Virtual meetings have become more common, especially during the pandemic when most people started working remotely. Some companies have offices all around the world so they often conduct online meetings to communicate effectively.
It would be very difficult to connect with your colleagues, clients, or employees without virtual meeting apps. To conduct a virtual meeting the right way, there are a few things to consider, which will be discussed in this article.
Preparing a Meeting Checklist
It is important to enter virtual meetings with a plan in mind to make use of your time just as you would in a face-to-face meeting. First of all, you need to establish the objectives and goals you would like to achieve in this meeting. Write all the points you want to cover in the meeting agenda to keep things organized and run a smooth meeting session.
Make a note of who will host the meeting and who would introduce a certain topic. Write these names beside each talking point in your meeting agenda. After you are done, send this agenda by email to all the possible attendees ahead of time to give them a chance to review it and encourage them to prepare questions regarding those topics.
Choosing the Right Platform
There are numerous meeting programs online that people use worldwide to conduct their virtual meetings. To choose the right one, there are a few factors to consider. If your company wants to conduct virtual meets for big events, try to search for a platform that is specific to this purpose.
For regular everyday meetings, search for a program that allows you to record the meetings for future reference or if someone missed the meeting, they can review it later. Some programs contain a side chat to ask the speaker questions without disrupting their speech. Sometimes, people want to ask several questions simultaneously, and if they speak at once, that could disrupt the meeting and waste time.
Another useful feature is to see if the program allows you to sync the meeting schedules with your online calendar. It makes it easier to invite people to the meeting and sends out automatic reminders to each person.
Some programs let you add your company’s logo and color themes in the virtual meeting rooms so that you reflect your professional identity when meeting with clients. Other features like sending quizzes and games to your employees during the meeting can help in making it active and encouraging people to engage. You will need every tool possible to ensure people participate actively in a virtual meeting.
Communication and Engagement
To ensure that the meeting runs smoothly, you should establish some basic points of meeting etiquette that all the attendees should follow. First, decide how the attendees can ask questions when someone is talking.
Should they press the “raise hand” button or ask their questions in the chat? In any case, ask the attendees to press the mute button when someone is speaking to block background noises and to only speak when the host asks them to engage in the conversation to avoid interruptions.
Bear in mind that there might be differences in internet connection speeds, which causes speech delays and disruptions that can be time-consuming. Make sure to take a few minutes to ask how the people are doing before starting the meeting. You can engage in a friendly conversation for five minutes to connect with your employees and allow them to communicate with each other.
Engaging the attendees to participate in a virtual meeting can be tricky. If employees tend to doze off during face-to-face meetings, how do you think they will act in virtual meetings? Make sure to call out each person by their name to grab their attention and ask a question here and there.
If you feel that a person is unresponsive or not participating in the side chat, allow them to speak up every now and then and ask them to engage in the conversation. This will make others pay attention as well, in case you ask them a question. It also makes them feel that you want to hear their input in the meeting.
The important thing in any virtual meeting is to make sure each person is participating a few times or as much as the meeting permits. Allow each person to speak at least once in the meeting and encourage them to type questions in the side chat.
It is also useful to conduct a fun meeting at least once a month so that people can get acquainted with each other, making the meetings run more naturally.