Implementation is the workshop itself and how the workshop content is presented.
Ideal Location & Setup
Ensure your location is well-lit without significant noise or distractions, and audio is clear.
- The room should be well-lit, without backlighting that can turn you into a silhouette or wash you out.
- Google Meet’s top resolution is 720 so fancy, high resolution cameras may not help as much as good lighting.
- If you need speaker notes make sure to have a second monitor.
- Keep speaker notes on the monitor that has your webcam. This will make the remote session more engaging for the learner instead of you looking away from their line of sight.
The organizer had an engaging start, perhaps an opening slide, music, welcomed participants, engaged in an ice-breaking activity.
The facilitator should always arrive on time but should give people five minutes to connect before beginning the session. Recommended you share your screen with an intro slide so participants know they are in the right place. You may want to play music as participants arrive and greet them individually.
It is recommended you share slides before or provided slides after the workshop for reference.
Let your participants know how to access the slides. If you will be sharing the slides after the presentation then let them know beforehand to ensure they are not trying to take screenshots instead of paying attention.
Begin the presentation with your virtual etiquette and also paste it into the chat.
Let your participants know how the workshop will be run, when there will be opportunities for questions and how to ask questions. If you require participants be on video, please include it in the workshop description and remind them 24 hours prior.
VIRTUAL ETIQUETTE**1- Leave camera on while you’re present, turn it off if you need to step away. 2- Raise physical hand or use chat to ask questions and make comments as much as you’d like - we encourage that interaction. 3- No worries if you have a visitor - pets, kids, spouses, etc.
Introductions & Icebreakers
Provide an opportunity for participants to introduce themselves either through video or chat.
If it is a smaller group and you want to do introductions, the facilitator should call on each participant individually instead of them trying to guess who should go next. Introductions can also be a great pre-meeting start ice-breaker in the chat.
In a more remote work environment you want to use workshops as an opportunity for colleagues to meet one-another and build connections that can help keep us highly aligned at Netflix.
- Introduce yourself, your pronouns and why you are taking this workshop?
- What are you watching on Netflix?
- What is one item you couldn’t live without?
- What are your favorite slack channels?
- What is the last thing that happened that made you laugh?
The participants had confidence in the subject-matter-expert and the presenter exuded confidence.
You want to have good voice projection, pace, eye-contact and posture during your presentation. If the facilitator looks terrified, like this is the last place they want to be, then it will be the last place the participants want to be too.
Comfort and Safety
Ensure you set a psychological safe workshop environment.
You want your workshop to have psychological safety. Be inclusive but do not force anyone outside their comfort zone. Give the options for people to participate in the chat instead of talking on camera. If you require people have their cameras turned on, ensure this was well documented beforehand in the workshop description.
The participants felt the workshop was enjoyable and are looking forward to attending future workshops by this presenter.
Making educational material entertaining is challenging but if you want inspirations check out Netflix shows such as:
- White Rabbit Project
- Patriot Act
- Abstract: The Art of Design
Not Reading Slides
Avoid reading off the slides and instead use them as a visual for deeper verbal explanations.
When we are nervous we use the slides as a crutch and you may end up reading the slides. Everyone attending your workshop can read, they are there for the value added beyond what can be documented on google docs. As you do your presentation ask yourself:
- “Could this just be a memo?”
- “If they only watched a video of this presentation, what would be lost?”
- “Can any part of this be a pre-watch video so we can spend more time on engaging activities?”
The workshop pace contributes to cognitive overload as well as keeping participants engaged.
Pace is tricky because if you go too slow your audience may get bored or distracted. If you go too fast then your audience will feel overwhelmed and zone out. You may ask the participants if you need to slow down but they may be insecure about admitting they are lost. The best way to test your pace is by asking self-assessment questions about the content covered and seeing if participants are able to respond correctly.
Provide participants the opportunity to ask questions and revamp presentation to proactively address questions next time.
Give participants a way to submit questions aside from unmuting, whether through Slack, Hangouts Chat, Sli.do or another tool. It’s useful to keep the chat open in a visible window. Give extra time when waiting for responses over video; counting to ten may be a useful practice to give learners time. Keep an eye out for unmuted learners as that most likely means they have a question.
