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The MeetingSphere Tools

MeetingSphere™ provides a set of interactive, self-documenting tools. In their default configuration, these tools cover the typical use cases of face-to-face or online sessions. Experienced users will use advanced settings to support more intricate methodologies and facilitation techniques.

In the process of building a session agenda, tools are added to the relevant Agenda stages to produce the required outcome of the session.

The following table describes the MeetingSphere tools by their primary and intended uses. Once you know them, you will discover many more.

Use Brainstorm to produce simple or categorized lists of items which can easily be put to a vote.
Depending on the Brainstorm question (instruction), these items can be ideas or considered suggestions or an imported list which is merely expanded or categorized in the tool.
Use Discussion to produce threads of argument on and improve understanding of a set of discussion topics.
Topics for discussion are often identified by a prior Rating activity (most highly rated or most controversial). Recurring objectives of discussions are to (1) Understand why items have been rated highly (2) Discover the reasons for controversy (3) Exchange information or arguments prior to rating the topics on multiple criteria. 
Use Rating for structured assessments of a list of items by one or multiple criteria.
Ratings can occur by any customary rating method (numerical scale, rank order, multiple selection, budget allocation).  Results are presented as tables or charts. Typical uses of Rating are the creation of shortlists i.e. the identification of items that warrant further consideration or more detailed analysis of shortlisted items by multiple criteria, often after a preparatory discussion. 

Use Presentation to push information via an uploaded slide show or to provide access info to a screen sharing service.
MeetingSphere's built-in PDF-slideshow scales to large numbers of participants, can be configured for independent browsing, offers a sophisticated feedback channel and - unlike traditional screen sharing - gets through any firewall.
Presentation is used to push access information to a parallel web conference if "dynamic content" e.g. a live computer screen needs to be shared.

Use Notebook for taking notes on any session activity that goes on outside the self-documenting MeetingSphere tools or to co-author text in real time.
Notebook is a simple rich-text word processor. The "scribe" can share the open Notebook with the other participants so that the group can comment on content or wording in real time.
Use Actions for capturing, assigning and tracking actions that have been agreed in the meeting.
The Actions tool provides logs for capturing details, discussions and progress reports on actions over time (copy from session to session). Action details or progress reports can carry attachments e.g. briefs, collateral or deliverables.
Time buffer
Use Time buffers in "same time" sessions to plan extra time for eventualities.
Use Breaks to make planned breaks visible in your agenda.


Tools can only be added to a (highlighted) Agenda stage.

Select and configure each tool with the following questions in mind:

  • What is the input to this process step (if any; items from another tool?, items from outside MeetingSphere?)
  • What is the expected output (result, outcome)
  • What exactly are the participants required to contribute?
  • How much time do we have/require for this?