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After two years of practice, here are a few things I’ve learnt about running discussion groups on Zoom:

Send the call details through yourself. Establishes a bit of a connection in advance.

Make sure everyone will be on a tablet or laptop. Otherwise your stimulus may not work.

Give people a pre-task, something to show what they do in real life.

Three’s the magic number for respondents. Two’s great too. One’s good but a bit intense. Four or more doesn’t really work. They have to wait too long for their turn.

Be early. Some of them will be too.

Don't forget to hit the Record button.

Some don’t switch their cameras on and won’t know where the Start Video button is. Not everyone spends their life on Zoom.

Fine to have your clients in the background but just say they’re ‘with you’. It’s a nice touch to get them to say hello.

Some clients now prefer Zoom groups, by the way.

Invite responses to questions from each person. Zoom can’t handle people talking over each other.

Keep rotating the order. Keeps them on their toes.

Give people time to talk. Because they spend longer listening, you tend to get longer answers.

Mirror individuals, or even the whole group, as best you can within your own style. But turn it up a notch. All groups need an injection of energy.

Break the proceedings up with games. Projection exercises are best. They give people some time to be in their own head. And they’re fun.

Listen. Mind you, that’s always important.

Watch the clock. Those longer answers eat up time.

Say thank you at the end and tell them to wait and see what happens.

Pay the incentives promptly, so they don’t think you’ve forgotten.

Zoom is better than Teams.

Don't forget to hit the Record button.


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