Recommend group members to download meeting software prior to meeting.

Make sure your face has sufficient lighting.

  • Lighting works best in front of your face, not behind.

Make sure your face is centered in the video camera.

  • We don’t want to see your forehead, or neck, or miss you all together.
  • Position the camera to eye level or slightly above.

Select the quietest room/location you can find.

  • Turn off anything making noise in the background (TV, radio, appliances).
  • Put pets in a different room or have them in a place where they will be most quiet.
  • Places like a coffee shop or restaurant can work but sometimes background noise can be an issue. Noise canceling headphones can help with this.

Only use one device per room.

  • When two devices are used in one location it produces feedback (really annoying noises).
  • If two members of the same household want to participate individually, they need to be in separate rooms, out of earshot of the other.

Mute your computer unless you’re talking.

  • If everyone’s microphone is turned on at the same time, the sound quality can be an issue and it can be hard to hear the person who is talking. So the best policy is to mute yourself when you are not talking.
  • If you are muted, make sure to nod your head and listen well so people can recognize you are following them.
  • You will be muting and unmuting A LOT, so get used to it.
  • Also, you’ll get called out if you don’t unmute, so don’t be offended.
  • Or maybe, the moderator will mute you, so don’t take that personally.

Be an assertive moderator.

  • The moderator/host of the group will need to be welcoming and in charge. Make sure as host you jump on a few minutes early to welcome everyone.
  • Redirect the conversation or mute participants as necessary. This may feel rude but is necessary to manage a good online experience.
  • The moderator should talk 20% of time and listen 80% of time.

Create a plan for participants to indicate they’d like to talk.

  • You may try something like raising a hand, answering in a specific order, or another signal.
  • Since participants will often be muted, having a plan will help you know when to mute and unmute.

Give full attention, don’t multitask.

  • When participants are not paying full attention it can be a big distraction online just like an in-person group.
  • When talking, spend some time looking at the camera, not just the screen.

Stay in touch afterwards.

  • Assign prayer partners to call each other after after group is over and pray with them.
  • Or text each other in gender specific text chats to share requests.
  • Leverage GroupMe, Facebook Groups, WhatsApp, etc. as a place to stay connected and keep the conversation going throughout the week.