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Don't Cancel Your Workshop - Do It Remote

Terri Eccles (right) and Armoire Marketing Lead, Emily Smith (left)

Thinking about canceling a team workshop because everyone's working remote?

You can do it remotely, and if done right, it can be better than in person.  The key to a successful remote session is not treating it like it's in person. 

Having taught many remote 6 day (9am - 5pm) product management trainings, I’ve learned a few tricks for keeping people engaged and getting to the desired outcomes.

Check out my tips below and if you want help creating or facilitating your remote workshop - reach out! I would love to help.

My Top Tips


  1. You don’t want people to sit “watching” for more than a few minutes. They'll start multitasking and their eyes will gloss over.

  2. The workshop should be as "active" as possible with small group breakouts, co-creation of documents, and lively discussion through chat (see more below).  

  3. The larger the group (5+ people), the harder you have to work to keep everyone engaged.

Essential Do's and Don'ts

Do:


  1. Have lots of breakout conversations (Zoom rooms are great for this). Have the small groups share out a summary of their discussion with the larger group.

  2. Co-create in real-time using shared documents (like Google Drive or Teams).

  3. Utilize a chat function (like Slack). Ask questions in the chat, have everyone respond in the chat, and then read the answers out loud to find themes.

  4. Make sure everyone is on video. It’s harder to multitask or tune out when you’re being watched.

  5. Record the workshop so people can go back and watch it.


Don't:

  1. Talk for more than 5-10 minutes (even if you're very funny, at some point you'll hear crickets).

  2. Share a document and expect people to jump in with feedback (more crickets).

  3. Try to have a verbal conversation and expect that people will participate equally (once again, crickets).

Remember, the key to a successful remote session is not treating it like it is in person. Engagement is the challenge & participant action, the solution.




This article is a modified version of our newsletter, to read our 03/2020 newsletter please click here.

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