When we have workshops or meetings online, there are some challenges we face. One is that it's harder to understand how people feel because we can't see their body language very well on the computer screen. It's also not easy to build trust with people when we're not in the same room. We also don't have access to physical tools like paper and markers, which can make things more fun. And sometimes, the technology we use can have problems and make the meeting not go smoothly. Lastly, there are lots of distractions at home that can make it hard to focus.
But there are ways to make online workshops better! Here are three key components for effectively managing an online workshop or meeting.
Before the workshop, it's important to create a schedule or plan so everyone knows what to expect. It's also a good idea to make the workshop shorter than in-person ones because it can be tiring to sit in front of the computer for a long time. Having someone to help you during the workshop is also helpful. You should pick activities that fit the goals of the workshop and choose the right tools to use. It's also important to test everything before the workshop starts.
During the workshop, it's good to start by explaining what the workshop is about and what people can expect from it. You can also do a fun icebreaker activity to make people smile. Even though we're not in the same room, we can still use pen and paper to draw or write things and share them with others. It's also good to have activities where people think by themselves and then come together to discuss their ideas. Breakout rooms can be created so people can talk in pairs or small groups. Using a "stop word" like "pink elephant" can help keep the discussion on track. If there are ideas that come up but are not relevant at the moment, you can put them aside and discuss them later.
After the workshop, it's important to ask for feedback from the people who participated. This helps us understand what they liked and what can be improved for next time. If there are things that can be improved, we should make changes based on the feedback. It's also good to thank everyone and send them an email with the next steps or things they can do.
So, if you're going to have an online workshop, it's important to plan ahead, choose the right activities and tools, and make sure everyone has a good time. With practice, you can become really good at running online workshops!
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