Online meetings became our day-to-day reality in 2022, and they are rarely conducted on a purely stationary basis. In fact, no matter where you work: at home or in the office, you are likely to hold remote meetings with colleagues and clients from all over the world.
Good organization of such a meeting is crucial to make it effective and not just turn out to be wasted time. They differ from regular face-to-face ones and you need to address these issues.
Fortunately, online meetings can run very smoothly, and the arrangements reached – move the company forward. All you need to do is implement a few simple rules.
Here are 6 ways to make online meetings a pleasure for everyone rather than an annoying item on the agenda.
Choose the tool wisely
One of the most important issues to consider regarding online meetings is the choice of the application through which participants will connect with each other. There are a number of programs on the market that provide this capability. The most popular are Zoom and Google Meet. But there are also many other apps that allow you to connect with each other in a variety of interesting formats, often more engaging. When making a selection, there are three criteria worth bearing in mind:
Check what features are available in a particular tool. How many people can join the meeting in real time? What can be the maximum length of the meeting? Does the application provide the ability to record the conference? Does it mute background noises? Of course, focus on those features that are most important to you and meet your needs. It’s not a matter of choosing the most powerful app and then not using its capabilities or, worse, getting lost in them.
This is a very important element that is often overlooked. After all, internal company topics are discussed during online meetings. So pay attention to whether it will be easy for a third party to join the meeting when using a particular tool.
Let’s admit it, price matters. When choosing a teleconferencing application, check how much it will cost you to use it. Compare offers from different vendors. Find out whether the tool is available separately or in a package.
Meeting through screens can build a sense of alienation, especially if participants are not comfortable in front of the camera. Here, practice and experience prove helpful. However, studies show that nearly 69% of introverts and 40% of extroverts experience on-camera exhaustion.
Before joining a meeting, connect with colleagues and give yourself time to get used to the new situation. This also allows you to try out audio/video settings, as well as create a professional background. Bosses and senior staff should help employees acclimate and get used to holding meetings online. A great way to ensure everyone feels confident in front of the camera and can freely participate is through weekly informal online team meetings. During those, for example, you can discuss plans for the weekend or hold a quiz – anything to help those who feel awkward grow more comfortable.
Rules that participants will follow help set the right pace for the meeting and contribute to greater comfort. While this may sound exaggerated, it gives priority to the main focus of the meeting. Thus, for example, the task of some may only be to take notes and not actively participate, so according to you, they should have the sound muted. You may want to outline who will lead the meeting and whether others can direct their comments at any time or only at a certain time or whether the leader will address people as they see. This is your chance to maximize the effectiveness of your meeting time and make sure everyone understands the meeting.
Present an agenda for the meeting
Being the host of the meeting, create an agenda and send it to the participants or add it to the virtual notes provided. This will allow others to prepare documents and gather useful information for the meeting. This procedure will save you valuable time and ensure that every participant is prepared. For example, the meeting agenda often includes:
- key points
- the meeting structure
- a list of participants
- any relevant documents
Use interactive tools for brainstorming
How about if you want to conduct a remote brainstorming session? This is a great idea that will engage participants. Many tools allow you to create an interactive environment online. Here are some examples: