Many companies are now operating remotely, which means conferences, events and meetings have been pushed online. Virtual meetings are inexpensive and easy-to-use, however, participants tend to ‘multitask’ or ‘zone out’ as one or two attendees dominate the session. Here are few best practices for virtual meetings that companies should optimize to ensure meeting effectiveness:
Set clear agendas: Prior to each meeting, set clear objectives and share it with your virtual team. During the session, practice basic ground rules, take breaks if required and clearly define next steps.
Encourage ‘Video’ meetings: Video meetings enhance collaboration amongst all participants and allow youto ‘read the room’ and react accordingly. Utilize video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams and GoToMeetings.
Always have a PLAN B: Ensure to always provide a ‘dial-in’ option. Video conferencing works well on a strong network connection, which may not always be possible. To avoid technical delays, make sure to test the video conferencing platform you intend to use.
Use team building features: In order to engage all attendees and maintain participation, use the varied tools available within your desired video conferencing platform. Encourage real time contribution by allowing your participants to work on a live, shared document. For presentation purposes, encourage participants to try out the screen share feature.
Provide Virtual Icebreakers: Virtual meetings should not be boring. Make time for ice-breaker questions and allow participants to share their opinions freely. You can create funny ‘ice-breaker’ moments by sharing photos and videos that can lighten the mood and build positive engagement.
Solicit feedback: After the session concludes, allow a chance for everyone to discuss their experiences. What went well and what could have been better? Encourage suggestions on how you can make your next virtual meeting as productive as face-to-face-meetings.
Not being able to work together with your colleagues in person could be challenging. But virtual meetings are a great way to stay in touch and retain some level of personability. They also help to keep everyone accountable and productive.