Virtual meetings are the new norm as more people are working from home. Gone are the days of walking into the office on Monday morning and having a powwow to discuss the strategy and plan of attack for the week. Yes, there is something to be said about meeting face to face. We all know that seeing someone in person inspires connection, engagement, and forces attention. But virtual meetings can be just as effective, and actually even more effective, if you run them properly.
So, how do you run a successful virtual meeting? Here are a few tips…
Set a clear agenda before the meeting
When you are planning a virtual meeting, the most important thing you can do is plan and set a clear agenda for what you want to discuss during the meeting. Send the agenda to everyone who will attend prior to the meeting so everyone knows what to expect and will be prepared to speak to each item on the agenda. There is nothing worse than attending a virtual meeting where there are no clear action items.
Do not waste time
Another important thing to remember is time is money. Everyone’s time is just as valuable as yours, so you do not waste time talking about things people already know or that could have been sent out in an office email. If you have a clear discussion that is worthwhile, people will be more likely to be engaged and leave the meeting feeling inspired and ready to tackle the next project or action item.
Don’t take roll call
If you schedule a virtual meeting and want to make sure everyone attended, do not take roll call. You will lose interest and engagement right from the start if you start the meeting asking who is there. Instead, have everyone type their names in the chat so you can look back after the meeting to see who attended. Instead of spending time on who is there or saying personal hellos to everyone, just jump right into the content at the exact time you set the meeting for. People value their time and will appreciate the fact that you value their time as well.
Smaller meetings are more effective
If you are scheduling a virtual meeting, remember smaller is better. When you have less people on the virtual call, each person is more likely to engage, share their opinions and stay in tune. When you have too many people on the call, some people will get lost in the mix and feel like they aren’t part of the conversation. There is nothing worse than being in a meeting where you feel you don’t have a voice or your opinion doesn’t matter. This can create disengagement and decrease productivity.
Schedule one-on-one virtual meetings
Connection is more important than ever, especially in today’s world where most of us are working from home and feeling isolated. It is crucial to keep the connection alive and to make everyone feel important, valued and seen. While meetings with the whole team are important and highly necessary, one-on-one meetings are also crucial. They don’t have to be long and can be a quick check-in, but they can be powerful tools to keep your employees feeling valued.
Use a virtual meeting assistant to take notes so you can engage
If you want to be fully engaged and not focused on taking notes, you should consider using a virtual meeting assistant like Laxis to take notes for you. Laxis is smarter than ever and will take notes around specific topics you want it to. After the meeting, send out the key notes to the people who attended so everyone has key takeaways. Remember, when you stop taking notes and keep your eyes and mind engaged in the conversation, true growth happens.