Starting a connected conversation

RPS Engagement specialist Lucy Cole-Edelstein gives her six top tips for connecting meaningfully, even at a distance.

Top Tip 1: set objectives

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).

Rational and experiential aims- Meaningful digital engagement

Top Tip 2: design your activities

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.

Design your activities - Meaningful digital engagement

Top Tip 3: know your tech

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.

Know your technology - Meaningful digital engagement

Top Tip 4: rehearse

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.

Rehearse your session - Meaningful digital engagement

Top Tip 5: get prepped

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.

Meaningful digital engagement - Prepare your participants

Top Tip 6: learn from every experience

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.

Meaningful digital engagement - Evaluate afterwards

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