How to maintain the energy when facilitating a group online

The importance of maintaining energy when facilitating a group online

‘What are your biggest challenges in facilitating a group online?’

This was the focus of an impromptu session from a facilitation training workshop I held back in 2017.

A key challenge raised by participants was, “How do we maintain the energy of a group when facilitating – without overwhelming participants?”

This has become even more important, now that so many of us are facilitating in an online space.

Here are a few of the options suggested…

Option 1. Model the energy that you want participants to experience and display

If you need them quietly focused on individual tasks, slow down your pace and be precise in describing the output required.

If you want to generate enthusiasm, articulate what you’re looking forward to from the session. Speed up your movement and speech.

Option 2. Re-energise participants with ‘pattern interrupt’ activities

  • The quick quiz. 6 questions covering geography, music, food, entertainment, history and fashion. Participants can only answer by using their buzzer!
  • Get a participant to lead the group in stretching up for their fave physical activity
  • Start your session with a story (An interesting thing happened…)
  • Get participants to identify their ‘Rock star’ name and use this throughout the session (First name = Name of your first pet; Surname = Name of first street/road you lived on). FYI I am ‘Tabby McQueen’!
  • Favourite Three. Snap polls asking participants to nominate their ‘Favourite Three.’ Could be favourite three albums, dishes, actors, getaways, books, chill-options etc.

Option 3. Co-facilitate

I’ve recently enjoyed co-facilitating a workshop and a webinar with my fab colleagues, Kate Burke and Cynthia Mahoney. The differing styles helped keep people engaged throughout both events and enabled us to manage the behind the scenes stuff going on (e.g. questions in the chat box and timekeeping).

Want more?

Attend our online workshop, ‘Taking Charge of Zoom. A practical approach to have you 100% in control of your next Zoom meeting.’ Personalised workshop, 12 places only. Monday 27th April 10:00am-11:30am AEST.

Register here


Here is an infograph prepared for you as a quick reference on how to maintain the energy of a group when facilitatingHow to Maintain Energy when Facilitating a Group


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Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

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