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:
- Timing It Just Right
- Setting the stage
- Sharing your exchange link
- A step-by-step guide for running the exchange
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. 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, or you can send this video in advance to answer some basic questions about how a Thoughtexchange works:
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.
Sharing the Link with Participants
Whether people are attending in person, virtually or a combination of the two, there are a number of ways you can share the exchange link with your participants.
Ways to share your link:
- Create a slide with join instructions and a QR code (click here for a template)
- Drop the link into the chat box of a virtual meeting
- Share the link in advance via email
- Include the link in your agenda.
- 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
- Star: Consider thoughts shared and rate them on a five-star scale.
- Discover: Learn what matters to the group by exploring thoughts and ratings.
- Leave the slide up for the first five minutes if possible
- A QR code works by focusing your camera or QR code reader on the image. There’s no need to take a picture
- There may be some delay at first as people get organized and sort out how to join. Don't panic. Encourage participants to help their neighbour if they are in a room together. The room will soon become very quiet!
- Remember to put the display in ‘Live’ mode and show the thought list.
- Explore the top-rated thoughts together and, depending on the type of exchange you have run, either answer the questions, discuss the results in small groups or as a team, or speak to insights that have risen to the top.