How To Host Engaging Virtual Meetings

Send these items out to those who may have been unable to attend or new hires or business partners to catch them up on your firm’s current initiatives. Concept-checking questions will quickly give you the chance to check people’s understanding of the topic before you move on to whatever’s next on the agenda. Plus, if concept-checking questions become a regular part of your meetings, it’ll encourage people to stay engaged throughout.

If you make everything more efficient for the entire team or remote employees, you will be less likely to feel the need of scheduling…yet another follow-up meeting. There are certain kinds of conversations that only work as a true, real-time discussion. By shifting those conversations from comment threads to richer formats like scheduled meetings, ad-hoc synchronous discussions or video, you can regain the opportunity to leave work on time. Whether you’re running the meeting or just attending it, don’t waste valuable meeting time setting up the meeting on your end, or troubleshooting if something goes wrong. Instead, plan for at least five minutes of set-up time ahead of schedule whenever possible. This helps everyone on your team avoid common mistakes like including everyone in a conversation meant for one person, slow responses and using the wrong medium for communications.

Starting with an icebreaker sounds simple, but to do them well, you need to ask the right kinds of questions in the right way. Good icebreaker questions let people express themselves, can be answered by anyone regardless of culture or location, and build personal context. And this isn’t the only bit of social conversation that you’ll miss when working remotely. Unlike folks who work in an office, remote workers can’t run into coworkers in the kitchen, on the way to another meeting or on the way to the bathroom. To overcome the challenges of working together remotely, let’s dive into how better meeting practices can address the problems of loneliness, communication and unplugging for the day.

When all your meetings are digital, it becomes infinitely easier to quantify all the time your company spends on different catch-ups and communications. This is crucial if you are billing for all client time, or simply want to map where time goes across different projects. With a flawless digital record of all meeting time, you can instantly see which meetings cost you the most . With an automatic meeting tracker set up, your team can accurately record how long each meeting took, who attended, and any follow-up work it created. For agile teams and have a daily standup, you can structure your remote work rhythm around that daily ritual.

Working Remotely Tends To Expose In

The agenda should be distributed to all attendees at least 24 hours before the meeting, and a timekeeper assigned to keep things on track. Too often, virtual meetings take 5-10 minutes to start as the perception can exist that attendees are at home and have more time. This can set a tone that leads to anything but effectiveness or productivity. Not only do virtual meetings make it easier for you to leave, should you feel they’re unproductive or irrelevant, they also make it easier for you to opt-out ahead. When you’re sent a digital meeting invitation, it’s no biggie to decline it or respond with “maybe”.

  • Justin Mitchell – CEO of Yac, a collaboration tool that allows asynchronous team meetings using an always-on interface.
  • If you don’t have a consistent daily meeting, you can use meetings to anchor your weeks.
  • Zoom is especially well known for its chat tool, hand-raising tool and flexible meeting formats .
  • Recording the meeting can also be key when you have individuals who won’t be able to attend or if those who were there want to replay something they might have missed.
  • Being intentional and making smart meeting choices do not take much time at all — with practice, they can take only a minute.
  • Run more effective, more efficient team and individual remote meetings and keep your team better connected.

Preparing for a virtual meeting takes a lot of planning, but there’s more to do when it’s actually happening. Before the meeting, you might use a scheduler app to keep everyone connected about the right time for the conversation. You can also use notes tools to share information about what the meeting might cover. They cannot rely on casual encounters or lunch in the cafeteria to cement new relationships. Pay special attention to anyone who is new to the team and is suddenly working remotely. You might need to have more meetings with new workers or set up meetings between them and teammates proactively.

It might seem redundant, but it’s a great practice to review these action items before the end of the meeting to ensure each team member understands their role and is held accountable for deliverables. We’ve all been in those meetings where a few people dominate the conversation. Whether the meeting is remote or not, try to be a better listener by being the last one to speak. Not only does it encourage greater team participation; it may allow you to learn something new. Remote meetings might currently be the exception to your everyday work experience. But as more businesses and corporations adopt a flexible workforce model, your skill for inspiring employee collaboration and participation will become essential.

