Here we can see, “40 Tips for Organizing a Productive Virtual Meeting”
Running a typical meeting might be difficult, but running a virtual meeting is even more difficult. Here’s how to make sure yours goes off without a hitch.
Have you ever been to a meeting that seemed to go on forever? Many teams are left floundering in the wake of the meeting due to small talk, hazy allusions, and a lack of direction—an hour lost, and we’re all to blame. Coordinating a professional group effort at an office and in-person is difficult enough; the work becomes even more complex in a virtual context.
Read on for some of our ideas for a more productive remote experience for all parties involved if you’re new to the world of remote offices and Zoom meetings.
How to Hold a Successful Virtual Meeting
|Never plan a meeting with no purpose. If you can accomplish what you need to accomplish with an email or a memo, you’re better off saving yourself and your colleagues some time.
|Begin with one major action item, the ultimate purpose of the meeting. What is your goal or desired outcome? Why are you convening? What needs to be done?
|After nailing down the meeting’s goal, think a bit about the type of meeting that would be best—a one-on-one? A session between two small teams? Or simply you, the leader, speaking to a few key players about your game plan?
|Once you’ve decided upon your primary focus, outline everything that needs to happen in support of this outcome. Simplify the plan as a whole into smaller action items; all concrete, tangible, and assignable to a cohort.
|Many offices are already on-board with remote working and use common virtual meeting apps like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. If you or your company is new to the world of remote meeting spaces, do some research and choose the best virtual meeting app for your needs.
|Decide how long your meeting should last; as a general rule, your meeting shouldn’t last more than an hour. Create a simple schedule for the duration your meeting, portioning off your total time allotted into distinct, defined blocks, each devoted to something specific.
|In the case of a meeting that truly needs to exceed an hour’s length, a short break in the middle might be appropriate. Schedule five minutes in if it’s slated to be a long haul.
|If your home office or working area is not yet outfitted for a virtual meeting, ensure that things are in ship-shape before the day of your meeting. A light, neutral background and a strong source of illumination both make for a professional thumbnail image.
|Prepare an agenda sheet ahead of time for those in attendance to refer to as you conduct your virtual meeting. This sheet will help them stay with you as you speak; it’ll also help you clarify your vision for the meeting and organize your own thoughts.
|A formal slideshow or PowerPoint presentation may also be a time saver, especially if you’ve got many facts, stats, or numbers to share within this limited timeframe.
|If a resource can be shared digitally, it’s always faster to provide a list of hyperlinks, documentation, and references for your team than it would be to teach them everything that they’ll need to know during the meeting itself. If a more involved training session is required, it should be scheduled separately and in groups, if possible.
|Identify any roadblocks and unknowns that you’re still working through yourself. If necessary, plan a bit of time for an open discussion. Lay out a couple of different possibilities to aim for if the road ahead is unclear.
|Give yourself a checklist to refer to once you’ve given your spiel. This should be a list of everything that you need to convey to your team, as well as your action items and everything leading up to them logistically. This provision ensures that nothing is forgotten in the moment.
|Assess your list of action items and visualize the team that you need to build in order to take care of them effectively and efficiently. Who needs to attend? What is each attendee’s reason for being included?
|Invite only who you need. While you shouldn’t feel limited to one specific number or another, it always pays to keep your guest list as short as simple as possible without forgetting about anybody important.
|Invite your list of attendees well in advance whenever possible. Last-minute meetings are fine when necessary or in an emergency; when planning more complex, organized projects, however, your mind should always be a couple of weeks ahead.
|Before you begin, clear your area of potential distractions, especially if you’re tuning in from home.
|Eat lunch or a quick snack beforehand and have a glass of water by your side.
|Just like with any other professional encounter, your appearance should be well-mannered and office-friendly.
|A mic, camera, and Wi-Fi check before your meeting is one way to prevent an unfortunate technical hiccup during the show. If you’re using a laptop, make sure you’re plugged in, juiced up, and ready to rumble.
|Your webcam should meet you at eye-level. Try to squeeze the window in as close to the eye of the webcam as possible. You want to keep your feed comfortable to watch for those that you’ll be meeting with. Eye contact helps.
|If you’re nervous or have never attended an online remote meeting, practice on camera beforehand without anybody watching. Your on-screen smile will likely look and feel a lot different than your real one; emoting on camera is a skill, but, after a few virtual meetings, you won’t even need to think about it.
