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Microphones

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Allowing participants to use the microphone to speak to the group can be a powerful way of increasing engagement.

Ask participants to provide verbal answers, in depth explanations or conduct discussions with their peers.

Verbal responses may be a better option for those with accessibility issues that make typing responses or concentrating on audio and text difficult.

Some participants will feel empowered, but others may be uncomfortable.

Ensure they are prepared and that you are considerate in your approach.

If you do want participants to use the microphone, consider the following:

Allow extra time in your planning as handing over to other speakers can eat up valuable session time.

Ensure your learners know they will have the opportunity to speak, and that they have working microphones.

Remember to enable access to each speaker in turn as part of your role managing the session.

Do not allow one or two speakers to dominate the conversation, especially if you have some participants using only text chat and others using audio.

Remind participants to turn microphones off (or do so centrally yourself) so you do not pick up any whispers, coughs or other noises.