Presenter Resources

Download this content HERE.

Unlike a live CPD seminar or workshop, where you have a (mostly) captive audience, it is easier for your participants in a webinar to get distracted when you are not physically in the same room. The key is to deliver content that your participants want to pay attention to. So, how do you make your webinar engaging and successful?

Be prepared
Practice your presentation using your webcam at home. Make a recording so you can review yourself and refine your presentation for optimal lighting, timing, content, animations etc. Have well-prepared written materials, with a structured outline that identifies the key items you intend to cover and make notes on how long you will allow for each item. Well known for his teachings on persuasive speaking, presenter Ben Richards (Aticus) offers a planning list here of questions to ask yourself when starting to prepare for a presentation (be it F2F or livestreamed).

Be punctual
Your host will invite you to log in to your webinar at least 15 minutes before the scheduled starting time (this may vary depending on the event – the Society will provide instructions accordingly) to ensure everything is working correctly, such as your mic, internet connection and webcam. This prep time is important. Ensure that you remain within your allocated time and don’t run over. However, if it becomes evident that you are going to go overtime, make sure you give your participants the heads up, in case they need to leave and want to ask a question before they go.

Pre-webinar preparation
Your host (the Society) will contact you to run through a pre-webinar practice a few days before the main event. You’ll tour the zoom webinar environment and experience features such as recording, the Chat Box, slide or screen sharing and how to manage your presentation in an interactive way whilst your participants’ mics and cameras remain off throughout the session. Your host will also go through your session run sheet, format and any other logistics. This is particularly important if you are presenting with others.

To be ready to practice slide sharing have a set of your slides (or a draft) easily accessible, such as on your desktop.

Webinar day
On webinar day, your host will meet with you virtually before going live – this will be about 15 minutes before the marketed start time. This may vary depending on the event – the Society will provide instructions accordingly. When you log in, you’ll see and hear your host but your mic and camera may be off. The host will enable both for you and run through any last-minute logistics. When you’re ready, your host will take the webinar live.

Keep cool, calm and collected
Plan for the worst and hope for the best. If you lose your internet connection have a plan. Having a plan B ahead of your presentation will make any potential issues seem less stressful. Keep a printed or local version of your slides with you, so you can continue presenting if you experience problems with your connection. Have your phone handy (on low volume vibrate) to stay in touch with the host, who will ensure your webinar participants are kept informed about what’s happening.

Manage the aesthetics of your webcam view
Lighting should be bright and even, and come from in front of you – never behind you as this casts a shadow on your face. Your background should be interesting but not distracting or inadvertently showing information that is confidential. Consider what you’ll wear in front of the camera – avoid thin stripes, busy patterns and polka dots; keep it simple and stylish.

Your performance in front of the camera
Review a webcam recording of yourself before the day to be aware of subconscious movements like chair swivelling, webcam adjusting mid-presentation, pen tapping, paper shuffling, moving towards or away from your mic or camera during the presentation…and so on.

Online communication tips from Marsha Hunter
Marsha Hunter is an internationally acclaimed legal communication consultant/coach. Marsha is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is Founder & CEO of Johnson & Hunter and has recently worked with the Society in the delivery of an advocacy course. Amongst the many pearls of advocacy skills wisdom imparted by Marsha, she provided an online communication checklist (here).

Showcase your personality while presenting
Act naturally and speak in a conversational way. Your script should not be read. If, for any reason you must read sections, have your script ready in short, punchy dot points to avoid reading it like a story. To help increase participant engagement and prevent drop-offs, bring some energy to your webinar presentation. See Use the Chat Box to engage your participants below.

Remember your voice conveys your presence
If you’re going to be silent, such as to take a sip of water – let your participants know. Long dramatic pauses used for effect in a face to face presentation don’t work in a webinar context. Your participants might be concerned that they’ve lost sound! Use micro-pauses instead. See Chunk your words below.

Interact within the first few seconds
Participants make judgements about you and your message in the first minute, so it is important that you grab their attention in the first 60 seconds, and encourage engagement along the way to ensure they stick around. If you’re running a webinar for an hour, you need to make the most of every second to keep your participants engaged throughout.

