Seven weeks ago, the UKs work and social life was taken online. Meetings and discussions switched from face to face to the virtual world of Zoom and Skype. 

The Astley Media team are used to running meetings, but found that the virtual world presented new challenges. 

On Thursday May 14 at the end of our daily team call, we were joined by business coach and personal development consultant, Judy Salmon, who delivered a 45-minute masterclass on ‘Facilitating Meetings in the Virtual World’. 

Judy started by explaining the role of facilitator, using the analogy of a conductor in an orchestra. Judy said that in the same way musicians look to the conductor for guidance and leadership, so attendees in a meeting will be looking to the facilitator to take control and navigate the session, in order for the meeting to achieve its purpose. 

We were then asked to consider the characteristics of a good facilitator. We all reflected on their own body language, tone of voice and the vocabulary we use throughout meetings and Judy shared some tricks and tips, stressing the importance of being confident throughout. The session reminded us how crucial it is to make a good first impression to our attendees and how we can do that through confident and concise body language and communication.

There are additional challenges to facility meetings in the virtual world, body language cues can become harder to read, technical issues can present themselves and establishing human rapport can be challenging, Judy’s session provided advice on how to run all aspects of a meeting. From the start where you should define the purpose of the meeting, the timeframe and agenda and your role as facilitator to taking control of different scenarios you may come across, such as encouraging silent attendees to take part or managing those overly vocal participants! Her explanation on how to manage and effectively communicate to various behavioural types gave interesting insights into the challenges that the meeting attendees themselves can bring to an online event.

Judy’s charismatic and inspiring training provided valuable insight into how to effectively facilitate meetings with the key takeaway being to demonstrate confidence through body language, voice and words.

Find out more about Judy and her services at: