Online meeting tips πŸ’» With more meetings moving online to prepare for #COVID19, I thought I'd share lessons we've learned running @MozOpenLeaders (online cohort-based training & mentorship) over the years. A thread πŸ‘‡
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1. Collaborative notes πŸ“ Have publicly editable shared notes/agenda to use during the meeting (gdocs, etherpad, hackmd, etc). This create multiple modes of contribution & backchannels. It can be hard to speak up in an online call - make sure there's a place to write and be seen.
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2. Start with a roll call. After the intro (welcome, CoC reminder, etc), ask everyone to write their name (+ pronouns / location / any other info that's helpful) in the roll call to show that everyone is invited & expected to write in the notes.
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3. "Silent gdocing / etherpading" Ask an open ended question (or icebreaker/madlib at the beginning) & give time for people to type their answers in the notes "silently". Then, the facilitator can verbalize answers/patterns they see & invite ppl to unmute and share.
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Silent gdocing is impotant for emphasizing the importance of notes & validating this mode of contribution. Done early in the call (icebreaker or warmup), this can also give buffer for latecomers (tech issues will happen).
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4. Encourage async interaction in the notes. Add a "+1" after comments you agree with. Use comments, emojis, gifs. Answer questions inline when you can. Easiest way to add a gif in a gdoc: Insert > Image > By URL
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5. Mute liberally, mute quickly πŸ”‡ Background noise, feedback & echo can make a call unbearable. When hosting a call on Zoom, I watch the 'Participants' panel. You can tell who is audible at all times and easily mute the person who just answered their phone.
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6. Use Breakout rooms! Speaking of @zoom_us- breakout room feature is fantastic. This sends participants to smaller Zoom calls in groups you can control (or autogenerate). You can 'broadcast' messages to all groups unobtrusively, & they can 'Ask for help' to get your attention
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Breakout recipe that works for us: * 2-3 discussion prompts * 10-15min * 3-4 ppl per group Send broadcasts at regular intervals to make sure everyone has time to share "5mins left, last person should be sharing now" After: 'shared insights' section w/ silent gdoc-ing and +1-ing
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That's all I have! I hope this helps you stay safe & have great online meetings! I learned many of these tips over the years from colleagues @mozilla! Shoutout to @OpenMatt, @chadsansing - @juliesquid shared her thoughts here (& inspired this thread):
In short: Having a clear agenda, live google docing, videos on, & clear community participation guidelines/code of conduct are really important. I modeled (copied & edited) our agendas after MozOL; you can do the same from ours linked in this table: openscapes.github.io/series/…
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Have some of your own tips? Add them here, I'd love to learn more!

1:10 PM Β· Mar 9, 2020

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Replying to @abbycabs
We like to unmute all if the meeting is a small group. Keeps people from doing other work and allows for more natural interruptions like in a real conversation. Also, if we can reserve the last few minutes to reflect and review on the call, I find it helps too!
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πŸ’― leave time for reflection/feedback at the end of the call! Great add, thanks Mari :) +1 unmuting for small groups!
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Replying to @abbycabs
A simple tip for people relatively new to online meetings: Get someone to record the other end of a meeting with you. So that you can hear and see how bad (-ly positioned) your microphone really is and how camera positioning does matter. Maybe too simple? :)
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whoa, great tip! I've never done this, but yes mic/camera placement is EVERYTHING
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Replying to @abbycabs
I give people an exercise at the beginning of the meeting to let them play with #Zoom features and get used to them. Send a chat message, send them to a breakout room, put their hands up, etc. Posted some tips here this morning: linkedin.com/pulse/how-lead-…
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Nice share, thanks for this!
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Replying to @abbycabs
Oh, I also love that you can now display a notice in #Zoom as people enter the meeting to let people know they are being recorded.
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+1! I've also grown fond of the "This meeting is being recorded" voice when you hit the record button.
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Replying to @abbycabs
When meetings aren't fully remote, we have a "rule" that remote team members have priority to speak. This has helped me a lot. I initially found it hard to get a word in when I was remote and most of the team was in a central location.
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