(3… 2… 1… Go!)

2021 will go down in history for achieving a major milestone in space travel. We saw not just one, but two private space flights take off and land successfully! Not only did they break barriers in terms of who can go to space, the fact that they pulled it off successfully, while dealing with the chaos and restrictions of Covid-19 is truly r.e.m.a.r.k.a.b.l.e!

Precision at this level is the collaborative brain child of the control room engineers. It takes years and months of planning and testing to calibrate every variable painstakingly. This immense effort pays off handsomely when the space crew walks out with a big smile!

So, what does it take to be in charge of the control room?

How does it feel like to launch and land successfully?

To get a taste of this experience, sign up to manage the technology of virtual meetings and contests.

You just have to don the ZOOM HOST suit, and orchestrate a smooth and successful meeting!

As a ZOOM HOST, you are in charge of the meeting technology and connectivity. You ensure that the virtual room is set up properly before the start of the meeting/contest. You also take care that the meeting control transitions happen smoothly, resolve technical hiccups quickly, run audio/visual elements and keep “Zoom Bombers” at bay.

This role is a beautiful blend of technical skills and meeting management. To run this well, it is beneficial to have your own crew. This is especially useful when the meeting/contest is of a larger scale and has more moving parts. You can break down the various activities of the meeting and assign them to your team.

Here are some roles to get you started off with –


As the Flight Director – You oversee the whole meeting/contest management. You also allow/block participants to join.

CO-HOSTS (1-3):

As the Guidance Officer – You keep an eye on all the presenters and ensure that they are present and connected properly.

As the Data Process Engineer – You run polls and share the results.

As the Propulsion Engineer – You spotlight presenters and facilitators.

As the Capsule Communicator – You monitor and inform via Chat.

As the Flight Dynamics Officer – You run audio/visual aids to engage the audience and support the presenters.

As outlined in the list above, there are various technical features to facilitate. You can combine some of the roles or drill down further based on your discussion with the co-host(s).

Participating as a Zoom Host/Co-Host gives you highly transferable skills. Today, in every industry and organization – virtual meetings have become the norm. Skilled meeting hosts are in high demand and widely appreciated. This will be a marvelous feather in your skill cap.

There are also different projects in Pathways, which can be applied to your contribution as a Zoom Host.

So not only do you develop the skill and experience of a Zoom Host and gain highly transferable skills, you also get to complete a Pathways project simultaneously! That’s a great win-win-win!

Here are some of the Pathways Projects which can be applied to your role of Zoom Host or Co-Host –

Level 2:

Managing Time

Level 3:

Planning and Implementing

Successful Collaboration

Creating Effective Visual Aids

Using Presentation Software

Level 4:

Leading Your Team

Manage Online Meetings

Manage Projects Successfully

Level 5:

High Performance Leadership

Manage Successful Events

Leading In Your Volunteer Organization

Lessons Learned

Here is the Project Matrix to refer to for the complete list: Pathways Project Matrix.

As you can see, there are plenty of projects available to you. You can also complete these projects in advance of reaching a level. For example, complete a Level 4 project while you are still in Level 2. Then the project will already be done by the time you get to that level!

Once you start thinking ahead – especially for those big projects, planning and execution will become much easier.

To get started, attend District 10 Zoom training, join the Zoom Committee to learn from a team, or watch the recorded training by District 10, Toastmasters International as well as Zoom.

Here are some training resources and downloads:

Zoom USA Support

TI Online Meetings

District 10 Contest

District 10 has already created flight manuals aka Host scripts for various events such as contests, TLIs, DEC meetings, etc.  They just have to be tweaked with your meeting details and your script is ready!

For Example:

Zoom Host Actions

Zoom Host Script

Reach out to the Program Quality Director for other meeting scripts.

It is highly recommended that you run a test meeting with the presenters before the actual event. This will highlight any missing pieces or action items and build confidence and coordination for the whole team.

With some training, resources, planning, and preparation – your virtual meeting will be ready to launch soon.

Let the countdown begin!

The entries in this blog are the opinions of their respective authors. These opinions are not authorized by, endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with Toastmasters International.
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Preeti Venkataramani

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