Research shows that 38% of employees experience mental fatigue from video calls while working remotely, which affects engagement level.
Additionally, virtual meetings are prone to distractions from the attendee’s home environment; hence they require techniques to make them more effective, efficient, and enjoyable.
In this article, you will get insights into five ways of improving virtual meetings.
Let’s dive in and see!
1. Set Ground Rules
Ground rules are essential in guiding virtual meetings. Ensure to set rules that are acceptable to all attendees. More importantly, adopt guidelines that align with your business culture and environment.
Here are some of the ground rules to guide your virtual meetings.
- Advise attendees to minimize distractions
Assess the surrounding environment of the attendees to determine whether it is conducive for the meeting. If not, ask the affected people to shift to a quiet environment.
Additionally, advise your audience to put their phones on silent mode and mute their microphones, unless when talking.
- Enforce speaking etiquette
During the meeting, let one speaker present at a time. Advise everyone to desist from interrupting someone when speaking.
- Use a webcam
Let attendees put their video cameras on while they are in a meeting. It will enhance the team’s social connection and limit people from working on things not related to the meeting agendas.
2. Create Agendas
Having an agenda for the meeting will help you focus on planned issues and avoid going off track. Plan on the issues to be discussed and allocate the time required to deliberate them.
Ensure that the discussions are always within the plan. If the attendees discuss outside the plans, don’t hesitate to bring them back on the track.
Have clear objectives on what you intend to accomplish. Determine the areas to be discussed and the people to facilitate them. Ensure that you achieve the meeting’s goals within the given timelines.
Determine how to make the meeting more interesting. You may invite a guest speaker or share research findings that are relevant to your agendas.
3. Make the Meeting More Engaging
Before the start of the meeting, use an icebreaker to build a connection with each attendee. For instance, you may allow them to introduce themselves and mention their hobbies.
Virtual meetings can only be successful if all attendees engage in discussion and problem-solving. To enhance the engagement level, encourage them to make comments and seek clarifications where they don’t understand.
You may even ask questions to determine the attendees’ levels of understanding. Ensure you direct the queries to a specific person at a time. This way, everyone will feel involved, hence focusing on the meeting agendas.
Before you end the meeting, let attendees ask questions and give feedback. It is crucial in gauging their level of understanding. More importantly, their concerns will help you clarify the areas where there are gaps.
4. Use Visuals
Using visuals will immensely enhance the productivity of a meeting. Presenting your ideas in charts, diagrams, and slides will create more impact than doing it verbally.
If you want to make your visuals more collaborative and exciting, use mind maps to present your ideas. This way, more attendees will get interested in your presentation.
By using a mind map, you will be able to visually outline your ideas and make the meeting more effective. The mind mapping technique entails presenting information in diagrams instead of texts. Note that one of the mind mapping benefits is that it improves learning and memorization of ideas by 15%. Also, visually presented concepts enrich the discussions and simplify problem-solving and decision-making.
5. Understand how to coordinate virtual meetings
Virtual meetings need proper facilitation to make them successful. As you preside over such meetings, put in place measures to prevent distractions. Here is how to enhance your facilitation.
- Communicate effectively
Use both verbal and non-verbal communication when addressing the attendees. Ensure that all of them hear and understand what you are conveying without any struggle.
Maintain eye contact with your audience and use hand gestures to deliver the message clearly. To achieve this, encourage everyone to put their cameras on throughout the meeting.
- Embrace the right medium
Before you start the meeting, research online video conference apps and familiarize yourself with them. Find out the ideal platform and use it to present your ideas to your audience.
ClickMeeting and its features are a great solution to opt for virtual meetings. Except for a regular screen sharing feature, there’s also the possibility to use a whiteboard to make the notes and create the meeting more engaging. Another great feature is the waiting room – use the time before the event starts and present the attendees the meeting agenda and/or share files they’ll need. Possibilities are endless.
During the meeting, take charge and coordinate its flow based on your plan. Knowing how to manage virtual team meetings can be beneficial for your company.
- Do proper planning
The extent of planning will determine the success of the meeting. Find out what might go wrong and put in place measures to overcome any problems that may arise.
Additionally, you can mitigate interruptions by recording the proceedings and sharing them later with the attendees. It will help those who might have missed a specific idea due to internet disruptions.
To enhance your facilitation, it is advisable to learn the best practices of hosting effective virtual meetings.
Unlike regular meetings, virtual meetings are susceptible to numerous challenges, such as distractions and reduced engagement from attendees. Knowing how to facilitate the discussion will yield excellent outcomes for your business.
To make the virtual meetings more effective, you have to use the best strategies when facilitating them. Some of these strategies include engaging the attendees, using visuals, creating agendas, and creating appropriate ground rules.
Silvana Carpineanu is an enthusiast Marketing Specialist who works for mindomo.com. Driven by passion and creativity, she’s responsible for copywriting, advertising, SEO, and content creation. She does all of this, knowing that for every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.