For more inspiration, check out this list of fifty team-building questions. Our Microsoft Teams review highlights how this online meeting tool stores files and chat histories in the same interface where you start your calls. Since Teams is a Microsoft product, it allows you to collaboratively edit Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoint slides and Excel spreadsheets with other meeting attendees.

Set An Agenda And Agree On Remote Meeting Guidelines

Offer a Q&A platform where people can submit questions anonymously , and save time at the end to address them. Ask people to volunteer to help keep the meeting on track and keep meeting notes of what’s discussed. Setting a clear meeting agenda and guidelines will help ensure that everyone is on the same page before the digital meeting takes place. If you want your scheduled remote meeting to be efficient and successful, you need to plan your agenda. How to engage meeting attendees, whether they’re online or in person, introverts or extroverts. How encouraging casual team conversations between meetings can make your actual meetings more productive.

How can remote meetings be improved

Establishing an agenda for your virtual event is successful meeting-planning 101. Instead of filling it to the brim and planning lecture sentences down to the last second, build in some free time for engaging conversation with those who matter most – your audience. Most likely, your attendees registered for your online event because they were excited by the speakers. Demonstrate that their thoughts and ideas are a priority by planning for broad participation and two-way conversations.

How To Maximize Remote Meetings

Professionals in the Forbes Business Council also found that creating space for an “informal atmosphere” with jokes and fun questions helped boost meeting morale this year. We’d all love to believe that 100% of our virtual meetings are 100% awesome, but let’s be honest. Most team members are probably checking their email while you run through your slides. Run more effective, more efficient team and individual remote meetings and keep your team better connected. Hosting online or virtual events has broadened reach, which has increased participation by people who don’t necessarily speak the same language or those who have hearing or visual impairments. Software that includes translation tools and closed-captioning can go a long way in improving the event experience for everyone.

Always reserve a time to give each other recognition for work well done and embodying team values. Especially for longer meetings, it’s important for everyone to How to run a successful remote meeting take breaks and walk away from their screen. This is especially important for things like brainstorming or strategy sessions, anything that will go over an hour.

It’s a personable way to get the meeting started, and it lets everyone know who’s actually in attendance—both in the main office room and on the phone. Keep reading to learn how you can take the long, boring meetings of the past and transform them into collaborative, valuable brainstorming sessions. The Lead Time newsletter delivers high quality content designed to help you build highly effective teams. We put together a playbook with everything you need to know about running effective and engaging meetings.

The Ultimate Guide To Digital Meetings

This will help you come to your next meeting with a fresh mind and with new perspectives. They help you be more focused when you are “there” and they help you stay in the “zone” for longer. Finding equilibrium between meetings/ proactivity and breaks enables you to work at peak performance without compromising your mental health. When you spend 80% of your day in meetings that continuously generate new tasks and you have 20% left of that to actually run said tasks, the missed deadlines can very easily pile up. Tired of back-to-back meetings and floating heads on screens?

Zoombombing, for instance, became a concern for many, when hackers repeatedly hacked random Zoom sessions. And new research conducted by the Vitality Research Institute in the UK suggests that having more meetings might be beneficial for junior employees. They tend to have fewer meetings to begin with, and interacting with colleagues in meetings helps drive engagement. Research suggests inviting eight or fewer people to your meeting if the goal is decision making. If you’re wary of cutting people out, start by making them optional in the invite. And good follow-up notes minimize the impact of colleagues not attending.

How can remote meetings be improved

No one is served by a Wild West meeting, where everyone talks over everyone, some people zone out or critical pieces of information never get addressed. Body language can communicate all kinds of subtext that other people instinctively read, Wolf continues. Vocal inflections, gestures, and facial expressions can either soften or accentuate a point.

