Question

Have you tried virtual facilitation as an option to meet your organisations facilitation needs while keeping costs down?

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femi's picture

Hi deehennessy01, thanks for

Hi deehennessy01, thanks for the question.

Have we at The Wheel tried virtual faciliation for more engagment, to meet our facilitation objectives and at low cost, the answer is YES!

At The Wheel, our experience of virtual facilitation are in the areas of interactive webinar training and information sessions, skype conference, meetings and interview calls, online meetings and chats on Salesforce etc.

Our virtual online training and events have been met with excitement and enthusiasm from our member organisations and non-members alike. In the first half of 2013, we have had a series of webinars to engage with our members on the big challenges and issues facing the Irish Charity and voluntary sector. We also have a number of online training and events lined up for Autumn on communications, fundraising and member engagement while not leaving out staff training and development and collaborative meetings.

The advantages of virtual facilitation are enormous:

  • Drives down training cost - it saves us travel euros and we are able to reach broader audiences
  • Often "well-attended" as participants dont have to worry about travel or accommodation
  • Technology provides great features for polls, drawing on the screen, screen sharing, video conferencing, letting participants “raise their hands,” answering questions by typing them or instant messaging and chatting.
  • Other features include: multi-party HD video conferencing, real-time note taking, and screen sharing.

Few snags or common challenges to bear in mind:

  • Network connections are unpredictable - communication through technology can be therefore be frustrating
  • Non-verbal feedback of the participants is not visible to the facilitator to read/observe
  • Difficulty in measuring participants' full participation/attention.

The challenges notwithstanding, an excellent virtual facilitator can create an environment that is engaging, positive and energetic withot lossing the attention of his/her audience.

See virtual facilitation/online training/collaboration resources:

  1. Learn about gotowebinar/gotomeetings and start a free trial
  2. Conferencecalls.ie
  3. Conference365Instant
  4. Blackboard Collaborate
  5. Adobe Connect
  6. Microsoft Office 365