- Engage participants
- Stimulate creative thinking
- Draw out context from the group
- Increase learning retention
It's challenging to rely on text comments, though, because the underlying subtext or intention is missing. Reading between the lines while scanning ambiguous comments, it can be easy to jump to conclusions about what people mean. On occasion, my reaction to seeing someone's chat message has been negative. I have sometimes been annoyed by what seems to be criticism or sarcasm.
What I've learned over many years of delivering webinars is that, in the stream of chat messages, I may not always know exactly what someone's intended impact might be. However I will always be a better facilitator - more focused, more kind, and more competent - if I assume that everyone in my web training sessions has positive intent.
The simple assumption that participants are taking my web workshop with goodwill has served me well in some awkward situations. Even if I'm wrong about a snarky comment, most participants appreciate that I'm positive and upbeat. I can either ignore the critical comment or rephrase it in a more positive way to reinforce a key point.