Last year we covered hacks that you could use to conduct meetings in your office. With everything that’s happening, we wanted to shed some light on virtual meetings today. We have to keep up with business endeavors, even if our current time feels strange. These virtual meeting tips, coupled with the meeting hacks we showed you last year, will help you transition to virtual meetings effectively.
1. Take Time To Get To Know Your Technology
First and foremost, you need to take time to get to know your technology. Everyone who will be conducting meetings needs to take time to play around with the settings, read some tutorials, and watch some videos about your meeting platform of choice.
There are a few different virtual meeting platforms out there like Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet, GoToMeeting, and Skype. Pick a platform that works for you and your team, then study it to make sure that you can host a productive virtual meeting. Don’t try to do this right before your meeting. Instead, give yourself the time you need to study the platform so your meetings go off without a hitch.
2. Create A Cadence Of Who Will Speak And When
Talking over your colleagues is even easier when it comes to virtual meetings. Voices don’t always sync up with video, videos lag, and it can create a lot of chaos with your meetings. Before you get into the call, you need to create a cadence of how people will speak, so your attendees aren’t talking over each other.
It only takes a few minutes to set the scene for your call. Sending out a simple schedule an hour before you hop on your virtual meeting will make everything go smoother. Share this agenda again as people are settling into the call.
Be Prepared To Mute Microphones As Appropriate
If you have a large number of employees, you’ll need to learn how to mute microphones or have someone on your team who spots problem noises and mutes people as their sound distracts the meeting. Alternatively, you can send out instructions to your team members on how they can mute their microphones. Give everyone a few minutes at the beginning of the call to settle in and mute their microphones.
3. Put Your Devices On Do Not Disturb
If you are presenting or being a part of an effective virtual meeting, put your devices on do not disturb. Alerts and pings in the background of a virtual meeting can be distracting for other attendees. These pings also get you off track and make meetings last longer if you’re not careful.
Before you hop on any call, give your devices one last check. Make sure that your phone/computer’s do not disturb is set for everyone in your contacts and your applications. Sometimes do not disturb lets people who call multiple times get through. If you’d like it to stay that way, make sure the people in your life understand you are in a meeting and that they should only call if it’s an emergency.
4. Engagement Is Crucial
When you have a meeting on the computer, it’s easy to get distracted by everything else. Other tabs on your computer, the work you should be getting done, and distractions on your phone are easy to succumb to, and multitasking happens. Here are some ways to boost engagement during meetings:
- Keep meetings short and to the point. Don’t get sidetracked by every possible thing you could discuss. Hold meetings with intention.
- Use polls or ask for audience engagement. If you need to share something a bit long-winded during a meeting, take a break for audience questions, engagement, and feedback. If your team members don’t have a question for you, ask them a question.
- Use a slideshow presentation to keep things interesting. Instead of a dull person-to-person conversation, use a presentation to keep things visually exciting. If you can, include a progress bar, so people can keep up with how long it will last.
5. Use Virtual Backgrounds To Add Some Fun To Meetings
Last but not least, take advantage of virtual backgrounds in meetings. Many companies are coming out with virtual backgrounds for meetings right now, and it’s a great way to showcase the personality of your employees.
Let your employees know that you’d love to see their virtual backgrounds at the meeting. You could even make the virtual backgrounds people choose an icebreaker. Why did they choose that background? Let your team members explain their choice at the beginning of the call.
Virtual meetings don’t have to be boring for employees or challenging for employers. With these simple effective virtual meeting tips, you can create a meeting that everyone wants to be a part of. Keep it simple, get to know the technology behind your meetings, and engage your meeting attendees. If you do all of those things, all of your virtual meetings will go off without a hitch.