Free facilitation webinar: When is online better than face to face? (chat)
We all know that online is just not the same as face-to-face, right? And that for some things, maybe, it will never be as good. But when, or for what, can online be better?
“We ran a conference in Teams (and it was better than the “real” thing)” wrote Dr Robert O’Toole NTF of the University of Warwick this week.
“Technology facilitated a more inclusive meeting than is usually possible in person. Best facilitation ever, more equal interaction than at any other meeting, no flights (climate thanks us). Virtuality rules!” wrote particpants in a 3-day online event of over 100 delegates that I facilitated myself recently.
What’s your experience? When we get to choose again between online and face-to-face, how can we best make the best of both worlds? Join us to connect, share & learn!
For further details including other session outputs, see https://martingilbraith.com/free-facilitation-webinars/
Free facilitation webinar: When is online better than face to face? (chat)
When is online better than face-to-face? 1 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020
When is online better than face-to-face? 2 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020
• Tanya Lehmann: Good evening from the
Riverland in South Australia.
• Margaret Rose: Hello everyone from Perthshire
• Yoshiki Kashiwagi: Good afternoon from Japan.
• Julia: What an amazing flock of facilitators!
• Sharon Honner: Birds of a feather:)
• Anastasia Popova: Greetings to all from Dubai!
• Enrico Teotti: FYI more faces means increased
network utilization. I’ve found out and
measured the difference here
• Jacinta Cubis: that's a good tip, thanks Enrico
• Steven McInnes: Hi from Melbourne Australia
• Sharon Honner: Global gathering
• Heather Collins (NZ): I met Tim from Sydney
• adrian ashton: nice to have heard I'm not the
only person missing covering walls in post-it
• doreen teo: Hi from SG! Met others with SG
• Milena Mileva: Hi from Bulgaria
• Anastasia Popova: Hello everyone! I`m
Anastasia. I am facilitator to be based in Dubai
with great ambition to become an excellent
facilitator and help organizations to activate
those brains cells that didn't know they have !:)
Happy to connect @facilitationwithanastasia
What kind of events have you
experienced first face-to-face
and now also online?
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: full day training
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: team meetings
• June: meditation
• doreen teo: Coaching conference
• jessica luzuriaga: teaching training by zoom
• Rosemary Martin de Sousa: Expert meetings,
team meetings, management meetings
• Gerrard Young: Tender (Bid) Strategy
• Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: Training
• Tim Shuttleworth: Coaching
• John Ogier - Sydney: Webinar,
• Shobhna: Team Coaching
• Deepak: Family check in on zoom
• Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: Yoga
• Megan Ross: comedy festival!
• Dayu Dwirani: Training programs
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: quilting events
• doreen teo: cousins' gathering
• Ayleen: Team events; Meditation series
• jessica luzuriaga: for online classes
• Sonia Vicente: team meetings; yoga classes
• Kirsty Gaunt: Public meetings - neighbourhood
groups. Also cultural events - such as
celebrating Eid, Pride
• Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: Zumba
• Brad Rilatt: Training, coaching, strategy
meetings, church, family
• Raj: Got to me somebody who is from our own
country even though in different time line
• Gerrard Young: Team Meetings
• adrian ashton: pub quizzes
• Ilze Jekabsone: Meetings, webinars,
conferences, team meetings, sport class, virtual
• Rengin Akkemik: Online training
• Helen Bradley: Training, Feldenkrais, social
• Shelley Collins: Business meetings, church
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: craft classes
• Sandrine Sleiman: pilates, dance classes
• Rosemary Martin de Sousa: yoga, personal
• Jo McCausland: Quiz, workshops, wine club
• Ged Futter: Been running workshops /
meetings face to face for 20 years, running
online for 12 weeks
• Graham Miller: Facilitated scenario-based
discussion exercise on line
• Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: family events, church
services, catching up with alumin
• Jayne Dunn: workshops, large meetings,
executive coaching, dinner with family
When is online better than face-to-face? 3 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020
• Carolyn Chia (Singapore): beer
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: pilates
• Yoshiki Kashiwagi: School Reunion.
