All the companies are trying their best to protect their employees from transmitting Covid-19 through travel restrictions and remote working. It is clear that face-to-face meetings with teams, customers or contractors may be canceled for weeks or months. In turn, it is expected that an increasing number of meetings will be held online. If you have to hold a virtual meeting for business, we will share some valuable tips that will help you get the most out of them.
8 Tips for a Successful Virtual Meeting
1. Use the video call
Use video calling instead of traditional dial-up connections to make people feel like they’re all at the same meeting. Many apps can be used to conduct video calls such as Skype, Zoom, and GoToMeeting – helps personalize the conversation and keep participants engaged. This form of virtual meeting is widely acclaimed. Not only it’s easy to organize, but it also doesn’t require any special equipment or device. Depending on the requirement, you can make a group call and connect with everyone at the same time.
2. Create a code of conduct
There is a code of conduct for every successful virtual meeting. Remember that group calls are good for structured consultations, but not for brainstorming sessions. Emphasize to your employees the importance of specifying and announcing the type of meeting in advance. If you want to exchange ideas with your team, discuss this before conducting a meeting. Explain how people can ask questions or make comments, tell them to let speak one person and let him finish first before interrupting. Ask anyone with questions or comments to introduce themselves briefly. Ask participants to eliminate background noise and turn off the laptop’s microphone if necessary.
3. Schedule the meeting
Set a time suitable for everyone and take regular breaks. There should be at least 20 minutes break between meetings to refresh your mind. Give enough time for the team to think over each topic. Taking a break is one of the tested methods to increase productivity where employees can engage in an informal discussion, take a walk or play a game on your phone. Designate a team member to host each meeting and host the discussion. The best duration of the virtual meeting is 4 hours a day. It is recommended to meet twice a day for 4 hours a day. This way, nobody gets tired of sitting in one place for too long.
4. Motivate everyone to participate
Since you are not in the room together, it is easy to get distracted and not contribute well. During a meeting, if you’re held in charge or you’re supervising, then you should monitor everyone’s participation and address people without imposing an overly dominant presence on others. Encourage all the participants to share their views, ideas, and opinions and contribute to the work of the group so that they feel important, otherwise, they may feel tired and disinterested. On the contrary, everyone should consider their participation as important for the collective success of the virtual meeting.
5. Decide what will be discussed in advance
If you have a meeting scheduled, you should be ready for it beforehand. This is especially important if you are conducting a meeting online. So make sure you have identified the participants’ clear expectations regarding what will be discussed in the meeting. Make sure you have questions written that you want to discuss and that is brought up with other participants. You also need to get prepared in advance to talk about the issues you want to discuss or the information you want to present. In this way, your corporation will ensure an authentic company communication where all can contribute while working from home.
6. Pre-test the technology
Nothing is annoying than a poor internet connection or other tech issues affecting the meeting. It can delay your meeting and other participants will be waiting for you. Before conducting the virtual meeting, all participants must check and verify the technology. Don’t forget the conversations with clients or colleagues or may require your team to become familiar with various software packages beforehand.
7. Keep meetings short and stimulating
Try to keep the meetings short, they should last up to 15 to 45 minutes. In this way, all participants will remain focused and the time allocated for these meetings is optimized. If you are unable to cover all agenda in the available time, you may need to make more preparations before the meeting. Long meetings can bore your employees and will be a waste of time. Improving team productivity by conducting short and useful meetings.
8. Agree on an action plan
If you have decided on an action plan during the meeting, make sure to follow it. It is important to reach a conclusion on the schedule and to distribute the tasks among the different team members. Remember, always allow 5-10 minutes to take an update on the previous plan and then start with a new session. Finally, decide if you want to consider follow-up appointments and set the date if necessary.
Remote work is here to stay for some time. Virtual meetings are greatly helping to resolve problems. We hope the above virtual meeting tips will be beneficial for you to run a great meeting.