Knowing how to effectively facilitate a meeting is a highly valuable skill. The best method to acquire these skills is a combination of formal facilitation training and working with an experienced facilitator. However, there are many good facilitators who got started by reading resource materials, observing others and learning by doing. The following resources are recommended for information on the basic concepts and techniques used to facilitate successful meetings:
- Tips for Understanding Groups (pdf, 147k) will help design better agendas and facilitate more productive discussions
- Facilitation Tips and Interventions (pdf, 160k) provides a chart of commonly used methods to help groups accomplish meeting objectives and conduct appropriate interventions if needed
Ask participants to mute their phones when not speaking to minimize noise during the webinar or meeting.
Tips for Videoconference and Webinars
Due to the remote locations of many coral reefs areas, it is increasingly common for managers to use conference calls, videoconferences and webinars. Tips for facilitating meetings where one or all group members are participating via video, phone or online include:
Before the meeting:
- Ensure that all participants have directions for how to access the meeting, including call-in codes, directions for joining the webinar, etc.
- Deliver all meeting materials in advance
During the meeting:
- Conduct a roll call so participants are aware of others and participation is encouraged
- Set ground rules
- Note who does not participate so that quieter participants can be asked to join the discussion