Questions also help identify gaps within your presentation and you may want to revamp your content to ensure you address those questions for future workshops.
Create opportunities for the participants to engage in the content.
Here are ideas you can use to make your virtual workshop more engaging.
- Have everyone in the workshop collaborate on one doc for notes. Start them off with your workshop outline and have them build on it.
- Have everyone add their nickname to their name in zoom. You can also use it as an activity such as “your name - name of your favorite netflix character”
- Get people engaged every 5 mins by asking questions and have them respond with high fives, thumbs up, drum roll, etc…You want to “get physical” and have people use their body as much as possible. They can even virtually high-five their neighbors.
- Instead of nodding or shaking your head, you can have them put their arms in an X or their hands in a circle. See if you can make Tic Tac toe on the screen
- You can have an activity where people write on paper and display it on the screen, maybe a prediction exercise where you want everyone to show it all at once.
- You can use the whiteboard for anonymous polling using a circle or graph. Each user can stamp where they are in response to the questions. It is recommended that before whiteboard activities, you give them the opportunity to practice with the tool.
- You can have an activity where they cover the camera with their thumb and someone says a statement, if it is true for them then they remove their thumb. Can be a powerful activity.
Consider having a teaching assistant to help moderate the chat, take notes, or keep time.
In some cases, it may be useful to have a TA join the session and, in particular, monitor the chat rooms for any questions or comments that pop up. Having this extra person will allow you to focus on facilitating the content.
Virtual Break Out Rooms
Break out rooms allow smaller group discussion which works well for larger workshops.
- Virtual break out rooms allow learners to engage more deeply in discussions, be more open with their responses, and collaborate with classmates.
- Provide clear and detailed instructions before breaking out. Consider posting these to a Slack channel or other shared communication channel so learners don’t forget.
- Beware of the downsides: you may not be able to monitor all of the conversations and contribute to them.
- Zoom has a function for virtual break-out rooms. Google recently added breakout rooms too although it is more difficult for the presenter to follow the chat of breakout rooms if you are on Google Meet over Zoom.
Awkward silence is almost unavoidable in remote workshops but you can anticipate their occurrence and fill the void.
Compared to in-person training sessions, facilitating remote training sessions means dealing with silence that comes from participants being muted. Be prepared to allow for the silence (if learners are working on an activity) and fill in with narrative where possible.
- Asking a question, if no one responds then have a joke ready.
- If you find people are answering questions, leading to awkward silence can you gamify it?
Effective Activity Moderation
Plan ahead to keep participants organized and on schedule throughout interactive tasks.
- For long exercises (30min+ work), start by running through the instructions for exercises to give people a preview of what they are about to do. Then setup a time that everyone can give a status update.
- For shorter exercise, agree with the participants on a sign which means Done. It could be as simple as typing in done in the chat (thought that can be hard to track), or something fun like putting on a hat so others can easily see you are done.
Good Wrap Up
Have a clear ending with a reflection exercise such as asking for the biggest workshop takeaway via chat.
End training with asking everyone to provide their biggest takeaway, either by going around the virtual room or in the chat. This helps reinforce learning and also provides you with immediate feedback on what sections had the most value.
We strongly encourage recording workshops for on-demand viewing and provide asynchronous activities.
Recording google meet is enabled for all Netflix Employees. A couple of things to keep in mind when recording workshops.
- Let everyone attending the meeting know that audio and video recording is in progress
- This feature is tied to the creator of the event and the recording will be stored in the owner's drive
- Join the meeting from either a CFM or your computer, open the settings for the meeting (either on your computer or on the CFM)
- Record meeting should be available
- Select "Record Meeting"
- Your meeting is now recording
- When meeting has ended you can manually end recording or once the meeting has ended and all guests have left the meeting, recording will stop
- After the recording has been generated/processed it will be available in your google drive under a folder named "Meet Recordings"
Examples of asynchronous activities:
- Slack Channel Conversations
- Comment or Collaborate on Doc
- Learnit Guide
- Kahoot Game