A live webinar is a synchronous experience for you and your participants and should be treated like an in-person presentation. Drive engagement and interest in your topic by getting your participants to interact with you early and often.

Use the Chat Box to engage your participants
Ask your participants ice breaking questions straightaway using the Chat Box, and ideally show a little humour to help your participants jump in from the start and stay involved. This sets the stage right away for a highly interactive and engaging session. The more your participants can get involved in a webinar, the more connected they’ll be.

Keep your participants engaged by continuing to use Chat during and at the end of the session, so they can interact with you in real-time. This two-way interaction helps to break down the barriers between you and your participants, increases viewing time and improves participant satisfaction.

Be clear at the outset about Q&A opportunities
Call for questions often. If a participant comes in with their ‘One Big Question’ but they have to wait 45 minutes for a Q&A session at the end, they’re spending that time thinking about their question, rather than your content. If your participants know and expect you to be calling on them for questions throughout, they’re more likely to pay attention to what you’re saying.

How and What?
If you’ve ever been a participant in a webinar setting you’ll know that when a presenter asks ‘are there any questions?’ this can often be met with silence across the airwaves. So, as a presenter, rather than ask this closed question, we recommend the following open alternatives:

  • What questions do you have for me?
  • How else can I help you?
  • What else can I cover today?

Chunk your words
Build in micro-pauses by chunking. Chunking is speaking in short bursts of words with silence in between. A chunk of words can be a phrase or a short sentence – usually of three to five words.

Your participants will prefer to spend an hour listening to you when you sound passionate about what you’re saying, rather than listening to material read in monotone straight from a script. Research shows that 30% of webinar participants say they feel the most engaged when the webinar presenter is passionate and energetic.

Break up the learning into digestible sections
It can be hard for even the most enthusiastic participant to follow along for an hour and retain all the information. So, it’s helpful to break up your webinar into sections—about 10 to 15 minutes each—and focus on one concept or topic at a time. In addition to making it easier to follow along, breaking up the session lets you take time for a Chat session in between. This gives your participants more opportunities to discuss your content and participate. And, in turn, this keeps them engaged.

Use presentation slides
There are two basic rules for a successful slide presentation. It must be visually engaging and it must be clear. But the key is to avoid the mistake of sacrificing one for the other.

Have compelling slides
There is a lot of information online on how to enhance your slide presentation. Sometimes, however, examples of what not to do can show you how to avoid mistakes.

You should use more slides in a webinar which seems counter intuitive when everyone has heard the saying, ‘death by PowerPoint’! This is understandable to anyone who has sat through presentations with wordy, dull and repetitive-looking slides. So, the key to success is in your slide design and how often you move through them.

Use slides as a visual cue
With a webinar, slides are important. While a set presentation template is good, avoid every slide looking the same. But equally, stick to a simple and elegant theme.

Your participants need a visual cue that slides are changing so they know to pay attention to the new information. This will help keep your participants engaged.

Increase the number of slides…yes, really!
For presenters accustomed to live presentations, the use of more slides can be a surprise when moving to a webinar. In a live seminar, your participants rely on your body language and activity to stay engaged, which lets you spend several minutes per slide. With a webinar it’s better to have more slides with less information on each.

You’ve seen it a million times as a webinar participant – the presenter shows slide after slide of dot-pointed text and basically reads them with a few additions. To avoid this, structure your slides to put less text on each, enhance with relevant imagery, and verbally elaborate on the slides’ text.

Switch slides often
When you switch from slide to slide, interest is created because our brains become alert when we see a change of view. Make your slides striking by being colourful and big! Make them powerful by using images with an emotional impact. Use photos with people’s faces to be persuasive. Use simple icons for clear messaging.

Ideally, show a new slide every 30-60 seconds, which averages out to about 30-40 slides for a 60-minute webinar that is split into a mix of 45/15 minutes learning/questions. This will feel like more slides than you think you should use, but with practice, this faster pace becomes natural and comfortable.

