Expert Guide to Managing Online Meetings

(Joanna Rotary) #1

A short introduction is enough. Reading out an entire cv at the start of a
webinar is a turn off. Having someone else introduce you makes it even
more powerful.

Explain your role
You are there to manage inclusivity, communication (hearing from
everyone) and decision-making processes. You may need to specifically
give permission for people to say negative or critical things. But with a
constructive mind set: “We want to hear what is not working so well, and
what you think can be done about it”

Set your authority for managing potentially difficult people
It is enough to say in the introduction that your role is to manage the time
and to hear from everybody; that any decisions should be democratic.
Later, when there is an imbalance and you need to close some people down,
remind them of this:
“Sorry to interrupt, but I notice a few people are doing most of the talking
here. As you know, my role is to hear from everybody, so can I now ask X Y
or Z to speak”

Get the group to agree ground rules/ ‘contracts’
These are presented at the start of the meeting, can be amended by
participants, and need to be agreed. For example

Clarify the basis for decision-making
Will it be

  • By consensus – everybody has to agree?

  • Majority voting

  • Individual – the person responsible for that initiative?

Explain any housekeeping/ timing/communication issues

Mute devices
Listen respectfully
Speak to the point
Attack problems not people
One conversation at a time
Return from group work on time
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