Sometimes the difference between a good virtual session and a great virtual session is not just the quality of the speaker’s content. A great virtual session often has a super active chat. As a speaker, I love seeing the chat racing along. I feel like I’m doing my job when participants respond to each other, ask questions, and +1 comments. A robust chat usually means people are tuned in, thinking, and are maybe even having a great time.
Are you curious about how chats get rolling in the first place? Usually, someone goes first, and then someone else answers, and before you know it, everyone sees the social proof that chatting is allowed/good/safe.
There are many ways to encourage participants to take advantage of the chat. Speakers can facilitate and interact with the chat in real-time. Sometimes participants take the initiative to get the chat rolling. Some event planners ask for designated chat moderators to model great chat behaviors and prime participants to contribute. A chat moderator might be the micro-volunteering opportunity some of your members are waiting for. The more people moderating the chat, the more likely every chatter will be heard.
Carol Hamilton wisely noted, “[make] sure you have someone who can acknowledge contributions in the chat – people need to feel seen – whether you can actually see them or not!”
- Transform strangers into friends
- Chat or no chat in your next virtual presentation
- Our community is still in the process of developing virtual conference etiquette