Group Web Sharing Calls

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify strategies for effective use of web sharing in a group setting

The main difference between one-on-one web-sharing calls and group web sharing is that distraction and inattention increase exponentially with each person on the call. In a one-on-one situation, if the person you’re talking to gets lost or needs more explanation, they’ll just ask. In a group situation, they may be too embarrassed, or they may ask long after you’ve moved on. Thus, it is essential that as a presenter you do the following:

  • Use navigation language. It becomes even more important with more distractions on the call.
  • Regulate your pace so you don’t speed through your information.
  • Pause briefly between slides, worksheets, sections, or pages to help people recognize that you’re moving on.

If you are sharing PowerPoint slides, animations can help people stay engaged. This is not to say that you should have text or images swooping in and dancing on the page. Rather, making your bullet points appear one at a time or having a piece of your pie chart flash when you start to talk about it can help your listeners re-engage with the slides.

Most web-sharing platforms have a chat function that you can choose to use. If you do, it’s good to set some ground rules about how participants should engage with the chat. The chat typically appears as a running bar along the side of the screen that looks a bit like an IM thread. Participants can post questions or comments there. Think about using the chat if you are in any of these situations:

  • You are anticipating a lot of questions, and you want to be sure to get through all your content. Having participants post their comments in the chat rather than asking out loud, can help a presenter accomplish the following:
    • Delay answering questions you know will be addressed later in the conversation.
    • Weed out duplicate questions.
    • Table off-topic questions so you can discuss them with the individual at a later time.
  • You have a large group on the call, so even one question per person could really derail the rhythm of the meeting.
  • You might want to ask poll-type questions of the group. For example, you might say, “Type in the chat area the number of loss-prevention reports you’ve filed so far this year.” Knowing the answer to a question like this might help you shape and prioritize the rest of the meeting.

Skip the chat if you feel it might invite unwanted comments or side conversations, if the group is too small to need it, or if the purpose of the meeting is to have a discussion equally among all participants.

Practice Question