Manage tech disruptions

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—Be prepared and try to prevent them —Have a backup plan —Address them calmly and professionally —Have a co-facilitator

As we all know, technical issues and disruptions can be a bit of a headache when it comes to online workshops. And one thing’s true: you need to eb prepared, because they will happen! 😰

But don't worry, we've got some tips and strategies to help you manage them effectively!

👉 Tip #1: Be prepared and try to prevent them

The best way to deal with technical issues is to be prepared for them. Make sure you have a plan in place for common issues such as poor internet connection, audio problems, or screen sharing difficulties. Provide clear instructions for troubleshooting ahead of time (ideally, directly in the workshop invitation), and make sure participants know how to reach out for help if they need it.

👉 Tip #2: Have a backup plan

Whiteboard doesn’t load? What about a Google Doc for note taking.

Breakouts won’t open? How might we adjust the activity and keep everyone in the main room?

The poll doesn't work? Invite contributions in the chat.

Can’t screenshare? Have a PDF backup and upload it to the chat.

Try to find the potential tech failure points and have an alternative as a backup. Always!

👉 Tip #3: Address disruptions calmly and professionally

If disruptions do occur, address them calmly and professionally. Let participants know that disruptions are not acceptable and that you expect everyone to maintain a respectful and productive environment. If necessary, take a break or pause the workshop to address the issue and get back on track.

Now that you have some tips for managing technical issues and disruptions, let's take a look at an example of a successful online workshop that handled disruptions effectively:

👉 Tip #4: Have a co-facilitator/ moderator

Especially for bigger sessions, having a tech moderator or a co-facilitator, can often help you debug and fix any tech challenges, without you having to interrupt the session.