9 Tips to Remember When Hosting Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings have been placed front-and-center of business communications as COVID-19 continues to impact our daily working lives.
Organizations all over the world are rushing to implement solutions in order to counter restrictions on travel and employees working from home.
With the course of the virus still yet to be determined, businesses are grappling with the fact that they may not have in-person meetings between staff or clients for weeks, possibly months.
Because of this, there is going to be a whole swath of people who would typically be unfamiliar with virtual meetings that need to be brought up to speed.
With this in mind, we’ve drawn up a list of tips for people to keep in mind when hosting or taking part in virtual meetings:
Tips to Remember When Hosting or Participating In a Virtual Meeting
1. Cameras on
While nothing will ever be as good as meeting someone face-to-face, a video call is the next best thing. Being able to see the participants of a call helps everybody feel engaged and part of the conversation.
Be sure to dress, speak, and act as if you were in a regular in-person meeting. A video conference conducted in this manner establishes a professional environment and minimizes the shortfalls that would otherwise come from virtual meetings.
2. Find a quiet place
On that note, try and conduct your virtual meetings in a quiet location. Of course, it’s to be expected that not everybody’s work-from-home environments will be completely distraction-free, but you should nevertheless mitigate them if possible.
Pets, children, TVs, or other background noises could affect the quality of the call and prove to be a distraction for other participants.
3. Invite the right people
Make sure you invite only the people required to be in the meeting. Participants who have nothing to say, aren’t stakeholders, or can’t contribute could become a distraction and cause an unfocused meeting.
Furthermore, too many people can cause other issues, such as choppy connections and audio lag. Remember, when people are working from home, they’re at the mercy of their internet provider—limiting the people you invite also limits the problems you can encounter.
4. Be mindful of surroundings
Given a lot of people won’t be familiar with video conferencing, it’s important to maintain as much professionalism as possible.
Much like how dressing the part is important, it’s also important to be mindful of what’s around you. If your surroundings are unclean or unsightly, use the blur function when conducting a video call.
5. Be inclusive
Address and include all participants at the start of your call. Allow them to introduce themselves if necessary and be clear about what you plan to cover and what outcomes you expect from the meeting.
Send an agenda in the calendar invitation so everyone is on the same page, understands its purpose, and is engaged with the meeting.
6. Do not disturb
When you’re sharing your screen with others in a meeting, make sure you don’t have anything else open on your computer except what you intend to share.
Close your email, set other apps to “Do not disturb”, and close or mute browser tabs that might cause a distraction.
7. No distractions
This is about virtual meetings, but of course, there are many real-world distractions that any given person has about.
Turn off or mute your phone, your landline (if necessary), and be sure that there are no devices near you that could prove a distraction at any point during the meeting.
8. Pace yourself
Take your time with the meeting. With participants most likely on their laptops or with a phone nearby, it’s easy for people to get distracted—checking their emails, a missed call from a colleague; any number of things can arise.
Make sure you spend the necessary time gathering input from every participant to be confident you haven’t missed anything or anyone.
Finally, record the meeting. This has numerous advantages, not least that you can refer back to it after the fact—no detail has to be lost or forgotten. Be sure to let participants know beforehand that you’re recording.
You can effectively turn your virtual meeting into a valuable resource for stakeholders to go back and take advantage of. Furthermore, anyone who was unable to attend in the first place can be very quickly brought up to speed with minimal hassle on the part of those who already partook.
In light of recent events, many organizations have found themselves playing catchup, trying to implement makeshift digital solutions to make up lost ground while their workforces transition to remote work for the immediate future.
Impact Networking has been in the business of helping SMBs for over 20 years, and our solutions for virtual meetings are used successfully by our customers every day. Learn more about the collaboration apps we provide and their virtual meeting capabilities by checking out our Productivity Suite offerings.