Virtual Facilitation - A blueprint for going LIVVE!

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

February20, when COVID 19 had limited our Face to Face client interactions & programs. We all thought our work as a facilitator would be impacted. I proposed to my global colleagues to have virtual upskilling sessions for our facilitators and that was accepted. At TPC Leadership we did development centers for running virtual programs and gave each other feedback on various Virtual Facilitation competencies in a systemic way time & again.

With an attitude to learn quickly and bringing my human touch to high tech tools, I could sail through in enabling self & everyone around. From Feb last year to Feb this year, I would have delivered at least 500 hours of local & global virtual programs/ meetings/ sessions . And my colleagues from across the globe would have facilitated for many thousand hours collectively. Its a pleasure to receive an overwhelming response from our clients and colleagues, as they are offering great feedback on our use of technology & facilitation skills. During such times, I have experimented and created many virtual facilitation exercises that work really well. Hence, I thought to put my reflections here. To begin with, while facilitating virtually, do you have a High tech & High Touch Mindset? I shall be sharing more on Online Facilitation tools.

I call the Mindset & Skillset combo as the right BABE ,that goes LIVVE.

B(Belief)– Believing that every session is a privilege for you to make a difference to someone’s life. It’s not just another batch/ meeting or session, which will fetch you a tick in the box . "It’s an opportunity for you to leave them better than you found them".

A (Attitude)– ‘It’s not about me, it’s about them’. Focusing on how the participants should perceive you as a facilitator may only lead to you acting as an actor but not a facilitator. I am in the front doesn’t mean I know everything. Realizing that the whole group’s wisdom is more than just mine. Using each other’s knowledge, experience & exposure. Getting them to share their relevant experiences has much wider impact than just sharing what I have in my content. Use collaborative tools like mentimeter, groupmap, google docs etc. Send them into breakouts every 45 min if possible. Get them started with a breakout exercise to create a safe space as quickly as possible.

B (Behavior)– Only exchanging information from the presentations may not get those results. A good facilitator reaches the participant's head , heart & hands. For honking their Head– Ask thought provoking questions relevant to the stage of the session. For touching their Heart– Narrating inspirational stories to connect emotionally or getting them to narrate their stories relevant the topic. For moving their hands– As someone said, I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. Get them do more than you do. Involve them kinesthetically in activities during the workshop. I prefer doing session max upto 2.5 to 4 hours with 1 or 2 comfort breaks of 10 to 15 minutes. Developing an instructional design that suits the purpose and learning outcomes shall be a prerogative.

E (End Result) – Always get a commitment; An action plan created, owned & committed by the participants. Set up a time to follow up with them on outcomes from action plan. Research shows that your results are driven by your belief, so you frame them right and you are set to conduct a world class workshop.

Next time before you prepare for delivering a session, would you check if you have the right BABE ?

Once you possess the above mindset then Go LIVVE- I explain LIVVE as :

Light : light shall be in front of you not behind, so that your light shines through easily and effortlessly.

Instructions : Give audio visual instructions. Everything on screen what you are asking the audience to do.

Voice: Emphasize on important words also be as clear in your accent and rate of speech as possible.

Visual: Use hand gestures, a smile expresses a thousand words, if you are wearing glasses, ensure no reflections of the screen on your glasses! Your eyes are doorways to other's heart.

Energy: ' Energy transmits before your words do'. Speak energetically as people can be in their zones while being on screen for long, your energy is what can keep them glued and engaged".

How would you rate your current BABE & going LIVVE capabilities, what would you like to continue doing, what would you like to improve on?

Feel free to reach out to me, should you wish to have a conversation on your next Virtual Facilitation. Also if you have been facilitating virtually, do share your reflections that I could learn from.

About the Author:

Deep is a certified Train the Trainer by Dale Carnegie, an instructional designer . With a progressive experience of almost 20 years, she finds herself as a continuous learner in space of Facilitation & Coaching for over12 years now. She is a ICF PCC, a member of global Facilitation community. A global coach trainer and mentor coach. Managing partner at TPC Leadership India, a 20 year old global leadership development & exec./ team coaching consultancy. She facilitates various programs for global leaders & their teams. A poet & author at heart. She believes that being a Coach & Facilitator, any one can lead diverse & inclusive workspace easily & effortlessly to drive results that truly matter. She is on a mission to enable leaders build a coaching & facilitation muscle too.

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