RPS Engagement specialist Lucy Cole-Edelstein gives her six top tips for connecting meaningfully, even at a distance.
When planning to take your engagement sessions digital, it's important to start with the basics.
Set clear objectives about what you want to achieve from your session (rational objectives) and how you want your participants to feel (experiential objectives).
Don't lose the human element when taking your engagement activities online. Online participants are still people after all!
Think about how you would run your session in person and then find ways to translate activities to work in the digital sphere.
A key challenge for online engagement is the diversity of digital experience. Some participants will be very digitally savvy, others may struggle to navigate the online world.
As a facilitator, it's important to know your platform well and provide the resources and support participants need for a great digital experience.
Practise makes perfect for any engagement process, but when you're going digital, it's more important than ever.
Running things through before the session provides time for troubleshooting technology and the opportunity to rehearse how face-to-face presentation skills translate online.
Setting your participants up for success is vital for great engagement delivered online.
Consider creating resources that allow people to familiarise themselves with the platform you'll be using so tech issues don't detract from the real message and objectives of your session.
Most of us are new to digital engagement so it's important to think of it as an iterative process.
Check-in with your participants, partners and presenters. What worked? Did the engagement achieve the rational and experiential objectives you set at the start?
Evaluating each session will help ensure the next engagement is even better.
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