Video meetings are now the new normal, as teams are no longer working together in the same office. While virtual meetings can pose a few challenges, they can be just as effective as face to face meetings as long as they’re run properly. Here’s how to run a success virtual meeting.
Don’t waste time on roll call.
Roll call is a waste of time and the fastest way to ensure that meeting attendees are disengaged. If the beginning of the call is spent reading names from a list, that gives employees ample time to mentally check out before the meeting even begins. If you need to have a log of attendees, have each participant type their name and the time they logged on in the chat window, and then save that.
Set an agenda.
It’s easy for meetings to get off course, especially in a time like now where people are stressed out by the spread and immanent threat of coronavirus. Keep things on track by setting an agenda and sharing that with attendees at the beginning of the meeting. Put the agenda on a slide to use as an added visual reminder. When things get off track, you can always show the slide again as a reference to help attendees refocus.
Jump right into the content.
Briefly introduce yourself, thank attendees for coming, share the agenda, then jump right into the meeting content. The quicker you can get the meeting started, the less likely it is for people’s minds to wander. It also shows a respect for people’s time, they’ll be thankful for less fluff and more content.
Require video usage.
Require all participants to have their cameras turned on during the meeting. When people are on camera, they won’t be able to check their phones. Yes, they can still be surfing the web and not fully paying attention, but there’s no way to prevent that. Removing phones from the equation gives you a fighting chance to hold people’s attention.
Give clear login instructions.
Make sure that participants have the proper login info prior to the meeting. Let them know if they’ll need to download an application, if the meeting requires a password, and provide instructions for basic things like screen sharing and muting audio. Send all of this in an email, then resend it an hour before the meeting begins for easy access. If this is the first time you or your team is running a virtual meeting, allow for at least five minutes of troubleshooting at the beginning of the meeting.
Use a recurring link for login.
If the meeting will be a repeating occurrence, use the same login info each time. That saves both the host and the attendees a few minutes each time as no one will have to be searching for login info. If you’re running multiple meetings per day, use one master login and use a different password for each meeting group.
Most platforms offer a virtual waiting room, which allows participants to log in at any time but not be admitted into the meeting until the host lets them in. This is especially useful if you have meetings that run back to back. You can stay logged in without having participants pop in and out of meetings they don’t belong in.