• Shobhna: Yoga
• Sheryl Smail: governance events, coaching,
pilates, ukulele playing
• Catherine McGufficke: Birthday parties
• Sonia Vicente: online training
• Lyn Wong: Dance classes
• Julia: Business meetings
• Claire Pearce: group therapy
• Kavitha, India: Family baking
• Susan Benedyka: hi from Byawatha in North
East Victoria. Community meetings
• Shelley Collins: Family birthdays
• Suzana Zivkovic: team meetings, client
meetings, training (capacity building), Yoga,
• Jamie Nicholls: training and workshops
• Rosemary Martin de Sousa: Virtual drinks
• Jacinta Cubis: I've run virtual walkshops, talks,
mentoring, yoga, quizzes, drinks, meetings,
• Julia: Learning
• Heather Collins (NZ): Learning Te Rwo - our
• Sonia Vicente: birthday parties
• Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: School catch ups
• Faz Kamar: almost all of the above
• Katie Barron Cambridge: meditation, family
• jessica luzuriaga: church events too
• Shelley Collins: Easter service
• Margarida Ambar: online - work, chatting with
family and friends, birthday party
• feteiso: meetings
• Heather Collins (NZ): Te Reo!
• Milena Mileva: Facilitated workshops both
online and F2F
• Mary Maddock: Gin tasting night to celebrate
World Gin Day
• Kate ONeill: I have experienced work events,
quizzes and family get together
• Kerryn Miller (Velleman): Executive coaching,
team coaching, facilitation of group learning,
yoga, choir practice, jazz ballet class,
• Mary Todorov: Face to face - large design
workshops for construction / capital works,
online - only briefing and coaching sessions -
would like to expand my skillsets on online
• Najuan Daadleh: family gathering
• Sheryl Smail: meeting up with friends
• Sophie Treinen, Hungary: aperitif time with
• Susan Benedyka: Business sessions - all type of
• Elaine Obenshain: company annual events
• Kirsty Gaunt: Council meetings
• Heather Collins (NZ): Pub night
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: cocktail making
• Tanya Lehmann: workshop facilitation,
meetings, school planning focus group, church
• Linda Chan: friends gathering, workshops,
• Milena Mileva: Training
• Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: Zumba on zoom has
been a life line
• Michael Howard: 3 day events for company.
• adrian ashton: visiting museums and galleries
• John Ogier - Sydney: Mentoring Men volunteer
• Jacinta Cubis: walkshop
• Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: a funeral service for a
• Diane Heritage: Board meetings, connecting
with family, quiz, sharing garden progress and
tips, learning events.
• Kathryn Robertson: Training webinars
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: Making paper flowers
• doreen teo: walkshop??
• adrian ashton: pitching competitions
• Rosemary Martin de Sousa: Appraisal dialogues
• doreen teo: Jacintha
• jessica luzuriaga: tele medical appointments
• feteiso: family "gathering" in Easter lunch
• Elaine Obenshain: sales motivational meetings
• Rhonda Sparks: Online 80-member choir
• Shelley Collins: funerals
• Milena Mileva: online coffee or wine with
friends and family during the lockdown
When is online better than face-to-face? 4 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020
• Kavitha, India: yes, a funeral service too and
birth of new baby.
• Jacinta Cubis: @doreen - walkshops live and
online - photographic exercises to help people
get better at reading the room. didn't think
virtual would work, but does!
• Kerryn Miller (Velleman): Virtually (Zoomed) a
• doreen teo: interesting!
• Rhonda Sparks: Converting last modules of a
leadership program (for Korea to be on-line led
from Switzerland and australia
• Rhonda Sparks: Pilates
• doreen teo: Thanks @Jacintha
• Sheryl Smail: would love to know about what a
• doreen teo: Jacinta
• Rengin Akkemik: IAF EME Online Facilitation
• Suzana Zivkovic: yes, I'd also like to know how a
• Rhonda Sparks: Training Facilitators on-line
When were you disappointed,
or pleasantly surprised, by the
difference? What was going
on? [Reflective level]
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: surprised by the
engagement that is possible
• Ged Futter: Using Polls is something that is hard
to do face to face
• Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: prepare prepare
prepare. Have a tech buddy. Check internet
• Anna Carr: Juggling - and physical play
• Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: Getting people
engaged and speak. Managing people who
want to speak for long periods..... past their
• adrian ashton: kicking people out of the call
who refuse to turn on their video camera
encourages more participation...
• Jacinta Cubis: supposed experts making too
many assumptions about participant's ability to
push the right button etc
• Tim Shuttleworth: Reading body language is
difficult in 2D
• Jo McCausland: Not noticing someone had
come late into the 'virtual' room so didn't
• Jamie Nicholls: Initially disappointed by lack of
taking on video use, but it does reflect
individual tolerances to sharing information
• Jo McCausland: My connection dropping!
