Facilitating or chairing a hybrid meeting is tricky.
It may feel unnatural, the tech may fail and those joining virtually may feel left out.
But by following a few tips on how to facilitate hybrid meetings you can make sure your hybrid meeting is inclusive, productive and maybe even fun!
1) Get to the meeting room early
Look around and think about how you want to set up the tech. Where do you want the laptops/webcams pointing? Is there a TV you could connect to? Should you plug in some speakers and ask people in the room to mute their sound?
It’s much better to give yourself time to make these decisions and test them out than to be rushed just before the meeting.
Once everything is set up (and tested!) you can greet your delegates with calm and confidence!
2) Think about props
If you’re using a whiteboard or flipchart – make sure there is a camera on this so virtual delegates can see what’s happening.
3) Have backup plans
Think about what you’ll do if someone’s internet connection fails.
You might want to take a break to get them back online or try to get them to dial in.
Having a plan is essential to avoid an awkward silence!
4) Tell people how to participate
How can virtual delegates get your attention? Should they just come on mic, raise their hands or use the chat function?
It’s really important they know how to contribute.
Decide what works for you and make this clear from the start.
5) Ensure everyone gets the chance to speak
Even with the perfect setup and introduction, those dialling in may feel a little bit left out.
Make a special effort to ensure they are heard – perhaps by calling them out by name and asking if they have anything to add.
These meetings are never easy but by following these tips you’ll be doing a great job as a facilitator!