You are more than likely to work with a team from across the country in today’s business (or even across the world). As a result, knowing how to make remote meetings work for you and your team is more important than ever.
Virtual meetings have become quite popular as a way to save the expense of travel for meetings, training sessions, and conferences. With the current epidemic, an even greater percentage of businesses have chosen to become virtual.
Improve Virtual Team Meetings
What can you do to compensate for the loss of face-to-face interaction? And how can you ensure that you’ve covered everything before the meeting is over?
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about running effective remote meetings with teams spread across the planet.
1.Define ground rules, and designate a co-host and breakout area for bigger meetings
As with any productive meeting, you should establish certain participation ground rules and ask everyone to follow them. Examples of ground rules include:
- Staying on video.
- Staying on mute until you address the group.
- Using the raise/lower hand to manage Q&A, especially with a larger group.
Consistent conventions help everyone use the meeting time more productively over time.
If you’re hosting a larger meeting, having another person as a co-host is crucial. One person can take on the role of technical support and manage tasks like;
- admitting people into the room,
- assigning people to breakout rooms,
- recording the meeting,
- spotlighting key speakers,
- putting important information in the chatbox to share with the group,
- and sharing questions answered in the chat.
The other host can focus on presenting and otherwise guiding and engaging the group during the conversation.
Breakout rooms are excellent tools for allowing individuals to discuss one-on-one or in small groups specifics or generate ideas.
The meeting’s host can send messages to those in breakout rooms and visit each one to check that everyone is on track. After that, the host can seal the breakout rooms and let the groups a minute or two to wrap up and gather in the main area.
The meeting should be recorded and made available to all attendees, as well as those who were unable to attend so that everyone is kept up to date on the topics addressed, choices reached, and action items are given. This allows everyone to keep current on a project even if they were unable to attend a meeting.
2.Before the meeting, create and distribute an agenda
A meeting with an unclear aim might result in misunderstanding and lost time. Holding an online meeting without a defined meeting agenda is not a good idea.
Prepare a proper agenda with all of the topics to be covered in the meeting and organize them according to your company’s needs to make things easier for everyone.
Also, assign each member a role. Send this agenda at least 24 hours ahead of time, and double-check that everyone has got it.
Finally, you can use Octapull Pro to set an automated meeting reminder.
3. Keep them short and sweet
Keep meetings between 15 and 45 minutes long to ensure that everyone stays engaged and gets the most out of their time.
If you can’t get through all of the talking points in that amount of time, perhaps extra preparation is needed before the meeting.
Long meetings will tire and spend your team’s time. The ideal formula for greater productivity is short and sweet.
4.Instead of a lecture, make it a conversation
Find a strategy to transform a lecture into a conversation if you need to give information during a meeting. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Give someone on your team the task of presenting the topic.
- Divide the topic into sections and have each team member deliver a portion of it.
- Invite a subject matter expert (or several) to your meeting and ask them questions about the subject.
- Inviting your staff to ask questions is also a good idea.
If you don’t need to cover a lot of info during the meeting, have a different member of the team lead it each time you meet.
5.Before the call, make sure you have all of the necessary documents
Before or after the video conferencing, exchange digital documents (such as PDF, XLS, DOC, and PPT). Important papers containing information relevant to the meeting’s topic can be emailed ahead of time with an explanation in the email body.
This allows the other party to evaluate the information before the call, saving time on comprehensive explanations and reducing the amount of time spent on Q&A during the discussion. As the debate proceeds during the virtual conference, further materials may become relevant.
Rather than disrupting the conversation, provide these materials afterward. In most cases, a solid explanation in the email body and some Q&A replies are more efficient than explaining everything during the virtual meeting.
6.Conduct fun interactive polls
Live polls are an entertaining method to encourage people to consider, click, and look at the results. Your online meeting polls may be set either before or during the meeting, and attendees will see them on the sidebar.
Once a poll is launched, the audience will not be able to see how individuals vote, but you will be able to view the total results as the votes come in.
You can use your polls as a fun way to:
- On a topic of your choice, put your audience to the test.
- Make a choice as a group.
- To collect comments on the meeting.
- Learn more about the people who are there.
Make use of your live polls to break up your meeting and provide some variety. You’ll obtain the highest amount of interaction if you make your questions basic and accessible.
Working from home is here to stay. Meetings are not a solution for all problems, but they may be critical in pushing difficult projects ahead. Make these ideas the six commandments of your next Octapull call with your team, and you’ll gain the advantages of successful virtual meetings.