Organizational Tips

How to Host a Virtual Book Club Meeting

Mar 24, 2020



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Nancy Brown

Just like in person meetings, virtual meetings come with some best practices. If you’ve never hosted a virtual meeting here are some general tips:


Microphone: Make sure you are not muted! You can check this by looking at the microphone (located at the bottom of the screen) and check whether or not it’s switched on. This can be done by just clicking on it. It’s also best to minimize background noise and try to speak one at a time. 


Viewing options: you can choose how other people’s videos are displayed. We recommend “gallery view” for GoToMeeting, Zoom and Skype. And for Google Hangout you can choose “tiled” layout by clicking on the three dots located on the bottom right and selecting “change layout”.


Chat feature: all of these platforms also have a chat feature which allows you to write to the whole group or an individual member. This can be useful if you have a particular chatty group and need to get a message across or just sent out a reminder.


Snacks and drinks: just because you are meeting virtually doesn’t mean you have to hold the cheese and crackers. So pour a cup of coffee, glass of wine, pop some popcorn, show off your cheese board and have some fun!!!




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Koffey Brown

Oct 21, 2020 - 1 month

My group is using ZOOM and I find that it is better then meeting in person. Only because no one has to rush when they get off work to arrive at an particular location. It’s worked out well for us. Sometimes we have dinner during our group meeting and most times we have wine 🍷

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Tom Stoodt

Aug 22, 2020 - 3 months

You can also plop your laptop on a ten dollar lazy suzan and adjust where the patio groups single laptop camera is "looking." Just a slight side to side is easy. Chasing speakers not suggested to avoid motion sickness :)

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Tom Stoodt

Aug 22, 2020 - 3 months

A tip for hybrid meetings where some are "zooming" in and others are safe distancing on a patio. If you can, limit the in person group to a single microphone like a single laptop. Trying to have live microphones on devices that are too close will cause feedback and echo.

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Kelly Morrison

Jul 18, 2020 - 4 months

My group has been using the video chat feature of Messenger. The number of individuals who can join (50, I believe) is not constricting, and there does not appear to be a time limit, either. One tip that I would add is that we have imposed a time limit on our virtual meetings, as we find them a bit taxing compared to the ease of an in-person discussion.

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Athelene Gosnell

May 01, 2020 - 1 year

First, I want to thank BookClubz for all the help in keeping us connected! I really appreciated the virtual meeting link field you added. We hosted our last meeting using Zoom and it went very well. I have a paid account (just $15 per month) which prevented the time limit problem. If you don't have a paid account, you can use Google Meet for free now. It should be a better experience than Hangouts. If someone in the group doesn't have a good internet connection that is creating a problem, you might ask them to stop their video and use audio only. We asked everyone to mute while the discussion leader did their part which included giving us a question to consider as we each took our turn in the discussion. We encouraged people to unmute and jump in if they have comments to make it more like our regular meetings. While it’s not quite the same, we still really enjoyed being able to see each other. We even had a former member join us who had moved out of state a few years ago. Nancy Bartelt, you might want to consider using a Google Docs document. Go to and create it there. Then, click the Share button at the top right to get a link to the document. Post that link into the meeting notes in the app. Everyone can then open the document and add their comments without emails going out. The cool thing about Google Docs is that your group wouldn’t have to download anything, and they can all edit at the same time if they want.

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