Zoom =

Fill in the Gap on Zoom

Share a sentence that contains an important gap. Then instruct the group that you’ll be calling on one person to say the whole sentence with the gap filled in, before they call on another participant to do the same, until everyone has shared. Repeat with new prompts as many times as you’d like.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Verbally share a sentence with an important gap, and copy/paste it into the chat at the same time for better clarity.
  2. Explain to your participants that they will be repeating the sentence, but filling in the gap themselves.
  3. Instruct them to call on the next person “virtual popcorn” style after they share their statement.
  4. Check in for understanding or clarifying questions.
  5. Call on the first participant to fill in the gap, gently pushing back if they don’t say the whole sentence (“It’s important for you to say the whole sentence here, not just the gap.”). Nudge them to call on the next participant if they forget.
  6. Once everyone has shared, you can repeat with a new prompt, move to debriefing, or do the same prompt with new rules (e.g., “Let’s do the same prompt, but now answer it as though we’re speaking from [Some Constituent’s] point of view.”)


Have your prompts (with the gap: __) ready to copy-paste.


This activity thrives with a smaller group. If you have more than, say, 15 participants, you might want to limit participation. For example, instead of doing virtual popcorn, inviting people to “raise their hand” and be called on to participate, “If you have a gap that’s very different from what’s been shared so far.”

Substituting Apps

If you're using apps other than Zoom, here are the specific things your software will need to be able to do:

Zoom allows participants to "raise their hand,” or otherwise signal a want to participate.


Author HeadshotAustin, TX

Activity by Sam Killermann

Co-developer of Facilitator Cards and co-author of Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation. Longtime facilitator of gender/sexuality education.

Tested & Tweaked by Meg Bolger

Meg Bolger

Meg Bolger:

I was leading a facilitator training with high school students and I wanted to have them each to share something about the type of facilitator they wanted to be.

It went really well! Using the fill in the gap structure made me feel confident in asking everyone to share and it was a nice low barrier way to get everyone to say something in the large group. I was a little ambitious with having everyone share (as there were more than 20 participants) so I think I would heed that 15 person limit advice next time.

Because I wanted to hear from everyone instead of popcorn style I did a go-around share and put participants in a particular grid order. That worked great and made the process faster (which was handy since we had so many people).