Are you ready for more online working?

Learn about and practice ways to make online events participatory, engaging and productive.

The world is changing. COVID 19 has challenged us to move many of our meetings online, while the Climate Crisis encourages us to make online interactions part of our regular practice in the future. With technology rapidly developing, facilitators have a unique opportunity to contribute significantly to people’s virtual experience, making meetings more inclusive, more effective and more fun!

  • Continue to function effectively during COVID 19
  • Design and deliver interactive, engaging online events
  • Allow people to exchange experience and knowledge
  • Pay attention to issues of diversity, inclusion and power
  • Produce compelling documentation
  • Reduce travel and venue costs

The course is divided into 6 sessions, held online twice a week. Each session lasts for 2 hours. For those interested, there is an optional 7th session, focusing specifically on holding large events online. The course is delivered using Zoom but is intended to be ‘platform agnostic’. If people wish to run their practice sessions via a different platform, that would be encouraged.

Download a summary of the course.

Who is the course for?

This course is intended for anyone who is experiencing the growing demand for effective online meetings and who wishes to develop their skills as both facilitators and producers of online meetings and discussions.

Anyone who is leading virtual meetings, virtual training, or webinars in the private, public or voluntary sector including Project Managers, Team Leaders, Facilitators, Trainers, Coaches, Community Activists

Assumptions and Requirements

  • All participants should have basic computer literacy skills and a basic competence in Zoom
  • The language of delivery will be English
  • Each participant will be required to have their own account with an online platform (Zoom or another), so that they can practice setting up and running a meeting.
  • Each participant will be requested to have their own headset with integrated microphone, or earbuds with microphone
  • Each participant will be requested to join via a laptop/desktop rather than a tablet or phone

What will you gain?

  • Learn to lead engaging online meetings that elicit innovative thinking and creative problem-solving.
  • Gain competency leading virtual meetings regardless of platform, and ToP Focused Conversation.
  • Build your confidence as a virtual facilitator.
  • Learn tools and techniques for eliciting participation, virtual meeting design, and five best practices.

Learning Style

Each cohort will be limited to 16 participants to ensure high levels of interaction and personal attention. Participants experience practical, hands-on learning:

  • PRACTICE. Integrate learning by designing a virtual Focused Conversation with a partner, and by practising as facilitators and producers, with the rest of the class acting as participants.
  • FEEDBACK. Receive peer and instructor feedback during practice sessions.
  • CLASSROOM. Seven virtual sessions using Zoom.
  • ASSIGNMENTS. Some light exploratory ‘homework’ would be provided between sessions, e.g. setting up participants’ own Zoom preferences, researching icebreakers and energisers, comparing different documentation tools etc.
  • RESOURCES. We will provide an ‘asynchronous’ discussion forum (Basecamp) for posting of ‘homework’, uploading of session chat and recordings, and conducting between session discussions, as a way of deepening learning.

Our Trainers

For this course we are pleased to be working in partnership with a wider group of trainers, many of whom were involved in the design of this course originally and who bring extensive online knowledge and experience. See here for their profiles. At least two will be involved in the delivery of the course.

See also Lead Trainer Orla Cronin’s blogs on this topic:

Going Virtual? 6 tips to make your virtual meetings more effective and engaging

The Producer Role in Virtual Events – more than just a ‘spare pair of hands’

and her Case Study: Facilitating “hybrid” offline/online events

Other Case Studies

Please visit our course calendar to see upcoming dates for this course and make a booking. Alternatively, contact us to enquire about a tailored in-house course for your organisation.

Virtual Facilitation Workshop (2 hours)

Are you making the best use of virtual opportunities to engage with people, to explore issues creatively, and to reach decisions?

We are also able to deliver a stand alone (2 hour) workshop, designed as an introduction to our in-depth 6 session ‘Facilitating Virtual Events’ course. The workshop explores how we can take the ‘live’ facilitation skills we’ve learned, into a virtual environment, maintaining our values while we do so. This training considers some of the challenges in working virtually, and review some tips and tools to make the virtual experience engaging, participatory and productive.

This session is delivered remotely online via a Zoom link. No additional software apart from an internet connection is needed. A basic familiarity with Zoom is assumed. We occasionally run this workshop on our public training schedule and are able to run it in-house for a minimum of 6 participants.