In this digital age, virtual meetings have become an integral part of business operations. They’re now part of the “new normal” with most companies relying on technology and digital tools to conduct virtual meetings, as well as to communicate and streamline workflow. While in-person meetings offer key benefits, virtual meetings are much more convenient and can be arranged more efficiently. Work teams may be spread across the country or around the globe, so virtual meetings offer more flexibility. However, for virtual meetings to be truly effective, they need to be organised and run properly. Here are some of the best practices for running an effective and enjoyable virtual meeting:
Share a meeting agenda
Having a meeting agenda provides attendees with a clear objective, a purpose and a sense of direction. It’s one of the best ways to keep the meeting organised and focused on results. Meeting agendas are an excellent way to foster communication in a team and make everyone feel valued. With an agenda, members have time to think about their ideas and feelings about the various action points. Therefore, a meeting agenda allows participants to prepare ahead of time and as a result, they will likely be more engaged during the call, which can pave the way for a much more productive meeting.
Give your meeting structure
The best way to keep a virtual meeting focused and to ensure everyone makes optimal use of their time is by following a clear structure. This means coordinating the conversation based on the key topics outlined in the agenda. Organisational leaders should avoid turning their virtual meetings into presentations, but instead share the key information and talking points. Before the meeting, leaders should decide what needs to be covered and make a rough estimation of how much time each action point will take. However, it’s important to keep the meeting relatively short and focus the conversation on the key factors. Above all, creating a structured virtual meeting that’s cohesive and well-coordinated is crucial.
Assign a co-host
When it comes to virtual meetings with a large number of people, it can be helpful to assign a co-host. This can help save time and ensure maximum organisation. One individual can provide technical support such as admitting people to the meeting and recording the meeting, as well as helping to guide the conversation when necessary. The other host can focus on delivering the meeting and leading the discussion. There’s a sense of teamwork and camaraderie that comes with assigning a co-host, as well as giving people the chance to ask questions and receive answers from two different perspectives. In turn, this can create a more engaging and effective meeting.
Create a positive environment
In any meeting, it’s important to create a positive environment. However, with everyone being behind a screen, it can be difficult for many people to engage and communicate as confidently as they would in person. That’s why it’s crucial that leaders and organisers of virtual meetings, set the tone of the meeting early and make every attendee feel comfortable. This includes acknowledging everyone in the virtual meeting as well as providing an opportunity for participants to voice their opinions. With a positive environment and a clear objective, leaders can ensure a truly effective virtual meeting.
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