Use images to support your text, rather than distract from it
Colour brightens your slides as long as they remain readable on all displays (high contrast helps a lot). Use less text per slide, and think of your text as an image. Limit yourself to only one concept or point per slide. Be aware of your font sizing and clarity and keep a 10%-20% margin around your text. Choose your images smartly!

Visualise your content for engagement
Visualise your content to create a more lasting impression. Research tells us that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so use rich media like images, GIFs and videos to improve engagement. If you are looking for great images for your presentation check out resources like Pixabay, Unsplash, Pexels and Creative Commons for high-quality, royalty-free images.

Keep slides simple – lots of space and clear imagery
Too many images can be distracting especially if they overlap. When considering several images, ask yourself if one or two can represent many. This will draw your participants’ attention to the most important information, without distracting them. Keep plenty of unused space on your slides to improve the readability of your content.

Use consistent colours and themes
It can be easy to take the saying ‘less is more’ too far. Overloading with different colour palettes in one presentation can look unprofessional and eye-straining but, equally, an all-black and white presentation is also not engaging. PowerPoint’s blank templates are a good place to start as you can edit them to your taste and according to your own requirements. But they are not meant to be left like that for a serious presentation.

Blank presentations are boring and that can be as distracting as too many colours. Background colours are important depending on the venue lighting, so always enquire, as dark text on a white background is not as standout in a light room as light text on a dark background.

Avoid text-heavy slides
Chances are that, as soon as people see a text-heavy slide, they’re going to start reading it from start to finish. And in doing so, they’ll pay less (or no) attention to you. If you’re also just repeating what’s written on the slide you’ll be competing with your own presentation for your participants’ attention.

Text-heavy slides may seem meaningful and informative, but what they actually do is draw attention away from your verbal content. Approximately 6-7 lines of text per slide is ideal. Replace wall-of-text slides with a combination of images and single key terms or brief phrases that help you to drive your content home without distracting from your presentation.

Use fonts that can be seen from a distance
Avoid fonts that have too little space between the letters, that are over-stylised, italicised or that imitate handwriting. Stick to a maximum of 1-2 fonts types – too many can make your presentation look dated. With font size, generally never go below 20 pts. Avoid serif fonts like Times New Roman. Fonts like Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, Garamond and Tahoma are easiest to read.

Sobriety differs from simplistic
Even if you feel you’re taking the safe route when designing a presentation, it can backfire. Presenting in all-black and white can make you look uninspired about your topic. It can affect the way your participants perceive your presentation. Keep it simple, but elegant!

Think caveman-like speech
Avoid dumping complete paragraphs into your presentation, and it’s ok to use incomplete sentences. Focus on your keywords, and the most important concepts or ideas that you want your participants to take away with them.

Participants have a limited capacity for retention so sticking to key points will make your presentation easier to digest. To do this successfully it is good practice to use more slides, as long as you move through them more quickly.

Animation is for emphasis only
There is no correct amount of animation usage. By animation we are referring to PowerPoint’s transition features. Most presentations work well with none at all. The key to working with animations without overusing them is to give them an emphasis purpose. As with here, if this whole paragraph is in bold letters, it would be difficult to quickly pick out which is the most important idea behind it. But since it is just one word, “emphasis” becomes the idea that stands out. Think of the PowerPoint animation feature as the highlighter of your key points.

Take your participants on a journey
Lastly, use your slides to let your participants know where you’re at as you journey through your presentation. Participants are more likely to remain engaged if they can see a logical progression, and how each point fits with your introductory slide. Show a clear penultimate slide, and end with your last slide being an invitation to your Q&A segment, or that tells your participants where they can learn more about the topic, such as a list of resources or your contact details.

Thank you for accepting the Society’s invitation to present a webinar/conference. In association with your presentation you will receive a run through with the Society of the Zoom webinar experience. This run through is summarised below for your reference after that session, and by way of a refresher before your live event.

