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Engagement fails!

Hi everyone,

Mike and I thought that our next podcast could be all about the engagement fails we've seen or experienced recently!

We were just chatting about a friend's four-hour virtual classroom this week that included:

  • A boring 20+ minute ice breaker that could have been a four-minute intro
  • The facilitator insisting everyone was unmuted then didn't mute someone when they needed to take a phone call
  • Not asking questions and then expecting people to respond when they made a joke

So what have you seen or experienced that is poor practice, disastrous design, or just unfortunate?

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  • Hi all!

    Looking to get this podcast recorded before the end of September and would love to hear some of your comments. Don't let the Twitter and LinkedIn army be the only people with a voice on the podcast. We want to shout you out also :)

    A fail I saw recently was on what was promoted as an interactive session. The facilitator spoke for the first 20-minutes with no engagement, was in the middle of another long monologue and then triggered an impromptu thought where he wanted to get our opinions. Needless to say everyone was either asleep and missed the question or was off doing the laundry at that point!


    • Agree Mike. That is annoying! Just to put the flip side, I'm often asked by clients to produce a networking skills session that is fully interactive. But they fail to realise that this can take time out of a gig that they really want to pitch to attendees as a quick and punchy lunchtime intervention. I'm ashamed to admit that, with their agreement, it has sometimes ended up as an information dump of IP. Perhaps what they really wanted?

  • A few from one recent session that was run between 12 and 4pm

    Forcing everyone to be unmuted and calling people out by name if they are on mute when we are all trying to eat and lunch and do the session.

    When someone takes a call and has there mic open and everyone can hear the conversation, and the facilitator can't seem to work out how to mute the person on the phone, and then tries to talk over the sound and continue the session.

    And more of a direct engagement fail... In the middle of a sentance with no warning, calling out a specific attendee to come on the microphone and speak. The terrible awkward moments when the faclitator spends 30 seconds trying to get the person to speak and then finally in a depressed tone says "Oh, I think he is not there."


    • Ooooft Vicky that last one sounds excruciating for everyone, including the person that wasn't there!!

  • Great question! My personal pet hate is only a modest one, but boy does it annoy. It's about being put into a Breakout Room (or similar) where no one knows each other and being allocated 5 minutes to discuss a key question (which, by the way, no one is sure of). Grrr!

    • Yep that is painful and I might be guilty of :'(

      Got to keep these questions spot on and clear, especially with that limited amount of time! Nice one Darryl.

  • Unfortunate statements from different facilitators:

    "I'll answer these questions at the end" (too late)

    "um, what did I want to share with you?" (You don't know?)

    "Are you guys still awake?"  (Guys? Zzz)

    "It will be faster if I just give by you the examples" (okay...)

    "On a scale of 1 to 10, how committed are you to learning today?" (cringe)



    • Oh Joel that first one is a trigger for me! Answer it now, we are live and I am engaged! 

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