The world has gone under a significant shift lately. And the impacts are still present in every area of our lives, whether personal or professional. Depending upon the current situations, to manage and follow social distancing protocols, virtual meetings have gained momentum and a significant place.
But Virtual Meetings are not only about turning on the videos and starting a conversation.
Virtual Meetings come with their own set of standards, regulations, and requirements that, if appropriately followed, produce constructive outcomes.
Create a Plan
As much as a proper plan is required for a physical meeting, it plays an equally significant role in a virtual meeting. Creating an outline is highly essential as it greatly aids in providing a clear idea of the points that are to be discussed. It may sound unusual to some, but communication can become a bit challenging during online meetups.
Therefore, it is always better to share the agenda with the team members to efficiently formulate the necessary discussion point. It provides adequate room to the participants for thoroughly preparing themselves for the meeting.
Do Proper Time Scheduling
Virtual Meetings do not mean you can hold them at any time. You can use Google Calendar to have a better understanding of your team members’ availability. It would save you from the hassle of sending emails and having a stretched-out conversation for deciding a particular time.
Use the Right Tool
There are plenty of incredible tools that you can use for virtual meetups but make sure not to be indecisive and shift to a new one every few days. It can make everyone frustrated. And why wouldn’t it?
Some of the best options you can opt for are Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts Meet.
These are the most commonly used platforms that have earned their audience’s trust due to their satisfactory performance.
Make sure whichever platform you choose is offering quality video and audio.
Etiquettes are Important Too
It is about using the right tools and techniques, but the etiquettes also play a crucial role in making a meeting successful.
Some of the best practices are:
Be Ready, Be Prepared
Hosting a meeting can undoubtedly be a daunting task if you don’t have a clear idea of how to do it. As much as creating a plan is necessary to discuss the critical pointers. Only invite people who should be in the meeting. And save the time of others. Otherwise, it could leave a wrong impression on you. And you wouldn’t want that.
Be Tidy and Put Together
Virtual Meetings also require the same amount of professionalism as any other physical meetings.
You wouldn’t want to seem unprofessional to your team members as it can send the wrong message. A non-serious behavior from the host will also propel others to take things lightly. Set a good example by following proper etiquette yourself.
Get Your Tools Ready
We all have witnessed meetings when someone is not ready with a microphone, or the camera is turned off, and we can only listen to their audio. Or the dreadful situation when we can hear too many background noises. All these can ruin the good energy and the momentum required to hold an effective and engaging meeting.
Set the tone of the meeting right by being adequately prepared. If the discussion calls for it, share the screen or the projector, if necessary.
Make Everyone Feel Included
During a meeting, asking an open-ended question leads to everyone answering altogether. It creates nothing but more confusion as no one understands the other’s point of view. A better approach to avoid any confusion is by directly taking names to ask them a question. This way, everyone knows who should answer.
Moreover, it is better to clarify that contemplation during meetings can be a productive thing to do. It is not always necessary to keep on talking to fill out the silence.
Decide a Proper Start and End
You cannot arrange online meetings whenever convenient. They are similar to physical meetings that we used to have, remember, right?
And one of the most crucial aspects of a meeting is time management, i.e. when the meeting will start and end.
People may have other tasks aligned. As the host of a meeting, be sure to initiate the session on time. Don’t forget to consider time zones and also avoid extending the discussion.
- Prepare a plan
- Invite only those who are needed
- Choose the suitable medium and tools for a seamless meeting experience
- Be well dressed and presentable
- Share screen or send the documents beforehand to avoid any mismanagement during the meeting
- Be focused and attentive
- Make everyone feel like they are included through an engaging discussion
- Be timely, don’t extend, be considerate
A virtual meeting is not all about background noises, awkward silences, or confused interruptions. It can turn into an exciting session where everyone has the chance to participate and learn actively. By preparing and keeping things simple, a virtual meeting can bring significant, positive, and constructive results.
Which tools do you use for your virtual meetings?