Because we've had some staffing changes here at NetSpeed Learning Solutions, in the process of onboarding some new facilitators and new hosts/producers, I've had the privilege (and the fun!) of delivering several online web workshops for our clients.
Being back in the driver's seat for virtual workshops has driven home some ideas I want to share. To prepare for a delivery, I review the facilitator guide to recall the content and the process, but I don't want to be dependent on that facilitator guide as I deliver online. I want to be so well-prepared that I can comfortably facilitate, on camera, making virtual eye contact with my learners, without the need to check my notes.
To meet these objectives, I try to give myself clues about what I'm doing for each slide. We recommend the use of icons for the kind of interaction or activity expected (polling, chat, annotation tools, emoticons, voice dialogue, etc.). These icons can be discretely placed in the lower right or left of the slide.
Make sure that discussion questions posed for chat or voice dialogue appear as text on the appropriate slide. Participants often need to see a question (not just hear it) before they can process it and respond. While discussion is occurring, they can look again to remind themselves of the question on the screen. This simple practice keeps everyone on track and eliminates the need for you to repeat the question several times.
Finally, make sure that exercise or activity instructions are typed out on a slide, step-by-step, for everyone to see and follow. Review those instructions aloud and ask people to chat any questions they have before you begin. You can also request a green check if everyone is ready to begin the activity.
These simple adjustments can give you clear clues as to what you are supposed to be doing in your web session and help you deliver your next workshop flawlessly.