I originally shared this in our “Lawyers on Clubhouse” Facebook Group. Because so many of my friends, who are not lawyers and not part of the group) wanted to see the post, I’m sharing it here too. If you think this post has value, please feel free to share the link with other friends who are enjoying the Clubhouse platform.
Tips For Moderating a Clubhouse Room.
I sat down with my team to come up a list of tips to help all of us moderate our Clubhouse Rooms. After we got past the “it’s like herding a bunch of really smart cats,” this is what we came up with. Please share any additional thoughts in the comments and I’ll update the post as needed.
By the way, I shared an earlier related post, “Clubhouse Tips for Lawyers and Law School Students” that’s a good place for new users to start.
#1: Starting Your Room
When you start your room, there’s a good chance you’ll be the only person in the room. That’s OK. It’s normal. It can take a few minutes for people to find their way over to the room, even if you’ve been promoting it on your social platforms and blogs (see #6 in the above link).
The key is to have something going on while people are coming in. When you see people down in the audience, welcome them by name and let them know, in a friendly conversational way, what the room is all about. For example, I was part of a room with Bob Burg, author of “The Go-Giver” series of books. As people started coming in and while I was alone on stage before Bob arrived, I started with, “Hi Julie, it’s good to see you in the audience. This is going to be fun. Bob Burg will be joining us and after a few minutes, we’ll be asking everyone to raise their hands and come up to the stage to say hello and ask questions. Please do me a favor and hit the (+) button and please invite your friends, who will want to meet Bob, into the room…”
I’ll continue to chat about my day, maybe something that’s relevant to the topic or that happened in the news, and just keep the audio live so that people who come into the room stay in the room. If you have a co-moderator, you can incorporate the above with small talk for a minute or two until you decide it’s time to formally start the presentation, discussion or immediate Q&A.
#2: Give Context to Your Room
Many people in the room may not know exactly what the room’s about or who you are. Take 30-60 seconds to set the stage focusing on the benefits to your audience. Introduce yourself and immediately let everyone know what value they’re going to receive by listening and participating in the room. If you’re co-moderating a room, plan ahead to introduce each other with a short 30-60 second introduction. I always ask the other moderator to text or email me a short intro and then modify it down to something short and sweet. The idea is to give everyone in the room a reason to be there and invite others into the room. At this stage I also usually mention the room will be open for an hour (or whatever the time frame is) so that everyone knows the general game-plan.
#3: Invite Others
Now that you’ve set the room and most or all of the moderators are present, remind everyone to hit the (+) button and invite friends and contacts into the room, who may find the room interesting and benefit from what’s about to happen. Remind them to use the search bar at the top of their contact list to narrow the search to accommodate the room topic. Again, because you want to keep things pithy and moving forward, do this in a short 15-30 second reminder.
I also let people know they can PTR (pull to refresh) their screen and see who is on stage and in the audience.
Try to keep things fast paced. I think staying on point with the title of the room is always a good idea at the beginning. Use short stories and metaphors. Be as entertaining as possible depending on the room and topic. That wasn’t a typo folks- be entertaining. Capture attention. Get people to start thinking about things with provocative questions. See where I’m going with this? Be different.
When co-moderating, I’ve found that respecting each other’s presence on stage is the way to go. By that I mean, be aware of how much time you’re speaking compared to everyone else. I like to keep my comments limited to just a minute or two and then invite my co-moderator, by name, to share thoughts or follow-up ideas. A good back and forth between the moderators (think of a morning talk show with co-host) keeps things entertaining, unique and memorable. If you’re moderating the room by yourself, which is great, use this approach with people you bring on stage. It works very well!
#5: Mute Your Mic
When you’re not speaking, mute your mic. This avoids unnecessary background noise during your show. If you’re a moderator, you can tap on the other person’s icon, or the icon of anyone you eventually bring up to the stage, and manually mute them. It’s easy and doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Most of the time they don’t even realize their mic is live.
#6: Reset the Room Every 5-10 Minutes
Every 5-10 minutes, take 30-60 seconds to reset the room. Here’s how I do it:
“Before we go to the next question (or invite more people up on to the stage), let’s take a second and reset the room. We’re talking about ABC and are really looking forward to everyone raising their hands, jumping up on stage, and saying hello or sharing your comments and questions. Before we do this, everyone please look to your left and right, tap each other’s profile pictures and get to know each other. Do the same with everyone on stage. Follow each other on Clubhouse and use the links at the bottom of each other’s profiles to stay connected and keep the conversation going over on Instagram and Twitter. Also please remember that when we bring you up on stage, your mic will be live so please hit the mute button so that everyone can enjoy the best experience possible.”
