Engage everyone in your Zoom call using 1–2–4-All

Round #1 — Brainstorm ideas individually

  • Be clear about the question/topic.
  • Invite people to take notes so they can refer back on the next step.
  • Remember to put the timer on for 5–7 minutes.
  • Mute all participants.
  • (bonus) Play some music.

Round #2 — Generate new ideas as pairs or trios

  • Let people know that they’ll be moved to Breakout Rooms to share and build on their initial ideas.
  • Invite people to consolidate their ideas in a collaborative note-taking tool. (e.g. Google Doc or even Zoom’s chat)
  • Have the Breakout Rooms ready for the desired number of people.
  • Have the shared document for note-taking ready to be shared.
  • Remember to put the timer on for 7–10 minutes.
  • Send people reminders of how much time they have left.

Round #3 — Develop ideas further in groups of four or six

  • Re-assign people to a subset of the Breakout Rooms to form larger groups.
  • Invite people to combine their group’s ideas in the collaborative document.
  • Remember to put the timer on for 10–15 minutes.
  • Send people reminders of how much time they have left.

Round #4 — Share the most important ideas with everyone

  • Allow every group to contribute.
  • Make sure we record all relevant insights.
  • Capture as many good ideas as possible.

Bonus tips

  • Experiment running multiple rounds of pairs, so people get a chance to interact and generate more ideas.
  • For smaller groups, try pre-defining the Breakout Room set up to foster diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and opinions in each room.

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Ivan Sanchez

Ivan Sanchez

Tech Lead, Facilitator, Trainer, Agile Developer