Co-hosting an Online Workshop

Online Workshop Co-hosts (also known as Moderators, Buddies, or Helpers) can help an Online Workshop go more smoothly! This page has all you need to know to become a successful co-host.

What does a co-host do?

A co-host’s primary responsibility is to make sure the administrative and technical side of an online workshop goes smoothly on the day. A co-host wants to make sure the host feels supported and can focus on the topic they are presenting. Here are some things a co-host can do:

  • Admit attendees from the Zoom waiting room
  • Greet newcomers and late arrivals
    • Example: Saying “Welcome, Joe!” in the chat
  • Make sure the host’s audio and presentations are coming through correctly, and let the host know when they are not
  • Make sure the host pushes the “record” button if they said they were going to record
  • Respond to anything needing immediate action in the chat
  • Look for and present related information to what the speaker is talking about
  • Contribute to the discussion when it is silent
    • Example: When the speaker asks a question and no participant is responding, you can respond
  • Direct the speaker’s attention to any questions that have come in at an appropriate lull in the session
  • Keep time and let the speaker know if they need to speed things up to stay on time
  • If an attendee does not follow the Code of Conduct, send them a warning. In extreme cases, if they do not modify their behavior after receiving a warning, then removing them from the workshop may be necessary.

Depending on the host you are working with, or the format the workshop will take, the details of the co-host may differ. Make sure to connect with the host before the session starts to so that you both have a common understanding on how you can best support the host.

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Why is it good to have a co-host?

You may be wondering why it’s a good idea to have a second person helping with the workshop; couldn’t the host do everything? Having a co-host is beneficial for a number of reasons.

  • It can reduce the stress a speaker might feel to keep an eye on everything while presenting.
  • It lets the host focus on presenting without having to worry about missing a question in the chat, troubleshooting participants’ Zoom technical issues, getting derailed by an unrelated question, or admitting people from the waiting room.
  • The co-host can share feedback about the session with the host to make their next session even better.

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Does a co-host need to know the topic being presented?

Not at all! The co-host’s main responsibility is to make sure the workshop runs smoothly. You can co-host workshops for a topic you are not familiar with and still be a great support to the host!

That being said, it can helpful to have some basic understanding of the subject being covered. If the host has made slides available before the session, you can have a look through those slides to prepare yourself.

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