Guide for Hosts

Considering hosting a chat? Then you have come to the right place!

Hosting a chat is similar to participating in one, therefore you may find it useful to participate in a few chats prior to hosting so you can get a feel for how the chats run and the pace at which discussion flows.

Before the chat:

When you apply to host a chat we will ask you to provide us with several dates (always Tuesdays) when you will be available to host.  We are a busy community and book up in advance, so having a variety of dates makes arrangements easier, you can also check our calendar to see what dates we have available.

We will ask you to provide a topic you wish to focus on, for example, a condition, a new policy or an intervention.  We will then ask you to provide a short introductory blog post.  This post does not need to be lengthy, but should give a little background to your topic and why you feel its relevant.  This post can be sent within an email or as an attached word document, please do not send PDFs as these can be difficult to add to our blog post format.  You can draw inspiration from our blog and see how others have written theirs and what topics have been covered.  If the topic has been discussed before, don’t let that put you off.  Our practice constantly evolves therefore we often revisit topics at a later date.

We will also ask you to provide 3-5 questions that you would like to discuss during the chat. This allows the community an opportunity to gather their thoughts on the topic or do some research to prepare which can be helpful if it is not a topic they are familiar with.

Once these have been received and a date agreed we will schedule your blog on our website, it will go live the week before the chat and the team will promote it throughout the week.  You can also do this by retweeting or sharing the blog link to let everyone know the topic and that you are hosting.

During the chat:

If your account is usually protected (i.e., if you have a padlock next to your handle), people will not be able to see your tweets or questions.  Be sure to turn this protection off in readiness for the chat. There are instructions for turning protection on and off here.

At 8pm one of the team will be on the OTalk account.  We usually start off with some introductions to see who is joining in and remind everyone of the ground rules and then it will be over to you to start with the questions. The OTalk team will retweet your questions and manage the community throughout the chat.  If you have any questions during the hour you can drop them a message.

You may want to follow the @OTalk_ Twitter account, members of the team to be sure you don’t miss anything.

You may also find it useful to pre type your questions and save them as a draft, or use a separate word document and paste them into Twitter to save time, but this is up to you.  Just be sure to include the OTalk hashtag in all of your tweets.  It can also be useful to space out you questions and make a note of what time to post each one to ensure you don’t run out of time.

After the chat:

After the chat you can download a reflection log and get your host certificate to keep as a record for your CPD.

The post chat transcript will usually be added within a few days.  This will show all the tweets and number of participants.

Whats next?

You can do it all again!

If you have any questions feel free to tweet the team account @OTalk_ or any of the organising team who will be happy to help.  

We like to keep track of the impact OTalk Chats have on our communities practice so we can review, evaluate and develop what we do.  We therefore ask that if hosts uses a chat as a basis for reflection, research or any kind of publication that we are informed so we can make a note and know that you have benefitted from hosting in some way.

Please remember that if you choose to host a chat and have an open profile all your tweets will be made public.  This means your tweets will be added to our transcript and may also be visible via other applications and sites.

With this in mind please consider your code of ethics and professionalism when tweeting and remember that confidentiality is still applicable on line as it is in practice, so please be respectful of your peers.

HCPC guidance

RCOT guidance

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