• Jacinta Cubis: that's interesting - I LOVE the
banter on chat
• Tanya Lehmann: Pleasantly surprised - the
power of the chat function to provide real-time
response and feedback to speakers, to
encourage and respond without interrupting.
The feedback from introverts especially, who
love the 'safety' and 'share of voice' they
experience in the more rigidly facilitated
• Faz Kamar: me too!
• Heather Collins (NZ): Sharing a voice via
chatbox is empowering
• Margarida Ambar: I miss the networking
possibilities in online events
• adrian ashton: everything on line takes longer -
but this is a good thing as it encourages more
• Jo McCausland: Yes, agree re takes longer.
• Tanya Lehmann: What I miss - the ease of in-
room dynamic steering with co-facilitators;
have to use other strategies to communicate
remotely, so lean more heavily on structure,
timing than we normally would
• doreen teo: what do L&D in organisation
consider when making a decision to move face
to face session to online?
When is online better than face-to-face? 5 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020
• Julia: Yes, online forces you to go slow. There
are benefits of this.
• Rhonda Sparks: Was able to run an in-house
leadership program that was about to be
cancelled because of Covid. Ran with Pamela
Lupton-Bowers. Her in Geneva and me in
Ballarat and participants who were “stuck”
working from home around the world. parts
said it was the best thing they had done.
Deeper conversations in break out groups and
able to talk about things they hadn’t done
before. Lots of extra design work but it worked
• Sheryl Smail: My small group participants were
really positive about the benefits. These
included; increased participation by employees
with management possible and increased
confidence to contribute because of being in an
environment (own lounge) for the meeting.
The impact was an increase in confidence.
• Jayne Dunn: It takes a lot longer to design
workshops as so much more needs to be
• Rhonda Sparks: Yes - it takes more time - to
design and run
• Katie Barron Cambridge: I value the egalitarian
aspect of zoom. We're all in an equal box!
• Faz Kamar: I can relate with Rhonda's point of
opportunities for deeper conversations
• Pragya Taneja: I was surprised by the host of
tools available to replicate the F2F conversation
in the context of online communication; I found
jamboards particularly interesting! What I miss
about F2F meetings is reading between the
lines, being able to get the nuances, what the
other person may be thinking and feeling (body
• Tanya Lehmann: Surprised - that you can still
generate very deep, moving interactions - but
you need to consider the "session" as part 2 in
the trilogy - the preparation of participants
prior is so important, as the facilitator has less
control of the conditions that support
engagement, and the participants need to be
enrolled to do their own work to reduce
distractions, arrive ready to participate. Then
the 3rd section of the trilogy is in the after
work, follow up.
• Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: In Malaysia we had
ToP training over 24 hours in 4 days.. for a
group of 16 participants using MIRO as the
platform for practice of Focused conversation
and Consensus workshop..... it was a good
experience....and great learning
What can we learn about
when online is better than
• Katie Barron Cambridge: A lot of banter
• Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: I have found from
training course and Zumba class that I have new
and bigger support groups
• Raj: Where distance, cost and logistics stop
people from meeting together, online is a boon
• Anastasia Popova: INVALUABLE!
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: the international
element is brilliant - chats with those who I
would not have met otherwise
• Tim Shuttleworth: 1-2-1’s have been so much
more laser focused
• jessica luzuriaga: time management is
challenging when teaching university Ss even
when they are adults
• Ged Futter: Find out the tools you can use and
make them work...
• Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: Deeper conversations
are possible online.... when the safe space has
• Shelley Collins: Accessibility to global audiences
• Graham Miller: Breakout rooms are essential - I
used MS Teams to run a session for 44 people
for 3 hours with no breakout rooms - which was
When is online better than face-to-face? 6 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020
• adrian ashton: on-line enables people to be
able to engage more - no need for them to
'lose' time from travel
• Faz Kamar: I'm with Raj on this one: where
distance, cost & logistics get in the way of
traveling, online can be better. And thanks to
these current disruptive times, there are tech &
tools that can make that happen better
• Rhonda Sparks: International aspects - can
bring so many people together. Climate Change
- less air travel
• Jo McCausland: Chat makes it easier for people
who wouldn't normally speak up in the physical
world to share what they think. More
• Heather Collins (NZ): Building emotional
connections - we don't do this as much in a f2f
• Deepak: Breakout rooms is a great forum for
intimate and deep conversations. Even better
than the face to face workshops.
• Rhonda Sparks: we can break down the longer
meetings into more manageable chunks
• adrian ashton: it's safer - no ability to people to
start fights with each other (I've had to referee
some groups in the past...)