Your presentation environment

  • To avoid any surprises on the day of your live event, it is prudent to ensure that your technology, device set up, seating and background arrangement is the same as that tested in your run through session.
  • Consider the run through as a simulation of your live event.
  • If this is not going to be case, please contact the Society (at least 24 hours) before your live event so that you can have a brief practice under your live event conditions.

Entering the Zoom environment

  • When you first enter the Zoom environment you will be able to hear and see the Society host.
  • Your mic and camera may also automatically be on. If they are not, the host will enable them for you.
  • We will ensure your mic and camera are running smoothly, and that you can hear and see the host (and yourself) and any other panellists.
  • We will also ensure you have engaged the Chat Box and can see, and communicate in, it.
  • We can problem-solve, accordingly.

Fifteen minutes prior to scheduled start time
(The actual time* will depend on the event – you will receive instructions, accordingly)

  • Logging in at least 15* minutes before go-live may seem like a long time, but based on (nerve-wracking) experience, this is generally the minimum length of time required to ensure that you as presenter are ready, that slide share and other zoom features are working, and a revision of the opening script is achieved.
  • In Zoom, a presenter is termed a ‘Panellist’.
  • Log into the webinar via the panellist Zoom link you will have received by email from the Society.
  • The Zoom link is likely to corrupt if it is cut and pasted, transcribed or otherwise. Click the original Zoom link sent by the Society.
  • At this stage, the event is not broadcasting and is in ‘practice mode’.
  • In practice mode it is just you (as panellist), any other presenters and the host.
  • The webinar will not go live until the host broadcasts – and this will be when you feel ready but ideally 2 minutes before the scheduled go-live time so you can start presenting on time.

Five minutes prior to scheduled start time
Approximately 5 minutes before go-live, the host will ask that you turn off your mic and camera to give you time to gather your thoughts and undertake whatever practices you do to prepare for public speaking.

Two minutes prior to scheduled start time

  • The host hits broadcast approximately 2 minutes before the listed start time.
  • This allows participants to enter the virtual room and read the holding slide.
  • In the 2 minutes when the event is live, your mic and camera should remain off unless otherwise agreed.
  • At the scheduled presentation start time (for example, 4pm for a 4-5pm session) you will receive a prompt on your screen from the host to unmute your mic and turn on your camera.
  • Immediately you unmute yourself and turn on your camera, you start speaking to your participants.
  • You will see the numbers on the ‘Participants’ icon rapidly increasing as participants enter the virtual room.
  • You will receive a participant list the day before your event so you will know how many to expect.
  • If participants are taking a while to join, the host may make a call to start anyway, and will send you a private Chat Box message, accordingly.

The introduction (for sole or opening presenters)

  • The Society will send through an introductory/holding slide for inclusion at the top of your slide pack.
  • Participants will have been introduced to you via your bio in our promotional material. In a webinar format it is most practical for you, once live, to briefly introduce yourself informally. This also assists with initial participant engagement.
  • If the webinar is formatted to include a facilitator (such as for a panel session), they will attend to introductions.
  • Open your session with: your welcome; a brief background on you and/or your topic; your session format and when you will address participant questions; and a question to the participants so they immediately engage with their Chat Box.

Engaging your participants

  • Sole and opening presenters should use a ‘warm up’ question inviting participants to comment in the Chat Box. This will get participants engaged and thinking straight away. Based on experience, presenters who do not engage at this critical early stage receive less engagement throughout.
  • If your Chat Box disappears find your black tool bar and click ‘more’ for a drop down menu. ‘Chat’ is the first listed – click on it.
  • Encourage your participants to use ‘Everyone’ view in Chat Box so that all attendees receive the benefit of their input.
  • Some participants feel more at ease communicating anonymously. As such, it helps if you can remind participants that they can send you a private chat by prefacing their question/comment by typing in ‘Anon’. If they do this, you can read out their question without referencing their name.

