Due to the recent pandemic, virtual meetings have become the new norm for many workers.
With 71% of workers still WFH, there is a learning curve when it comes to good virtual meeting practices.
This guide is here to show you good ones to put in place:
#1 - Set guidelines
Think of it as setting the 'meeting etiquette' for all virtual meetings.
A few general guidelines to put in place might include:
- Attend your meeting in a quiet environment.
- Mute your mic when not speaking.
- Avoid multi-tasking.
- Address it ASAP if you face any technical issues.
#2 - Structure the meeting
Sit down well before the meeting and write down what you hope to do. Include your goals, objectives, and roles. Going into a meeting without a proper goal can lead to off-topic conversation.
If relevant to the meeting, add an agenda (see below) and put a time limit against each point on your agenda.
#3 - Create an agenda
A meeting agenda is a list of topics that you'd like to cover during your meeting. This helps to give your meeting attendees a clear idea of the purpose of the meeting.
Share your agenda out before the meeting so that your attendees have time to plan.
An agenda will ensure the most effective use of your time - and more successful virtual meetings.
#4 - Define the tech
One of the important aspects of planning is defining what videoconferencing software will be used (and helping attendees setting it up for the first time).
Some people may still experience technical difficulties. The best is to leave a 5-minutes buffer at the beginning of the meeting for this.
Give your participants a point of contact in case something were to go wrong: yourself, IT-department, etc.
#5 - Keep the chit-chat
Creating a comfortable meeting environment is important for the 'effectiveness' your meeting.
Join the meeting a few minute earliers so that you can engage with people before you start if anyone else do the same.
You can also set aside time on the agenda for a 5min icebreaker, going around the room. This also helps gauge what type of mood each participant is in.
#6 - Don't run over
No one likes a long and drawn-out meeting whether it is in person or online.
The longer you take on one subject, the more likely people become distracted.
You've already created your agenda and it's important to stick with it. Set a timer per agenda point and respect it.
#7 - Assign a moderator
Give someone the responsibility of moderating so that you don't have to worry about too many things at once.
The role of the moderator is to make sure we don't veer off the agenda, we stay on track and on time.
This takes the pressure off of you and allows you to focus on the actual conversation. This will also reduce interruptions and keep you on track.
#8 - Encourage participation
Most of us have been in those virtual meetings where everyone's camera is off and there is little interaction.
In a meeting where people are participating, more is accomplished.
Call on people, create incentives, ask questions, etc. - get people to participate.
#9 - Take meeting minutes
Meeting minutes are notes taken during the meeting. They help people be clear on the next steps but also look back on what was discussed later on.
You can assign someone to take the meeting notes at the beginning of the meeting.
Notes, minutes, agendas... that sounds like a lot of stuff to keep track of right? Well, with the right platform, you can get all these tasks done in one simple place.
#10 - Ask for feedback
Don't be afraid to ask your participants for feedback.
We can all be a little afraid of criticism. But, it is so important to take it constructively so that you can keep on improving.
Just at the end of the meeting is a great time for people to share their input on how it went.
Adapting good virtual meeting practices
With these good virtual meeting practices, you are one step closer to hosting the most effective online meetings.
Even if you've been hosting these meetings for years, there is always room for improvement.
Get early access to Meetric today and optimize your meetings!