How to be a good facilitator

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While one chairperson is required to monitor and guide the flow of the meeting, there is usually a facilitator at each site who does most of the organisation for that site. Where possible a facilitator should take responsibility for the VC start to finish.


Check site venues are available then book the conference on the JVCS Booking Service. Once this is completed then co-ordinate activities, send invitations and inform users what participation is expected of them e.g. will one of them be chairing. Then identifying technical and room set-up needs e.g. if a laptop is needed for a presentation. Where possible don't book meetings for first thing Monday morning or last thing on Friday afternoon as attendees' ability at these times to concentrate may be diminished. If a session needs to last longer than two hours, a break will be necessary for attendees especially if they are new to videoconferencing.

  • Find out who hasn't been in a videoconference before and if possible, make sure they get a chance to see at least one by organising a dry run or test conference with JVCS
  • Check that the studio is unlocked and set up for the meeting
  • Note the phone numbers of other studios, sites, AV & network support contacts
  • Remember! You may need a contingency plan if the VC fails, e.g. dial into the meeting by phone only
  • Circulate the agenda, papers or hand outs in advance

Starting the meeting

  • Arrive early and if necessary test all the equipment that will be used
  • If necessary, adjust the:
  • monitors
  • cameras
  • tables and chairs for minimum movement temperature of the room so it is comfortable
  • lights
  • audio by muting the microphones while people settle

During the meeting

  • Sort out problems with the link or equipment
  • Indicate to the chairperson if one of the local participants needs to be heard, as it may be very hard for a chairperson at a remote site to pick up on subtle clues
  • Make sure that new arrivals at your site are introduced to everyone


  • Switch off the equipment
  • Make sure the room is tidy before leaving
  • Conduct follow up activities