• Tanya Lehmann: I agree Deepak, although as a
facilitator I suffer from FOMO when
participants are in their break out rooms and I
can't subtly eavesdrop on their conversations!!
• Jo McCausland: Can record the session and play
back to make sure everything captured when
writing up and can share with non-attendees if
• Susan Benedyka: love the extra tool bar under
the participant list. Was that set up at the time
of scheduling the meeting?
• doreen teo: Agree with all that is said about the
benefits.... having the right set up is important
• Kathryn Robertson: Yes, I agree that chat is
useful for shy people: >
• Ged Futter: A full day workshop is now 3 2-hour
sessions with time between each one, enables
us to set 'homework' between each one
• Jayne Dunn: Bringing people from around the
world together. I was a participant learning a
new diagnostic tool and the insight form others
around the world really deepened the
• Jacinta Cubis: wow @Ged - 3 x 2-hour sessions -
that's heaps! do people tolerate that many?
• jessica luzuriaga: after being lockdown like 4
three months because of the covid19 it was
wonderful to see some faces at least on a
screen using zoom I cried a lot! it was refreshing
and I felt that I was not alone anymore.
• Anastasia Popova: I love `yammy yammy` thing
• Tanya Lehmann: unexpected benefit - our
leadership program (now fully on-zoom) is
more accessible to young female professionals
who previously found the travel and time away
from home to attend training prohibitive. So
• Faz Kamar: Sending you virtual hugs now
• jessica luzuriaga: thanks
• adrian ashton: on-line does seem to be more
egalitarian, but that doesn't automatically
equate to accessibility: people with
visual/hearing/etc impairments need more
specific adaptions that are more challenging in
a virtual world...
• Ged Futter: 1 day = 3 x 2 hour just to clarify,
coffee break after 55 minutes for 9 minutes
• Rhonda Sparks: 2-day F2F facilitation training is
now 5 x 3-hour sessions with homework over 3
weeks. People LOVE the idea and don’t have to
• Ayleen: It has helped to solve the eternal
problem of people not wanting to engage in
virtual meetings, because of being not
confident with the technology. With WFH -
everyone is in the same boat - and we all had to
swiftly learn how to use virtual technology. So
… virtual will now continue to be an option for
more people now than before
• adrian ashton: I was booked to run a solid 6-
hour session recently - only me in camera for
the whole block as other groups of people
rotated around breakouts and breaks
When is online better than face-to-face? 7 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020
When we get to choose again,
how can we best make the
best of both worlds – both
online and face-to-face?
• Jacinta Cubis: great question!
• Jacinta Cubis: purpose, purpose, purpose - fit
• Elaine Obenshain: digital discrimination - can
you please give more feedback about this?
• Jayne Dunn: HAs anyone had success with
• Enrico Teotti: Things to remember, you are not
alone, there are a communities out there
waiting to be built
• Shelley Collins: Considerations of the need to
travel, safety, costs.
• Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: the sense of safety
online allows people of different viewpoints to
meet and exchange different viewpoints
• Anastasia Popova: One thing would be
maximizing outreach enormously
• Ayleen: Design sessions wisely - a combination
of face to face & online sessions. Base it on the
• Shelley Collins: The screen gives permission to
challenge without fear.
• Tanya Lehmann: Be more explicit with
participants about what they can do to prime
themselves for an effective learning experience
(reduce distractions, enter in the frame of
mind, be fully present, position their camera for
eye contact). This is more consistent with adult
learning principles, but as a facilitator I would
have historically owned disproportionate
responsibility for this.
• Rhonda Sparks: last week I started to develop a
new framework (on wall behind me but
mirrored) on F2F / Virtual / Synchcronous /
Asynchronous and BLENDED and criteria for
when is best to do what. been working on this
for a month, so session is interesting for me
• Rhonda Sparks: Also run by you Martin :-)
Couldn’t miss it
• Suzanne Trew - Scotland: choose based on
desired outcomes of the event
• Suzana Zivkovic: Absolutely, reduce travel and
thus the climate impact
• Susan Benedyka: am getting higher
attendances at many meetings, due to shorter
times and no travel. Making choices about f2f
vs virtual will be more mindful
• Shelley Collins: Less distractions -eg. cont use
phone and text at the same time.
• Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: we can use online to
provide teaser programmes and starter
• Paul Kelly: When it comes to being able to
choose again - we now have more options to
offer our clients...… More option builds
opportunities …………. Thank you for today.
