COVID-19 has changed the face of business today. While social distancing and travel restrictions remain in effect, owners and managers have needed to make adjustments to allow for effective communications while their teams work from their home offices. Virtual meetings are one of the most widely used and efficient tools, and with the right technology and practices employees can remain engaged and productive while helping your business to succeed. Here are some tips to ensure the success of your next virtual meeting:
- Do a test run. Have each participant test your meeting software ahead of time to familiarize themselves with its features and capabilities.
- Utilize video. Videoconferencing software and applications such as GoToMeeting, Skype, and Zoom offer a more realistic experience over a more traditional dial-in meeting.
- Offer an audio dial-in option. Not all users may have the equipment or internet speed needed to run these applications and may require an audio-only alternative.
- Get close. Video participants should remain clearly visible throughout the meeting to mimic a more intimate environment and allow for nuances such as facial expressions to be more readily recognized.
- Stay focused. Prevent boredom and distraction by setting a clear agenda and sticking to it, while factoring in time for breaks. Set clear expectations for actionable items including timelines and accountability during and at the end of the meeting.
- Keep it short. Provide all participants with the information they will need before the meeting and keep the meeting to a manageable length of time.
- Engage your audience. Encourage participation from each member of your team and call on each one to offer their input while ensuring no one is talking over one another.
- Get personal. Alleviate the feeling of isolation and foster interpersonal relationships by checking in with your participants and inquiring about the wellbeing of each member and their loved ones.
- Appoint a facilitator. Virtual meetings can be trickier to manage than in-person gatherings, and a facilitator can help to retain focus, guide the conversation, answer general questions, and ensure that all voices are heard.
Make the most of your virtual meetings with these tips to help participants stay on track.