Have you used Instant Messaging or Chat during a meeting, as an official part of the meeting? We are using invisible whispering in meetings and it really helps. We are finding that this really helps in several ways.
It helps meeting participants improve their understanding of the meeting content. Participants ask clarifying questions, and peers can respond. Points can be clarified. Facts can be checked for accuracy.
It helps keep people focused during the meeting. Interacting with others can help the group accomplish its work. People stay engaged with the content.
It helps provide social support to help quieter members “speak up” through contributions in the IM/Chat. Confidence is bolstered. Especially in a multi-lingual environment, some participants feel more confident when they can type out a question or comment and review it before sending it to others.
It provides direction in the meeting. If several participants are agreeing in the IM/Chat, the meeting content may be influenced. The direction of the meeting may change.
It allows for a parallel meeting within a meeting. Problem-solving or strategy development may launch among some participants in response to information received during the meeting. Participants may even critique the meeting resulting in improved meetings.
Our experiences so far have been good. We’ve used a Chat room. We’ve used a joint Skype session. What about you? Good experiences? Bad experiences?