As a facilitator of a virtual meeting, interaction is key to success. To create interaction, communicate in a way that supports it, here are some tips that will help in achieving interaction:

  1. No monologues – no more than three sentences before forcing an interaction
  2. Ask questions frequently
  3. Plan one question per each slide or topic in advance
  4. Ask lots of short open-ended questions frequently, what else?
  5. Verify and validate that everyone heard you or another team member who is speaking
  6. Call on people by names, and get everyone to answer
  7. Use a virtual touch sheet to keep track of who spoke on what topic and when
  8. Long explanations should be written down and sent out ahead of time
  9. Speak slower, use shorter sentences, be concise, and use less slang and cultural references
  10. Change the mode every 90 seconds, slide, question, chat, thinking
  11. Make the implicit explicit; describe and state what seems obvious; examples are: we will be closed on Monday for a holiday; a snowstorm may cause power outages this week
  12. Focus on positive; learn to flip questions and statement to positive. Instead of what’s getting in the way, ask what will move this forward?
  13. Use positive and collaborative words that connect people and ideas, “and,” “yes.”

Practical Tip: Ask everyone to smile and take a screenshot and post it later.

This was excerpted from the article, Virtual Teams Best Practices.

Star Dargin is a retired project manager, who now spends her time reflecting on what went right and wrong by writing, teaching, and coaching about it.