Wow, you’re almost there! By now you have an online community where you are sharing your information about running your meetings online and you have selected Zoom as your preferred web conferencing tool. (For the purposes of this article, Zoom is my focus and specific examples of Zoom functionality will be used.)
When you created your agenda (selecting all of the meeting roles that you usually have in your land based meetings) you may not have considered how these roles will be carried out online. This is the next step for you to plan for a successful meeting.
Define the tasks of Online Meeting roles
First up is the Sergeant-at-Arms. It will be their task to meet and greet everyone as they arrive in the Zoom room – allow 10-15 minutes for that prior to meeting start time. The SAA may also be designated as co-host so they can record the meeting to their computer. They may also be called upon to assist speakers and educators on the use of the Share Screen function to display PowerPoint or Keynote presentations.
Note: Due to extraordinary traffic in Zoom cloud based recordings recently, you may find it quicker to save to your computer. It processes as an MP4 file which you can then share with members after the event by posting in your YouTube Channel or website.
Next up will be the President who will welcome members and guests to the meeting and will prompt guests that they can choose to participate in Table Topics and Round Robin feedback at the end. The President should remain on screen throughout the meeting and oversee the management of the Zoom room.
Note: Often it is the President who becomes the administrator of the Zoom account and they should be familiar with its functionality. They will be the ones to activate the Zoom room 30 minutes prior to the meeting and give co-host permission to the TMoD.
Toastmaster of the Day
This role is the lead role in the online meeting providing introductions to segments, segues between them and thanks for the contributions. The TMoD is actually the facilitator and needs to be skilled in facilitation, moderation and management of the meeting and all of its components and meeting roles.
Usually the TMoD will introduce the other roles to indicate how they will perform their roles online. For instance, the Timer can show their preferred method of timing devices and audible signals.
Note: The TMoD should be given co-host permissions in Zoom so they can help manage participants, chat, video and audio. When an audience member forgets to mute themselves and there is background noise at their location, the TMoD can then mute their audio.
This is a new role specifically designed to assist participation and give text prompts and technical assistance during the meeting by watching and posting in the Chat panel. For instance they may announce in text that the audience should NOT post in the chat whilst the speaker is speaking. (Reason: can be distracting for the speaker.)
Note: The Chat Monitor can advise the audience at the end to Save Chat to enable participants to store a text file containing any specific information, links and resources that have been shared during the meeting.
The timer’s role in an online meeting can be quite challenging. This person will need to have a timing device (eg smart phone stop watch app) and visual devices to indicate Green, Amber and Red lights. This can be done simply with the display of the Timing Cards used regularly at Toastmaster meetings, held up to the Timer’s web camera. This task can also be a lot of fun as timers inventively display a variety of coloured items.
Note: An audible device will be necessary to indicate the end of the speaking time allotted; this is especially helpful for those speakers who are sharing slides to the screen and my not be focused on the Timer’s video panel.
Club Officer Roles for Clubs Online
Due to the nature of the online clubs there is a need for the executive team to discuss the specific roles and tasks to be undertaken for club management. In some cases the club may also wish to appoint roles such as:
- Assistants for the VPE, VPM and VPPR
- Newsletter/Blog Coordinator (chief journalist and reporter for club activities)
- Social Media monitor (acts as Admin for any social media groups for the online club)
- Online Steward (meets, greets and assists new members in use of communication channels)
- Technology Steward (assists in the use of club management tools eg Zoom, easy-Speak, FreeToastHost or WordPress etc)
Specific tasks for the Assistants and Specialists can be generated by the Executive team.
Tips for successful virtual meetings
Zoom – Participants – Hosts – Cheat Sheets
Zoom Meetings Training Reference Guide
Zoom Online Event Best Practices
How to Hold Toastmasters Meetings and Contests Online