Virtual Party Toolkit

Zoom Backend Facilitation Tips

The backend Zoom facilitator plays a critical role in the success of an online event. Here’s some things that whoever is playing this role for your event can do to help us all succeed:

1. Practice!

If you and/or the presenter have used Zoom less than five times, do 1-2 practice runs for every item below.

2. Setup the Side Bar”

It’s essential that you and the presenter are on a text chain or messaging service outside of Zoom. You will use this to troubleshoot a concern or call attention to any opportunities.

3. Press “Record”

You can cut out the beginning “welcome” time and cut off the good bye’s and chit chat at the end of the recording before sending out the link to be shared.

4. Manage mute + unmute

You will have “host” controls… please use them! It is not uncommon for people to make noise while they think they’re muted or to talk when they think they’re unmuted. Please mute and unmute them. When the presentation is ready to start, “Mute All”, then unmute the presenter(s). Tip: if you assign a co-host they can help as well.

5. Video control & troubleshooting

If the run-of-show includes a video, it is your responsibility to ensure that the video and audio play without a technical hitch. Please test this ahead of the event as this can be a problem. During the presentation, it is your job to press play to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. When sharing your video, be sure and click the “Share computer sound” and “Optimize the screenshare for video clip” options when choosing the window to share.

6. Chatbox & question facilitation

While the presenter leads the presentation, your job—or the chat facilitator’s if you choose to have one—is to manage the audience’s participation. This includes the chat window, managing the “raise hand” function including un-raising hands when appropriate, or people using their actual hands to signal that they have something to say.

Your job is to respond accordingly so that the presenter can focus on presenting. You should pre-set times with the presenter where they will check to see if there are questions to address. If they don’t stop and there’s a pressing question or concern, please interject politely at natural pauses.

If you are comfortable facilitating Q&A, please do so. It will be a welcome break for the presenter and it offers another voice to break up the program a bit. It also lets the presenter prepare their answer to a question as you ask it, which will help them respond quickly and effectively.

7. Create a poll to gather responses to “Offer and Giving”

Ensure that the event requires registration, and that the poll preferences are open, not anonymous. That way you can collect emails and names for responses for follow up. Create the pre-decided polling questions and publish the poll during the “ Offer and Giving” section of the agenda.

Sample poll content:

I would like to do the following to help MVP (check all that apply):

  • Donate
  • Follow up 1:1 with a donor advisor
  • Volunteer with MVP
  • Fundraise $5,000
  • Fundraise $10,000
  • Fundraise $50,000

These numbers are for example purposes only. Please adjust for your network.