If I have a large room, I’ll also add, “to keep things organized and to respect everyone’s time, we’ll be working our way around the stage and taking questions from top to bottom moving left to right. Also feel free to PTR (pull to refresh) your screen to see where you are on the current stage. After your comment or question, I’ll be moving you back down to the audience so we have room for more amazing guests, just like you!”
#7: Manage Your Stage and Audience
If you’re moderating or co-moderating a room, be aware of how many people are on stage. There’s a balance between keeping everyone involved and the “image” you create with your room (hey, there are lots of people on stage so this must be a popular room!) with having too many people on stage. Every now and then, consider moving people back down to the audience after they’ve asked their question and have been part of the conversation (let the room know this is what you’re doing so nobody’s feelings will be hurt– it’s OK and standard practice on the platform. You can move people back down to the audience by tapping their profile picture and selecting the “move to audience” option. Having too many people (more than 5 for me) on stage is like herding cats. It’s just too much work.
One little tip I’d like to share is to do the following. After answering a question or finishing up a conversation with a guest that you’ve brought up on stage, acknowledge what they said and thank them. If they asked a questions, maybe ask, “did I answer your question? Did that add value?” I see a lot of moderators just move on to the next person as though the previous person they just had a conversation with didn’t say a word and it’s kind of awkward (as least for me to listen to). So, think about acknowledging what someone just said, thank them by name, and then move on to the next person on stage.
Be careful when making unplanned speakers co-moderators. Ask yourself, is this person going to add value (i.e. subject matter expert, unique perspective or experience on the room topic, etc.). Moderators can bring other people up from the audience and also shut down the entire room, so it’s always a good idea to know who you give this power to. For this reason, I usually don’t give a new Clubhouse user or someone I don’t personally know moderator status. The chance is too great they may hit the wrong button and close the room. Yes, I learned this the hard way 😉
Blocking- There’s nothing wrong with tapping on someone’s profile picture and then the 3 dots to block that person from your room and entire Clubhouse experience. I’ve only used this a few times but it’s there for your use and safety.
#8: Engaging with Your Co-Moderators and People on Stage
When and if appropriate, always try to shine a favorable and positive bright light on everyone else on stage. Use names and share their websites and resources with the audience. Praise responses and ask follow-up questions. Again, back and forth conversations work best.
If you have a large stage, let everyone know they can tap and untap their mics to clap and show approval or support of what was just said. It’s “a thing” on Clubhouse and fun to see on stage.
If you have a guest or co-moderator who rambles on or intentionally or unintentionally is taking over your room and stage, unmute and step in. Take control by politely thanking the person for the thoughts shared and then move on to the next person on stage or, use this opportunity to reset the room. Remember, this is your room so keep control over how the conversation is managed and the direction the conversation evolves. Along those lines, if the topic changes to another subject matter (this is OK and happens often in CH rooms), remind the audience of the original topic while retting the room and that you’re (1) always interested is jumping back over to it or (2) looking forward to exploring the new topics raised. Whatever you do is fine so long as you keep everyone in the room in the loop.
At the appropriate time, I like to conclude quickly. If you announce the room will be closing in 10 minutes people will start to leave right away because they know they will not have time to raise their hand and be invited up on stage. Instead, when I’m ready to close the room, I just let everyone know (really not much notice) and in the same sentence, invite everyone to stay connected with everyone else in the room and over on Instagram and Twitter (again using the links at the bottom of our profiles). I let them know this is the time to do so because we’ll be closing down in about a minute or two. If you have a related room, Club, or site you’d like people to join or visit, this is a good time to share/promote that information with some sort of call to action. Again, don’t close the room without inviting everyone to stay in touch with each other and everyone on the stage. This is an easy way to stay connected and build your following.
Obviously, if you’re a lawyer on Clubhouse, remind everyone to join us here on our Facebook Group titled “Lawyers on Clubhouse” for tips and networking.
OK, that’s about it. I’m sure I’ll be updating this with additional thoughts and tips from the feedback you share in the comments below.
Remember, have fun with the Clubhouse platform. Focus on building relationships, adding value, and building your personal brand. Life’s too short to do things that you don’t enjoy so, be easy on yourself, don’t worry about being perfect, and enjoy your Clubhouse journey.