How to Make Your Virtual Meetings More Successful

Virtual conference calls and meetings have been around for quite some time now but up until recent times have never been as useful and vital to everyday business as it is now. While there is a small learning curve that comes with virtual meetings, before long you will be hosting them without a problem. To help with the process, below are a few tips on how to make your virtual meetings more successful.

virtual meeting

Prepare thoroughly

Preparation is key, this is true for any meeting but even more so for those taking place online. The first thing you will need to do is test all the hardware and software you plan to use and be sure to instruct anyone else attending the meeting to do the same thing. This means testing your internet connection, your computer, your headphones, and your microphone.

Next up you will need to make an agenda for the meeting. You can make this a timed agenda or not but the important thing is that you make one to help you keep on track with what you need to cover. Your agenda should include the following, but feel free to add points of your own.

  • The subject of the meeting
  • The responsibilities of each member
  • A list of topics you want to go over
  • The overall goal of the meeting

It is also a good idea to include some ground rules that you forward to any attendees beforehand to make sure that everyone remains professional.

Keep it short

People get bored and distracted in meetings that go on for too long. This is just a fact of life but it is even more of an issue if the members of the meeting are sitting in their own home with distractions all around them. To prevent anyone from getting bored, distracted, or frustrated, try to keep any online meeting to under 45 minutes. You can also take this to the extreme and aim for even shorter meetings of 10-15 minutes but be sure to give yourself enough time to properly cover the topics you need to discuss.

Take steps to avoid distractions

As we mentioned before, people get distracted in meetings at the best of times and this will be even more of an issue with everyone in their own homes. Not only can attendees get distracted by their own surroundings but seeing a glimpse into their co-worker’s homes can quickly grab their attention away from the subject at hand. In order to minimize distractions, you can use virtual green screens and backgrounds. If you are using Zoom, check out the example of zoom virtual background for ideas on what to use. These virtual backgrounds can help remove potential distractions, help you maintain a professional appearance from your own home, or they can even add some humor to your meetings depending on what you choose.

Remember the technology available

Being in a virtual meeting can seem less effective than a physical meeting, but in reality, there are plenty of tools available to help you efficiently share information and effectively brainstorm. For example, you can use screen sharing to show other members of the meeting your information, or you can use virtual whiteboards to brainstorm ideas and take notes more easily.

Take breaks

Finally, while being at home can seem more relaxed than sitting in an office or conference room, people will still get fatigued if they are not given breaks. Be sure to take breaks periodically if your meeting goes on for longer than 30 minutes to allow members to get drinks, use the bathroom, or even just reset their head to help them stay focused.

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