As we begin to settle into our new normal, there’s a very strong possibility that for the foreseeable future at least, in-person meetings won’t happen.
Effective virtual meetings can be difficult. Attendees may be distracted, or guilty of multi-tasking. Organizers can easily lose control, and the topics can drift. Often, discussions can be dominated by one or two team members while others sit back and tune out.
It doesn’t have to be that way! Virtual meetings can effectively be run much like in-person meetings, if you stick to basic meeting best practices, and easy to use technology.
Here’s how to make it happen!
- Use Video Conferencing Technology – Tech like Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Skype can help people feel like they’re all in the same meeting. Unlike traditional “dial-in” meetings, video can help to personalize the meeting, help your team to feel engaged.
- With That Said… Always Provide an Audio Option – Online video streaming relies on a stable Internet connection that’s not always available. Give participants an audio option, but make it clear that video is preferred.
- Test Everything Ahead of Time – Nothing is as counterproductive as a 20-minute delay because meeting participants need to download software, can’t turn on their camera, and unmute their mic, or the lighting is bad. Before beginning your meeting, have everyone test the tech and make sure they’re comfortable.
- Stick to the Basics – Have a clearly outlined agenda and send an introductory memo. During the session, set ground rules, use your agenda, and take breaks. Clearly outline the next steps after each section and do a recap at the end of the meeting.
- Have a Facilitator – Managing a virtual discussion can be more difficult than a face-to-face meeting. Having a facilitator can help to guide the conversation, allow everyone to get heard, and resolve any technical questions that come up.
Working remotely is a reality at least for the time being. Like any new behavior, virtual meetings will get easier and more effective the more you do them. With a small time investment to prepare and these virtual meeting best practices, you can keep your business moving forward during this trying time.
If you’re struggling to keep your team connected during this time, give us a call, we can help! Our cloud services and IT solutions can keep your team productive allowing them to easily work and communicate from any remote location.