Planning to conduct virtual meetings with your staff during the COVID19 situation or any crisis?
Not sure about the best practices and principles to follow for your virtual meeting engagement to lead to success?
You’ve landed right – I’ve got you covered here!
Virtual meetings don’t have to be seen as boring and time-waste, but they can be more valuable and entertaining than traditional face-face meetings for your attendees/members if you play your game right.
Whilst virtual meetings with your staff, colleagues and partners can excite them to the core of their heart, there’re many challenges you would face while conducting virtual meetings with them.
And it could lead to loss of productivity, technical glitches, communication gap, collaborative overloads – finally, frustration and below average outcomes.
When you move to virtual collaboration and communication for your team, annual, sales, important learning meetings, there are chances that you may lose group cohesiveness and team intimacy as they happen over the internet. Ultimately, virtual meeting engagement will go for a TOSS.
So it is important that you consider having the right structure and practices for your online meetings.
Check out these 13 best practices for your virtual meeting engagement in 2020 and beyond.
This is where your strong virtual meeting planning comes in picture. Your information, communication and interactions to float the updates and circular will be managed by you and your team members involved in the meeting set-up.
1. Creating virtual meeting norms
Creating specific rules to follow for your attendees would help them follow the standard process and procedures. They can better understand the preparation and communication practices before joining the meeting.
Your specific norms may look like this:
- Use the tools/technologies that are easily accessible by all.
- Give out the proper information and guidance to use the technology.
- Avoid multi-task activities.
- Find a quiet place to connect.
- Ensure each person has his chance/turn to respond in an organized manner.
- Pay attention to what is being said and be ready to put across your points when you have a chance.
- Test systems and technology in advance. You should not face any issues during the meeting.
- If you face any technical issues, know whom to approach for solution and support.
- Place you call on mute when you’re not spaking.
- Other rules you want to specify.
2. Designing the structure of the meeting
You, the meeting organizer need to think through its goals, objectives, materials and design.
- A well prepared agenda can help your attendees immensely.
- Decide who will be the facilitator and note taker.
- Plan for technical support if anything goes wrong.
- Do proper documentation of your meeting planning and sharing.
- Share it with your relevant people.
3. Preparing and sharing agenda
- Preparing and sharing the meeting agenda will define the full purpose and topics being covered.
- It has to be crystal clear and easy to understand.
- Get it ready and approved well in advance and then share with the participants.
- Mention the responsible people names who can help in different situations to get the thing back on track If anything breaks down.
4. Managing technical stuff
- Have a plan ready for your technical communication and support.
- Your people can face any problems when they are online.
- They may need to show using their screen and face a challenge. In this case, keep your materials and documents ready that can be shared instead.
- Open to being flexible with your agenda.
- Teach them in advance how to troubleshoot any minimal technical glitches.
5. Creating a cosy environment online before the actual meeting begins
- Create a good environment for your attendees before you begin the meeting.
- Engage with them on some casual talks or how they’re doing, etc.
- Make them feel comfortable and allow them to indulge in the conversation.
- Try to gauge how they are feeling when they e-meet.
- This could help you run an effective virtual meeting.
6. Embracing feedback
- Collect feedback from all of the members.
- Try to understand what could have been done better or differently to further improve.
- Check on the tool being used, how comfortable your attendees are and how they use the system.
- Provide brainstorming and sticky note activities.
- Try to better your online conferening expeirence for your attendees by finding more improved and leveled-up solutions.
7. Constantly working on improving your virtual meetings
- You will not be doing only one meeting in a year or so. But multiple meetings.
- Find the pitfalls and challenges being faced by you, the presenters and audiences.
- Sort any technical glitches and probiles.
- Chart out the improvement areas.
- Work on the collected feedback.
- After the meeting gets over, ask all for the improvement areas. Do not leave that out to do it later.
8. Motivating and encouraging them to participate in
- This is extremely important for you because you need them to actively participate in the virtual meeting. Otherwise you will lose the engagement part and the designed outcomes of the meeting.
- Foster collaboration to motivate and encourage them.
- Don’t take their names personally and individually to ask anything.
- Try to roll out 1-1 meetings if required.
9. Humanizing your meeting room for all of them
- When you use a good virtual meeting tool/software, you have different levels of flexibility to humanize and civilize the meeting room for your attendees.
- In group meetings, create human to human interactions.
- In 1-1 meetings, leverage the privacy and allow them to share their thoughts with the concerned person.
10. Helping them candor among their team members
- Promote honesty and transparency.
- Help them be more open and share their opinions and thoughts with their team members.
- Show respect to everyone.
- Allow them to argue in a healthy way, but not heat the discussion
11. Preferring video over audio
- Video is a great way to collaborate and engage with people.
- Video interactions always outweigh audio instructions.
- When you take all of the on video conferencing, you can easily eliminate multitasking that might be doing. It means they will focus intensely on the meeting.
- When they are able to watch each other speaking and listening, they feel motivated to participate more.
- It removes all distractions that would come from audio interactions.
12. Ensuring right moderation
- The moderation of the meeting has to be up to the mark by all means.
- The moderator should have all the details ready with him/her so that he can address any critical things in a timely fashion
- Ensure that participants are able to hear and watch. Basically, they are ready to go.
13. Sending clear Minutes of Meeting
- After the meeting is over and feedback is shared for you to consider, you will need to send out a clear minutes of meeting to the people. It should inspire them to read and adhere to it.
- Draw clear actions that have been discussed.
- Avoid miscommunication
- Define timelines for the action completion.
- Next meeting information.