resolutions or ideas. This allows all participants to continue working. Without this important function, many meetings turn out to become boring information events, one-man shows by self-promoters, instruction marathons by superiors. This increases the frustration and unwillingness to attend such meetings. This applies to all types of formats, but even more so online than offline.
That’s because, unlike face-to-face meetings, participants can easily and gently opt out of digital appointments. First, the microphone is muted (muted), then the camera is briefly deactivated, and suddenly the presenter sees only black rectangles with red crossed-out microphone symbols on his screen. And he has no idea whether anyone is still listening to him. Especially in times of COVID-19 and digitalization as a whole, it is more important than ever to conduct meetings effectively and in an interesting way.
So what are the tasks of an online facilitator? These are probably the most important:
– Define the goal
– Plan procedure and determine methods
– Identify and invite participants
– Conduct the workshop in such a way that the participants remain active until the end.
– Prepare and communicate results
If you want to learn more about these points, you can read here about what to consider in these tasks.
Online facilitation, by our definition, is so much more than scheduling a meeting and seeing each other digitally for a change. It offers many possibilities and in the best case it is able to actively engage people from all over the world together at the same time in meetings and workshops with energy and really meaningful output.
Best of all, anyone can learn. Make yourself a pro at online facilitation! Your colleagues will thank you for it.
I’m very proud to be part of the Online Facilitator Academy. You can find out more about what we offer here: http://www.onlinefacilitator.de/