When trying to get things done, you need to meet people face-to-face. But what about when you need to work remotely? Fortunately, technology makes remote meetings possible. You can still engage with your co-workers and customers by holding virtual meetings using Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or an all-in-one remote work software like Edworking, but it's essential to have clear expectations. Several different factors affect whether your virtual meeting will be effective. Here are nine ways to improve your virtual meetings.
1. Meet on a need-basis
To make your virtual meeting more effective, ensure it meets a real business need. Don't schedule it simply because it's Wednesday afternoon or Friday at 10 a.m. Schedule it based on what you need to discuss. Your virtual meeting should be more useful than simply calling everyone to discuss something that could have been handled over email or phone.
2. Have a clear agenda.
An agenda will help you with the direction and pace of a meeting, whether virtual or face-to-face. Your agenda has to be short so that people can focus their attention on the most critical issues at hand. Don't forget to make time for the unexpected! Including topics off the beaten path in your agenda is an excellent way to address specific issues, particularly if they concern work, the team, or business. This allows everyone to share their ideas and opinions about these topics.
3. Create a positive atmosphere.
Meetings are productive when collaborative, so it is vital to have a good relationship with your attendees before the meeting. Let them know that you are interested in what they have to say and that you want to help them get the information they need.
How you start the meeting dictates its overall tone. Be friendly but firm when necessary. Remember, a positive attitude and language encourage attendees to participate, while a negative attitude and language discourage participation. You can be both professional and friendly by using appropriate language.
4. Use technology wisely.
Modern technology makes meetings much easier to conduct and attend. Technology allows for faster and more efficient communication among members of the team. When using technology, it is imperative to provide an easy-to-use platform that works for everyone. You must make the technology accessible to all attendees, including those who do not use technology regularly or at all.
For remote meetings, using technology means looking at the overall picture of cost, efficiency, and effectiveness. So, finding the right software that takes full advantage of video conferencing without worrying about cost and time investment is essential. Finally, real-time software that allows you and the team to interact, whether audio, video, text chat, or whiteboard, should be the priority.Try Edworking for free
5. Give members a role to play.
When conducting a meeting, don't just have one person speak. Assign roles to your team members so they can participate in the discussion. By giving people roles, you can get to know them better, which will help you form stronger relationships and improve the overall quality of the meeting.
When assigning roles, brief your team members beforehand. That will help them feel more at ease, appear prepared, and comfortable when speaking,
6. Keep it short.
This sounds simple enough, but you'd be surprised how often people go on for ages and then ramble about boring subjects, especially in a group setting. Be mindful of this tendency, and keep the meeting concise. If there is a need for a long talk, make sure that it is something that matters, break it down into small chunks, check for understanding, and ask if there are questions or clarification.
7. Use Humour.
Humour can break the ice. It can make people laugh, which is suitable for making them relax and feel more comfortable. It can also make them smile, which is always a good thing. It's best to avoid jokes about sensitive topics like politics and religion. And, don't try to be funny by being outrageous. That can come off as condescending, and it'll just make you look silly. Instead, use humour to lighten the mood, leading to better conversation.
8. Be ready for the unexpected.
Meetings can be unpredictable. You might get an unexpected interruption (e.g., pets interrupting your presentation), or you may have an unanticipated technical glitch (e.g. internet outage, audio or video problems). Don't let this throw you off your game. Instead, be prepared for these unexpected events. Practice some quick thinking, and you'll come out on top. Push comes to shove; you can always reschedule the meeting.Try Edworking for free
9. Evaluate the meeting.
At the end of each virtual meeting, you and your team should be able to answer these questions:
- Was the meeting productive?
- Was the overall approach effective in getting my team's attention?
- Were there any important topics that were not covered?
- What was our overall objective for the meeting?
A post-meeting evaluation can help you improve the quality of future meetings and avoid wasting time.
Virtual meetings are great for connecting with your remote team, sharing ideas, and discussing topics without travelling. However, these meetings can be challenging to conduct if not appropriately planned. With a few guidelines in mind, you can be sure your next virtual meeting will go smoothly and efficiently.
If you want an effective virtual meeting, remember to connect with your team members and set the right expectations. This is especially important when meeting with people who will be part of a new team and need to work together for a common goal.
Finally, be mindful of group dynamics. If you notice that one person is dominating the meeting or monopolizing the conversation, it may be time to change the dynamic of the meeting. You can do this by creating a rule of order to keep the discussion focused and efficient, allowing everyone to speak, and encouraging participation. It is also helpful to set a time limit for each speaker to ensure everyone gets a chance to speak. Remember, virtual meetings are not meant to replace face-to-face meetings but are a great way to collaborate, brainstorm, and get to know one another.
If you have any questions about how to conduct a successful virtual meeting, feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to help. Thanks for reading, and have a productive day ahead.