Research Knowledge

Warming up participants in a Zoom discussion

Posted on Monday 19 April 2021

When you start strong everything else flows better…

ICG committee member Kath Rhodes of Qual Street has put together a very practical and helpful ‘top tips’ list for setting up a Zoom discussion to be as easy and flowing as possible.

“At QS, we’ve realised that the warm-up/ way you start Zoom research is different from face to face…

… here’s our warm-up approach and check-list

  1. thank everyone for coming and re-name them so that a) they are not revealing their surname and b) their name fits with who you think they are (not ipad2 :))
  2. explain about recording, gain their consent and remember to start recording
  3. then it’s worth getting participants tuned in to what we need from them
  4. “…don’t treat this like work – so if you are in a small group it’s better to keep your mike open – don’t mute”
  5. “…give us your full attention – please get rid of distractions like phones/ email and other people”
  6. “…try to place yourself in a good position: in good light, centred on the screen”
  7. “…don’t censure or hold back (to be polite), we want to know how YOU think, feel, behave…”

Some other pointers:

  • it’s great to have a hostess to manage the arrivals process (you can give them co-host permissions) the team at Beam are great at doing this
  • less is more: fewer participants and shorter sessions (4-5 people and blocks of around 1 and a quarter hours… you can take breaks and come back)
  • have a back-up support moderator if you can
  • make the most of the benefits Zoom affords you: screen-sharing; the chat function for questions/ asides
  • be playful, get people to draw and hold their pics up on the screen, go into break-out rooms together, use their PCs…
  • invite clients to participate, encourage them to say hi at the beginning and the end and then ‘go dark’

PS other software is available :)”

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