• Susan Benedyka: I also like some asynchronous
tools for decisions and input between meetings
- eg www.groupmap.com
• adrian ashton: ORID as a model seems to
correlate closely to CBT?
• Catherine: if your sessions are recorded and
learners can self-pace it offers them greater
• Rhonda Sparks: Yes Susan. I think this sone of
the huge advantages on virtual and breaking
into different sessions
• Anastasia Popova: I invite everyone to share
your Instagram/ facebook or LinkedIn handle to
stay in touch (if interested)
• Jacinta Cubis: the group map people are great
• Rhonda Sparks: Now clients are less puzzled /
resistant when I suggested a blended approach
with asynchronous on-line tools before and
after the meeting.
• Susan Benedyka: agreed Rhonda. Also makes
meetings much more efficient with great
• Rhonda Sparks: Elaine - I like your comment re
digital discrimination because if people have
poor connectivity e.g. remote Australia, remote
Kenya (like last week for me) and also problems
re around disability. Some people are being left
behind and unable to properly engage. We
need to work on this and being more inclusive.
When is online better than face-to-face? 8 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020
• Anastasia Popova: happy to connect, grow and
• Susan Benedyka: thanks to you Rhonda, and
the wonderful Andrew Huffer, my tool kit has
• Shelley Collins: Great book - The Art of Focused
• Brad Rilatt: Always happy to connect with
facilitators from around our amazing world:-)
Brad Rilatt, Sydney
• Daniel G: Could someone please share the
• Ayleen: ORID is a method of FOCUSED
Conversation - and can be used in any settings -
including the practise of CBT
• Margaret Rose: Experience Reflection Learning
and planning Kolb's Learning Cycle
• doreen teo: agree... we cannot assume
everyone has the privacy at home to participate
in virtual facilitation
• Sophie Treinen, Hungary: Kolb experiential
• Yuan Ting: could the link to the gestalt event be
• v narsi: David Kolb: 4 stages - Concrete Event,
Reflective Observation, Abstract
conceptualisation and Active Experimentation
• Dayu Dwirani: I will save this chat and will
following your profile on social media
(Instagram/LinkedIn).. Happy to connect:)
• Julia: Thanks Martin, Stephen, Anna and Brad.
• Jacinta Cubis: thank you - so glad I came - great
to see so many facilitative faces!
• Jo McCausland: Definitely interested in
ORID/Liberating Structures Martin.
• Ayleen: It's been a great hour. I need to go …
• Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: Thank you... useful
info from the sharing. see you in July
• Jacinta Cubis: that was great, thanks organisers
and fellow participants - got to go!
• Kavitha, India: I am interested in
ORID/Liberating Structures Martin.
• v narsi: Thanks very much Martin, Stephen and
Anna.Need to step out now.
• Enrico Teotti: If people want to chat about agile
retrospective facilitation I host a podcast
can connect on linked in
• Catherine McGufficke: Thank you!! I need to
leave, very interesting conversation.
• Catherine: Thank you, I always learn something.
I like the break out rooms
• Tanya Lehmann: thank you for the fantastic
event, rich conversation and generous sharing
by everyone present:)
• Katie Barron Cambridge: Lovely to meet you
• Anastasia Popova: Great thanks!
• jessica luzuriaga: thanks for sharing, nice to
meet all of u.
• Dayu Dwirani: Thank you for today's session
• jessica luzuriaga: be safe!
• Margaret Rose: Thank you for the session very
• Sheryl Smail: Thank you Martin and team.
• Megan Ross: thanks everyone, great session!
• Linda Chan: thank you for today's session. I
picked up ideas from the breakout rooms:)
• Najuan Daadleh: Thank you for the session and
it was lovely to meet you in the breakout rooms
• Kate ONeill: Great session as always, thank you,
sorry I have to leave now to prepare for
• Jayne Dunn: Great to meet everyone and hear
about the experiences and energy. Thank you
• Mary Maddock: great to connect globally.
thank you for the opportunity and look forward
to more learning
• Milena Mileva: thank you for the session
• Heather Collins (NZ): Thanks for the
opportunity to connect globally
• Suzana Zivkovic: Thank you everyone!
• jessica luzuriaga: time management is vital
• John Ogier - Sydney: Good to meet everyone.
• Geetha Chakravarthy: Thanks a lot Martin.
Enjoyed the session and the learning
• Elaine Obenshain: Thank you for the insights.
• Susan Benedyka: good bye and great session.
• Jo McCausland: Thanks all - great session