Video Conferencing Improvements To Consider

They also enable users to choose how they want to join the call. This type of platform is ideal for larger remote meetings or town halls that host attendees from various locations. Additionally, meeting agendas help you spend meeting time more efficiently. By preparing an agenda in advance, you’ll have a clear schedule to stick to during the meeting. If you have trouble paring down an agenda, you’ll know you might need to schedule follow-up meetings. If you send out an agenda in advance, team members will be able to add additional topics to the discussion they’d like to cover, too.

The Team Meeting

Have a plan B up your sleeve so you can still utilize your team’s time together. Gamification not only promotes coveted user engagement but also enhances their virtual meeting experience. The higher quality experience you provide the greater long-term engagement you’ll experience from your audience.

If you want to try out Teams or set it up for an existing Microsoft 365 accounts, contact us today. We can help you get up and running in no time and experience the difference that Teams provides. When conducting your remote meetings as a video conference, take advantage of what’s really possible with the format. Share presentations and get real-time feedback from your team. Use it to livestream any events that remote employees otherwise can’t attend, such as quarterly all-hands meetings or training workshops. For team members who are unable to participate live, make recordings of the video meeting that can be shared for viewing at a later time.

Plan The Agenda In Advance And With Engagement In Mind

Different kinds of meetings are affected in different ways by remote work. Make meetings 50 minutes long instead of an hour, or 20 minutes rather than a half an hour. “Endpoint protection should include things like camera protection, screen capture, clipboard protection, microphone protection and keystroke logging,” said Waller. It’s not for everyone, but it’s worth considering if you find yourself struggling with the number of meetings, how they are scheduled, and how they impact your overall performance.

Finally, the best way to make your team meetings better is to ask attendees how the meetings are going — the ultimate act of stewardship. Send out a quick survey where folks share what is going well or not so well, and provide ideas for improvement. Then learn, reflect, and try some new things based on the feedback.

This ties in with setting out team members’ roles to find out who necessarily must be part of the meeting. Every participant should have a role assigned when joining a team meeting. But after adjusting, companies have found that remote meetings have their own strengths and benefits. When done properly, they can open up more opportunities, allow better focus, and increase enthusiasm. Organizing and executing a successful remote meeting involves more moving parts and considerations than your classic in-person meeting. The organizer will need to assess and account for technical requirements, coordinate speakers, an agenda, and the platform they’ll use to manage the call.

40% of employees have experienced mental exhaustion from video calls. Research tells us that loneliness, challenges with collaboration, and unplugging from work are the big issues facing remote workers. To adjust to remote work, meetings need to be focused on helping teams collaborate better.

In the past couple decades, countless solutions have been created to enable teams to be just as, if not more effective when it comes to their overall communication and productivity. The advent of constantly connected digital devices has created an environment where face-to-face meetings don’t need to be the default. Location and time-shifted meetings are now possible, and growing in popularity. With the amount of messaging tools available, staying connected to your coworkers is easier than staying connected to your mom. Internal messaging helps team members resolve questions quicker than email, and is easy to use and implement. It also makes teamwork more efficient and improves camaraderie among team members.

Perhaps the most ubiquitous of all online meeting platforms, Zoom is great for gathering hundreds of people in a time-unlimited virtual setting with a user-friendly interface. Zoom is especially well known for its chat tool, hand-raising tool and flexible meeting formats . However, to host more than two people in meetings lasting longer than 40 minutes, you’ll have to pay for higher Zoom tiers, which start at $149.90 per year. If your company has preferred virtual meeting tools, you’ll want to host the meeting on one of those platforms. But if you have flexibility to choose your own remote meeting software, you might want to test out some options and make a decision ahead of time. But figuring out how to get everyone where you need them to be in the context of the meeting can be a struggle, especially if you’re working with a remote team that’s spread across multiple time zones.

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