Ending the webinar (for sole and closing presenters)

  • The webinar will end, ideally, at the scheduled time. However, if content or question time runs over, let participants know the new end time (no more than 10 mins over) but they can leave if they need to.
  • At close, leave your slides (i.e. your closing slide) up until the host stops broadcasting. If you stop share at the end of your session participants may see your desktop.
  • In the practice session, the presenter and host may agree on a phrase cue to end the broadcast…such as ‘Thank you for your time, if there are no more questions, we’ll end the session now’. The host will then know to end the broadcast.
  • Otherwise, at the webinar’s natural conclusion – after content ends and/or questions conclude – the presenter can say something to indicate the webinar has ended, and host may type a ‘Goodbye and thank you’ into the Chat Box and end broadcast.

Practice session summary

  1. By the end of your practice session you will have received a basic tour of Zoom features to be used during your webinar.
  2. You will know that the preferable set up for you is to only have one device screen open.
  3. To confirm, we only offer participants Chat Box to engage with your session.
  4. You will have practised using Chat Box so you know what you will see and where to access it during webinar.
  5. For webinars we encourage plenty of visuals.
  6. You will have sent a copy of all slide presentations being used on the day to the Society so that the host can, in the case of a technical glitch, take over sharing your presentation/s.
  7. You will have practised sharing your screen to show slides.
  8. Ideally, have your slides open (on your desktop) and ready to access for sharing.
  9. To optimise the participant’s view, you will have learned how to share your slide show, and right click on your screen for menu and click on ‘Hide Presenter View’.
  10. To access your slide notes (if you have them), you will have printed them or set them up for viewing on a second screen.
  11. You ensured you could see yourself and the host on the right of your screen, along with your opened Chat Box.
  12. Once broadcasting, the host’s camera and mic are off and hidden however you can communicate with the host via Chat Box (submit chat to All Panellists) or text (the host will provide you with their mobile number) as required. The host will never call you during a presentation unless the session corrupts or you need guidance to rebroadcast.
  13. During your presentation have your mobile on silent or low vibrate in case the host is attempting to communicate with you BUT do not take a call.
  14. You will have considered what introductory question/s (these can be formal or conversational) you will ask participants in the first few minutes to have them practice using their Chat Box function, and to ‘break the ice’.
  15. You will have considered when you will address questions via Chat Box (either throughout, or at a dedicated time at the end of content sharing) and will be ready to communicate this to your participants in the opening few words at the beginning of your session.
  16. You will know to mention that the Society’s feedback survey provides an opportunity for questions/comments that were not shared during the webinar. (The Society will send any such questions to you after the event).
  17. You will know that Chat Box questions/comments can be scrolled (if a question cannot be addressed at the time).
  18. Additionally, you will know that a Chat Box log is automatically generated post-event for review if any questions/comments were missed. Ideally, mention this to your participants if you run overtime.

Download this content HERE

Although there is no easy way to make your task completely effortless, this collection of tried and true face to face presenting tips can make your delivery a successful experience for you and your participants.

Be clear about your format
Start by letting your participants know what you’ll cover and the format you’re using. If they know your session will be interactive or there are clear opportunities for questions, they’ll concentrate rather than impatiently waiting to have their say. Well known for his teachings on persuasive speaking, presenter Ben Richards (Aticus) offers a planning list here of questions to ask yourself when starting to prepare for a presentation (be it F2F or livestreamed).

Speak to your participants – practising your talk in advance is key!
Don’t read your written materials. Nothing is more frustrating to participants than being read to. Supplement, rather than repeat, what is in your written materials and on your slides. An imperfect speech is preferable to a perfect read.

Summarise your points into a cheat sheet of phrases
A cheat sheet of short phrases eliminates any inclination to memorise sentences and enables you to sound more like you are speaking from the heart. The trick is to keep it short. Put yourself in your participants’ shoes and imagine what you would want to know and how you would like that information to be summarised if you were short on time.

Listen and forget. See and remember. Do and understand.
Interactive learning with real and hypothetical scenarios is best as it gives your participants the opportunity to consider actions and outcomes for themselves. Identify and break your presentation into sub-topics. Let your participants ‘nut-out’ the issues by asking questions or, if appropriate, by discussion in break-out groups. Practical tips plus some legal foundation is the ideal combination.

Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you’ve told them.
No matter your participants’ experience, repetition is essential. And, aim for 1-3 key takeaway messages and plenty of food for thought. Most participants feel best about a learning experience when they have worked something out for themselves. Craft your presentation to create ‘aha’ moments. Stress the specific and always give examples of immediate application of the law in practice.

Know your participants
Gear your presentation to lawyers with some experience in your field. But note that participants will vary in experience and that there may not be a common level of competence. Ask for the participant list and know ahead of time whether you are to present at a basic, medium or advanced level so as to more precisely engage your participants.

Be enthusiastic and real
This can disguise nervousness and flaws in delivery. Don’t be afraid to show your participants the real you. Share your passions and interests, and in your examples speak of failure as well as success.

Connect with your participants
Injecting a little humour into your session early helps your participants’ attention ‘kick in’. And, if they can empathise with your hypothetical or real scenarios, they will remain engaged and more likely to learn and retain your material. Start your seminar with a question to get your participants’ mental gears turning.

Make the complex simple
Don’t speak in abstractions. Give examples or discuss scenarios. Be specific, and keep your talk focused and sharp.

Avoid long quotes
Avoid excessive citations and long quotes (particularly on slides). Participants can find these on their own time. If you reference a case, comment that the citation is included in your written materials (or will be supplied by you after the session).

Always provide reference materials
Participants generally want to pre-read your materials so they can make the most of your presentation by asking you informed questions.

Written materials can take one of two forms: a prepared paper, which may include forms, checklists, diagrams or statistics, and other supplementary material; or a detailed outline of your subject matter. Materials for later use are important as a permanent reference to your content. Materials should be of high quality and practical. Ideally, they should have instructional value when standing alone, so one-page summaries or phrase outlines won’t suffice.

Stay on time
Your timing and pace is important. If your session is scheduled for 60 minutes stick to it and ensure you split this time to allow for Q&As. Participants don’t appreciate seminars with half the content missing or when 20 minutes of content is squeezed into 5 minutes at the end. If there is more than one presenter in the program, be aware that time limits may be enforced.

Encourage questions
If you’ve ever been a participant in a F2F setting you’ll know that when a presenter sweeps the room and asks ‘are there any questions?’ this can often be met with silence. So, rather than ask this closed question, we recommend the following open alternatives:

  • What questions do you have for me?
  • How else can I help you?
  • What else can I cover today?

Be clear about question time
Leave time for Q&As unless you are adopting an interactive format, in which case questions and comments can be incorporated throughout. Participants may have questions and will want to know (up front) when they can ask them. It’s also good practice for you to have 2-3 pre-prepared questions in case there are none from the participants. Always restate the question before answering as this enables those who may not have heard to understand your response.

Start with your session roadmap
Your first oral comments and/or slide should summarise what you are going to cover and where your presentation is going. Research shows that participants like lists so group your introductory points into a list of 3, 5 or 7 key topics.

Use visuals
Reinforce your key information with good and appropriate visuals. See Use presentation slides under Conducting a Webinar below.

You don’t have to be the expert
Your role is to facilitate competency and skill enhancement. Even if you know the answer, stretch your participants – let them try to work it out first (as/when appropriate). If you don’t know the answer, validate the point or question then either put it to the room or park it as worthwhile for revisiting later.

Materials for your participants
If you have a lot of additional information that you won’t have time to speak on, your supplementary papers will benefit your participants. Please email these materials to cpd@lst.org.au no less than 3 days in advance of your presentation.

Presentation slides
Please email your slides to the Society for distribution to your participants. Slide printouts assist participants to note-take during your presentation. Please email these materials to cpd@lst.org.au no less than 3 days in advance of your presentation.

Co-presented or panel sessions
The key to successful panel sessions is preparation, preparation, preparation. If your session includes other presenters, get together and chat about the way you want to run your session and discuss with the Chair/Moderator how all the threads can be pulled together in the session’s wrap up. Please let us know if the Society can assist with bringing joint session speakers together.

