Virtual Meeting Tips
In our day and age, there is an abundance of tools at our fingertips that make the process of implementing, organizing, and running virtual meetings easier, quicker, and more collaborative than ever. But how do we implement virtual meetings in our organizations and make sure they are effective? There are a plethora of virtual meeting tips to help create more effective and streamlined meetings.
We've assembled a list of our top 10 virtual meeting tips and tricks to help get you started!
- Establish a Platform – When identifying the correct platform for your team, consider what your key functionality needs to be and how large your audience is. There is an abundance of options, each with different pros and cons. From GoTo Meetings, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams to Zoom and Cisco Webex, the right platform is out there for your business. When choosing the right platform, consider its ease of use and simplicity. It’s likely that your colleagues are already uncomfortable with the challenges of remote work, implementing an easy-to-understand platform is essential in shrinking the change.
- Embrace Technology – How can this platform add additional value? Technology is only useful when it fills a gap while adding additional value. When choosing a platform, consider the additives it offers such as screen sharing, recording, video chat, technical support, web-based accessibility, etc. Once implemented, make sure to actually use the functions! Read about our AV team's favorite technology.
- Implement it Across the Board – There is nothing more confusing or more destructive to remote collaboration than confusion around what everyone is using for their meetings. Create one lane and move forward.
- Create Ongoing Rapport – Working remote often means that it is easy to miss out on the water-cooler, day-to-day discussions that add life to the work we do. One of the challenges is losing the rapport and relationships that lay the foundation for strong teams. Protect them – intentionally work hard to create informal check ins and conversations within your team. Ask how people are doing, talk about the weather, create dialogue that is stress free and interesting. One of the best ways of doing this is creating a virtual water cooler within your platform. Whether it's a Slack Channel or Team Chat, keep real life conversations going.
- Use Video Over Voice – Research says that 55% of all communication is body language and 38% is tone of voice – two things that are completely lost in email communication. When possible, error on the side of video over voice. Seeing your team members and reading their cues allows for decreased distraction, increased understanding, and a sense of normalcy.
- Keep Calendars Updated – Remote work does not always mean increased accessibility. Especially when it comes to impromptu meetings and check ins, it's important not to consistently bombard others with voice and video calls. Keep consistency, plan ahead, and create a specific time for important meetings and discussions - just like you would if you were in the office.
- Set Ground Rules – As uncharted territory for some, extra conversations and ground laying may need to take place around how virtual meetings are to be run. Everyone knows the natural cadence of an in-office meeting but translating that into video changes things. For formal meetings, it is important to create a clear meeting agenda with talking points and takeaways. In addition to meeting-specific talking points, basic meeting etiquette rules need to be implemented. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Test your equipment, log into the meeting early to ensure that your tools work
- Stay away from your phone
- Don’t multi-task – email can wait
- Minimize noise and distractions
- Don't interrupt or talk over others!
- Speak up! Be loud and clear (No room for mumbling!)
- No side conversations
- Keep body movements minimal
- Stay away from tangents - distractions only multiply!
- Solicit Participation – Create a level playing field. Extra attention and care must be given by the meeting facilitator to ensure that all voices are heard and are given a chance to collaborate – even more so than in a regular in-person meeting. Make sure that your quieter team members are given an avenue to share their opinions and thoughts. With slow internet, video lag, differing sound quality, and a new platform, the facilitator needs to keep the meeting moving forward while soliciting contributions from all team members.
- Follow Up – After a meeting has been completed, send out an email to all participants with the main points discussed and any follow up questions or tasks. This is an important last step in ensuring that your team has the same vision and understanding for key takeaways and deliverables.
- Ask for help – Running a successful virtual meeting for the first time can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. If you don't currently have a companywide platform or want to talk more, we'd love to help! We have years of experience aimed at getting organizations connected in the virtual world and we'd love to share our ideas and expertise with you.
Please reach out!