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Moderating Online Meetings and Webinars

Training for online meeting leaders, moderators, and live-online trainers (webinar presenters)

Moderating online meetings and webinars: Online meetings are quick to set up and save on travel costs. However, they also work differently. Often participants in teleconferences and online meetings only listen with half an ear, while they are actually doing something else. Effective cooperation does not work like this.

One single 90-minute online meeting with 10 participants will easily cost a company 1,000 Euro. 1,000 Euro per meeting. Precious time which should be used to convey knowledge and promote virtual cooperation. At the same time poor moderation will just leave participants feeling bored, isolated and demotivated.

The same is true of internal training sessions, which are increasingly taking place live online, i.e. in the virtual classroom. Often, however, the all-important knowledge transfer fizzles out in the virtual realm of webinars.

Understanding the challenges of moderating online meetings and webinars

  • What are the key success factors to conduct an online meeting or webinar while focusing attention?
  • How do I best prepare for virtual meetings?
  • What can I do to promote individual participation and interaction between participants?
  • In which way should I design an online training session / webinar in the virtual classroom?
  • How can I foster a team spirit in virtual team meetings?
  • Can I carry out tutorials and group work in the virtual classroom?
  • How do I know that participants in my online training session have really understood the material?
  • What do I do if I have participants in my online meetings with different cultural backgrounds and expectations?
  • What if language barriers prevail in virtual meetings or webinars?

How to moderate online meetings and webinars

Online meetings and webinars need to be conducted differently from face-to-face meetings and seminars.

This is because there is no mutual eye contact possible between the online moderator and the participants. Also all or part of the body language is lost. Furthermore the participants are more easily distracted.

Wen the participants do not share their webcams the meeting leader often has got the feeling to talk into a ‘big black hole’. When all microphones are muted there is an unnatural silence. On the other hand, with open microphones, it can get very soon very noisy. Or it can lead to unwanted echo effects.

Also the active area or arena of the meeting leader in an online meeting is much smaller than in a face-to-face meeting. But it is still the moderator’s task to lead through and structure the meeting. Online moderators need to adapt their content and actions to the virtual realm: Otherwise they might lose participants easily in their meetings and webinars.

Here some tips for moderating professional web meetings and webinars:


  • Create a strong feeling of togetherness
  • Set communication rules for your online meetings and webinars
  • Make sure there is interaction right from the start of the meeting
  • Structure your online meeting well
  • Visualize as much as possible
  • Give instructions in a crystal-clear way
  • Use the meeting chat in groups with more than six participants

How you benefit from systematic training of online moderators and trainers

  • Conduct effective and stimulating online meetings
  • Include international perspectives and resources
  • More transparency and motivation in virtual teams
  • Internal knowledge transfer in online training providing a real learning experience while cutting travel costs


Moderating online meetings – training content

Your managers, project leaders, and moderators will learn in practice-oriented webinars, how ot effectively integrate and activate all participants in online meetings.

  • Communication challenges  and online moderator tasks in virtual meetings
  • The key moderator features for online meetings with MS Teams, Skype for Business, WebEx, Zoom
  • Prepare and moderate effective online meetings
  • Mobilising quiet participants and participants with language barriers
  • Visualization and techniques for asking questions in virtual meetings
  • Praxis module: practice, reflection, feedback


Moderating webinars and virtual training sessions – training content

  • The challenges of the virtual classroom
  • Important didactic principles in virtual training
  • The key moderator features for live online training with MS Teams, Skype for Business, WebEx, Zoom
  • Tips & tricks: Strucure, moderation, design and preparation of webinars
  • Mobilising quiet participants and participants with language barriers
  • Praxis module: practice, reflection, feedback

Conferencing Moderation – Dont’s

Here you see a funny video that shows you what can happen in a web meeting or conference call.

Further tips and professional support for your online moderation

Further tips for moderating online meetings you can find in this blog article: Tips for online meetings.

Call me now, if meetings, presentations and training are conducted online or if you think of introducing this. Since 2008 I moderate online meetings and webinars with different online meeting tools. For this reason, my support and training are very practice oriented.

Make sure that the online meetings, online presentations and webinars in your organisation are effective and motivating.


Online moderation – related topics