|Silence your phone; turn off your desktop notifications and anything else that might make noise during the meeting. If possible, arrange some time just before your meeting to answer last-minute messages or to check in with anything important that you’re monitoring actively.
|You should have a note-taking app or a pad of paper and a pen on hand for quick notes and to-dos. You should be present, engaged, and interested in whoever is speaking and whatever is being said.
|If you’re the organizer of the meeting, cut to the chase quickly. Begin promptly and punctually and say what needs to be said before honing in on your first action item.
|If appropriate, you might need to assign somebody to record the minutes of the meeting. Some types of collaborative software will actually be able to do this for you. Documentation is the fastest way to catch those not in attendance up to speed quickly, and it keeps everybody involved accountable to what was actually said and shared. Try not to skip it, if possible.
|Depending on the size and the nature of the meeting, introductions may be in order. Schedule a dedicated block of time for introductions at the beginning of your meeting if required.
|Assigning roles to each action item will naturally be one of the most important parts of any virtual meeting. Again, you should already know what these roles are and who will be filling them before the meeting begins.
|Establish a timeline, and do it visually, if possible. Let everybody know when you’ll be touching base next. Assign deadlines intelligently. Begin far enough in advance so that everybody has more than enough time to succeed.
|Minimize aimless chatter, especially at the beginning of the meeting. Once you’ve gained some momentum, you usually won’t need to continue micromanaging.
|A quick re-cap at the end, reviewing each role and goal, is one way to reinforce the outcome of the meeting.
|Before the meeting is adjourned, ensure that everybody is leaving the table with everything that they need to move forward. Everybody should know their role and what will be expected of them before signing off. Account for a few minutes at the end to field any questions and to clear the air of any confusion.
|If you’ve got time leftover on the back-end and nobody is saying anything, call it early. Confirm that everybody is on the same page and move on with the day.
|If you’ve been assigned an action item by yourself or by a superior, hop on it. Begin working on short-term action items immediately. Start planning for things further off down the line.
|If you don’t already have one in place, a new group calendar might be one convenient way to plan subsequent meetings in the future. This will be especially helpful if this team will be collaborating often, at least in the foreseeable future.
|If you’re following instructions or orders, keep track of any problems that you run into or questions that arise. Non-urgent inquiries can generally be relegated to a list that you add to as you go. Of course, if you’re really stuck, you should always reach back out immediately in order to get back on your feet.
|Remember all of your “wins,” even small things, before actually completing your action item as a whole. They’re a great way to keep track of your progress and may provide a much-needed morale boost in moments of frustration.
|As you and your colleagues make progress, new goals and challenges will emerge from the horizon. Roles will evolve and new objectives will present themselves—in order to keep everything together in real-time, an open line of communication is vital. When a team member succeeds, they should know what’s next for them. Always give each person something to do and somewhere to go.
|Follow up on everything. If you’re orchestrating the endeavor, check back in as often as necessary, especially if somebody appears to be struggling.
|Think about the meeting on your own time. What went well? What dragged on? Consider what works for you and your team and what doesn’t. Do what you can in the future to avoid falling into those same pitfalls.
Less time spent meeting equals more time spent doing
If you’re like us, you’ll occasionally find yourself making a to-do list when you should be getting started. The meeting itself should never come at the expense of the team’s overall aim… or the rest of the job you’re all doing!
It’s almost an art form to run the perfect virtual meeting. Every second you save is money in the bank; the more effectively you can lead your team, the more likely everyone will come out on top.
I hope you found this guide useful. If you’ve any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.
1. What are the five stages of a successful customer meeting?
- Plan ahead.
- Establish ground rules–and follow them.
- Keep the Time.
- Keep the Focus.
- Close with action plan.
2. Can you tell me about Guy Kawasaki’s rule?
The PowerPoint 10/20/30 rule is a simple concept: no PowerPoint presentation should have more than ten slides, should last more than 20 minutes, and should utilize fonts smaller than 30 points. Guy Kawasaki came up with the rule for marketers to make great PowerPoint presentations.
3. In PowerPoint, what is the 2 4 8 rule?
When I look back at my most effective slide decks, I notice a trend that I call the 2/4/8 rule: every 2 minutes or so, I add a new slide (around 30 slides for a 60-minute lecture), with no more than 4 bullets and no more than 8 words each bullet.
4. Master the art of running effective meetings : r/confidence
5. Tips for making virtual meetings less awkward – Reddit