Maybe you’re hosting a town hall, presenting at a conference or hosting a team meeting where you want to utilize the real-time crowdsourcing and collaboration abilities of ThoughtExchange. No matter how you’re using ThoughtExchange, here are some general guidelines to ensure your Exchange goes smoothly and uncovers the insights or discussion starters you are looking for.
This article includes tips on:
To learn more about when a live Exchange makes the most sense and what kinds of questions will get you the results you need, check out our article about Leading Live Exchanges.
Timing It Just Right
You should plan to allocate about 10 to 12 minutes for your first live ThoughtExchange (including introducing the concept, participation time, and reviewing results). This time frame gives people enough time to share quality thoughts and rate enough to give meaningful insights. Be sure to also include some time after participation to explore the results together.
In 10 minutes you can hear from everyone in the room and identify the major topics of interest —something that would otherwise take hours. Each subsequent Exchange you run will be smoother and quicker as you and your participants both become more familiar with the platform.
Setting the Stage
If it’s the first time your people are participating in a ThoughtExchange, you will want to let them know a little bit about what ThoughtExchange is and how it works. This help article has some great sample messaging.
You should provide context about your goals for this Exchange. By framing what you want your participants to consider as they answer the question, you can help them understand how their responses and ratings will help you achieve your goals together.
Although you may not be writing an introduction, the importance of sharing the ‘Why’, the Progress and the Call to Action for your Exchange is described very well in this article.
- Introduce ThoughtExchange - See Setting the Stage above
- Let your participants know that a ThoughtExchange includes three steps:
- Share: Respond to the question, independently and anonymously
- Rate: Consider thoughts shared and rate them on a five-star scale.
- View Results: Learn what matters to the group by exploring thoughts and ratings.
- Use the Present feature to guide participants through your Exchange.
- Embrace the Quiet. A ThoughtExchange typically takes about 4 to 6 minutes to complete. Don’t feel the need to fill the space with speaking or music. Allowing people time and space to think, reflect and immerse themselves in the activity is valuable. You should also join the Exchange yourself and review the incoming thoughts.
- About halfway through (usually around the two to three minute mark), announce that if participants haven't gone to the Star step yet, please do so now. Ideally, you would like participants to star around 30 thoughts.
- With one minute remaining, announce that there is one minute left to star thoughts and challenge participants to rate as many thoughts as possible. Encourage those that have moved on to View Results or who are done to go back and rate more thoughts.
- Move to the Discover view of the Present feature to help guide your discussion.