Meetings held in person are easy to convene and manage. Online meetings became more prevalent with the pandemic as in-person meetings became a health hazard. To keep the business running it became a necessity to master the art of online meetings.
The interactions are not as straightforward as face-to-face meetings, but making these meetings productive is not an impossible task. Although remote meetings present a unique set of challenges, these challenges are manageable.
Tips to Improve Participation in Online Meetings
It is possible to close the distance present in remote meetings and ensure it is as engaging as in-person meetings. Online meetings have some perks that face-to-face meetings cannot offer. They offer flexibility and are easy to tailor to your needs.
Here are some useful tips for making online meetings worth your time.
Choosing Online Meeting Tools
The first and crucial step to making online meetings engaging is to create a stack of efficient meeting tools and selecting the most suitable platform. The platform and stack of tools must be fit for the communication needs of the organization.
Genuine engagement is only possible when the team has the right tools. Without the tools collaboration becomes impossible. There is a solution out there that can help bring employees together no matter what industry you belong to.
Make a list of tools that can assist you and ensure the meeting goes smoothly and is dynamic. If you have to accommodate a large number of participants regularly then you need a platform that allows you to do that and does not crash at the last minute. Whether you are going to need Q and A or polls feature or not?
Making a list of requirements and needs makes it easier to narrow down the options of tools that can help in holding successful virtual meetings.
Prepare An Agenda
Online meetings make it possible to bring people that are far away under one roof. But these meetings can easily get off track. Planning ahead is the best way of ensuring there are no awkward silences that lead to loss of interest. Create an agenda and share it with all the participants beforehand so everyone knows what to expect and prepare accordingly.
Engage the participants by allowing the employees to introduce themselves. You can also assign them some part of the agenda that is relevant to their job description. To improve productivity you can also provide in-meeting questions in advance and hold a Q and A session at the end. A Q and A session offer the perfect opportunity to clarify any confusion they might have.
Use Meeting Icebreakers
Online meetings can be awkward especially if the participants are not too familiar with each other. Using icebreakers is the perfect way of encouraging people to participate in the meeting and play an active part. Icebreakers are designed to break the tension and make these meetings fun rather than being a burden. Assign a few minutes of the meeting for a little bit of small talk.
Observe Remote Meeting Etiquette
Observing meeting etiquette is crucial for ensuring participation and making it productive.. Work meetings must be professional. The location you choose for the meeting must be quiet so there are no distractions. Tidy it up and if you are living with other people ask them to stay out of that area during the duration of the meeting.
Using headphones will make sure the audio is clear and if you are not speaking it is better to click on the mute button to avoid any disruption. Pay attention to the participants of the meeting. Keep all the distractions away and focus.
Always Follow Up
Sending a follow-up after the meeting is essential for ensuring an engaging meeting. The follow-up will make sure that the plan of the meeting is clear and help recognize active participants. The follow-up allows you to prepare better next time and make sure people who were not too active also become more engaged.
Online meetings offer the opportunity to record and transcribe them. You can send these records of the meeting to participants who failed to join the meeting and they can catch up. They can also be used to bring new recruits up to date and make them become familiar with the current initiatives of the organization.
The rules of an in-person meeting and an online meeting are pretty much the same. But the transition from face-to-face meetings to virtual meetings can be hard and it requires careful planning. Finding ways to increase participation is the key to making sure the meetings are fruitful.