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People tend to assume that the online experience is somehow less real or less valuable than a bricks-and-mortar classroom or other face-to-face engagement.To combat that mental model and create better webinars, the art of online hosting places special attention on creating an environment that is personal, warm, and conducive to human relationship.

To take advantage of the power of online space, we must shift from presentation strategies to engagement strategies. According to Brown and Isaacs, “The setup of most meetings actually subverts collaborative efforts by focusing on deadening one-way presentations.” Their statement rings true nowhere more clearly than in many of today’s dull webinars and online presentations. You may have attended some online seminars and virtual meetings of this nature: one-way communication, unengaged participants, awkward moments…the result of which is a failure to learn and continued lowering of expectations for online learning/meetings as a genre.

If few of us learn just by listening to presenters and seeing their slides, why we are put on mute with limited chances to participate and interact with each other when we are online? Successful online hosts ask themselves different questions: “What if my job is to design online conversations rather than be the focal point for the session? What if my job is creating personal connections and a hospitable space in the online meeting room?”

Download here 10 experiential activities to create engagement in the virtual room.