The other week, Corinne and I had a reflective moment with some of our alumni of Bringing Your Meetings & Workshops Online: Confident, Creative & Convincing! In the spirit ‘from practice to practice’ we spent a wonderful moment of sharing and learning together. We dived into questions, worries and ideas that keep us busy. I felt energised when I left, a smile on my face.

One conversation we had was around the handling of breakout rooms – not a fancy topic one could say. But there are many aspects to it! Quite fascinating.

  • There is clearly a technical element; with practice comes ease, when you know how to handle it you can dance with it.
  • A clear, compelling and purposeful invitation to engage is at the heart of each breakout out room conversation. 
  • The right timing – not too short and not too long – combined with several discussion rounds with remixed groups gives the whole meeting a rhythm, makes it dynamic and interesting.
  • Anna Jackson told me once “Trust that something meaningful will happen in the breakout rooms”. Right she is! Let people take the lead for their conversation space. 
  • The group size tends to be smaller online, 5-6 people in a Conversation Cafe, quick and intimate exchanges in pairs and trios. Varying the group size and remixing groups stimulates cross-fertilization. 
  • Remixing groups along the discussion makes reporting back lighter and allows everyone to meet more people. 
  • The chat offers a wonderful option to capture insights after coming back from breakout room discussions. The harvest is precious material for an additional breakout rooms discussion to boil it down to the essence and come up with some key statements or recommendations. 

In breakout rooms conversations all the basic ingredients of good facilitation are present; just in miniature. 

If you want to learn more, you could always join Corinne and me in our next edition of Bringing your Meetings & Workshops Online. Confident, Creative & Convincing!
A series of live online workshops on how to unleash the power of engagement and collaboration in the virtual world. In collaboration with cinfo
5 weekly highly interactive workshops
August 30  – September 28, 2021 on Zoom!
>> info & registration here <<<