Session Chairs
Chairs have the role of keeping attuned to participants, the presenters and the progress of the session, knowing when to move matters or questioners on, and when to politely ‘park’ certain input or questions. Depending on the session, your chair is the facilitator or moderator.

The chair’s role is to:

  • Know their presenter and/or panellists and assist them in any way they can on the day.
  • Introduce the presenter/s (a brief bio will be supplied).
  • Facilitate discussion where there is a panel session (and ideally have some pre-prepared questions to facilitate discussion).
  • Keep the session on track around relevancy and timing (noting the strict time constraints most events are under).
  • Wrap the session up.

Parting words
Presenters and chairs have equally important roles. And, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned presenter or chair, you have the support of the Society team, other presenters and your participants. If you have questions about the Society’s CPD program, contact cpd@lst.org.au or call the Society on (03) 6234 4133.

Thank you for your contribution to the Society’s CPD program.

A virtual mediation, adjudication and settlement conferencing facility.

Confidential virtual spaces
The Zoom videoconferencing platform provided Breakout Rooms. This feature offers you as a mediator, arbitrator or practitioner the flexibility to meet with representatives and hold mediation, ADR, adjudication or settlement conferences in a safe and confidential virtual space as you would in physical premises.

Flexibility to meet anywhere
Zoom is a cloud-based service that enables you and your participants to meet on a computer, tablet or smartphone – anywhere.

Seamless and versatile
With Breakout Rooms you can seamlessly split your Zoom meeting into separate sessions so separate groups of participants can hold confidential discussions or negotiations, and if or when appropriate you can bring them together in a main meeting room. Or, if preferred, not have them meet at all during the process. You can have this set up automatically, or manage it manually. Whilst in Breakout Rooms your participants can request your help, and you can switch between Breakout Rooms and the main meeting room at any time.

Preparing for your virtual session

  • Request a booking by emailing info@lst.org.au.
  • Once you have booked, the Society will also schedule with you a short virtual training session on Breakout Room features.

Secure and private access
The Society will set up the Zoom booking and send you a secure meeting link and password to forward to your participants. You will also receive a link to brief instructions for your participants so they know how to set up and what to expect when they ‘arrive’ on the day.

On the day, the Society will open the meeting and, once you’ve logged in, assign you ‘host control’ (and leave) so that you can conduct your session confidentially.

Managing your participants‘ experience
Your participants ‘arrive’ at the mediation, conference etc. by clicking on the secure link and entering the password when prompted. They will enter a virtual Waiting Room. As host, you manage how and when they are admitted into the session.

You can admit all participants into the main meeting room or move them directly into their Breakout Rooms. As host, you control when (if at all) your participants emerge from their Breakout Rooms into the main meeting room.

In the Breakout Rooms, your participants have access to audio, camera, screen share capabilities.

A Chat Box feature is available in the main meeting room and Breakout Rooms. Participants in each Breakout Room sees their own Chat only. Chat from each Breakout Rooms and the main meeting room is not shareable or visible to participants outside those rooms.

Contact the Society on (03) 6234 4133 or info@lst.org.au to make a meeting room booking or learn more about this Society member facility.

For information about the Society’s venues and AV/IT facilities see HERE.



The 26TEN website offers free plain English tools to help with writing more clearly. See the Communicate clearly – A guide to plain English tools and resources listed here: How to write clearer emails with a simple plain English technique. This plain English guide is easy to use and includes tips to improve written communication. It has been produced by 26TEN, a network of people and organisations working together to improve adult literacy and numeracy in Tasmania.

Complex language can prevent people taking part in society, especially those with low literacy. Therefore it is important that the legal profession uses plain English, and writes and speaks in a way that supports their clients, and that they also check their clients’ understanding. Evidence shows that using plain English boosts social justice, making it easier for people to comply with the law, understand their responsibilities and make better decisions.

Plain English is about communicating with clients in a language they understand. Understanding this is even more important for vulnerable people and the 48 per cent of Tasmanian adults who lack the literacy and numeracy skills they need for life and work. 26TEN Chat is a step-by-step guide helping Tasmanians start a conversation with those who struggle with reading, writing or maths.