With the outbreak of COVID-19, Virtual Meetings have become a common way to get the business going. Almost every industry has switched to work from home. And, they are looking for ways to conduct Virtual meetings productively.
Virtual meets are not a big deal for the companies that have been functioning that way. But, the coronavirus crisis has brought a challenge of managing virtual meetings for those organizations that have been following only an in-office work model.
In the midst of the pressure to perform as productively as possible, clients, employees & co-workers are looking for ways of how virtual meetings can be productive. To help with that, team AdMedia has prepared some of the best practices for productive virtual meetings. Let’s read to find out:
- Pre-Decide the sequencing of announcements
The foremost important thing about Virtual Meetings is how you are sequencing announcements & activities. This will ultimately decide the whole mood of the meeting. To start with, you must announce the key agenda of the meeting in the first place. After which you must start with an “an elephant in the room” ~ talking about the most difficult situation that needs to be dealt with smartly & productively. The moving forward with a lesser serious announcement or activity. If you have anything cool & fun that you are sure, everyone in the team is going to like ~ keep it for the end of the meeting. This will end the meeting on a motivating & optimistic note.
The most important thing to keep in mind when starting the meeting is – before beginning to discuss a challenging topic, warm up the attendees to make them ready for the intense discussion.
- Creative Ideas to keep Everyone engaged will do the Magic
Make the discussion interesting. A Virtual meeting is undoubtedly & entirely different from an in-office meeting. If not strategically planned a Virtual meeting can be, at times, distracting & lethargic. Just as most online meeting platforms do with multiple-choice polls, which then shows the response of the participants in a graphical representation. You can also look for ideas as simple as asking every attendee to read one slide of the presentation. Another popular way to improve productivity is breakout workshops, which means dividing the team into smaller groups. This will also help with allowing more participants in the meeting. These creative ideas can play a really crucial role in making sure that the meeting is streamlined & it’s only a result-oriented discussion.
- Good Presentation is an Important Part of any Virtual Meeting
Storytelling can be an amazing way of engaging the attendees both for a virtual meeting or an in-office meeting. But, in a virtual environment, knowing the art of storytelling can be an amazing tool to keep it going. Everything matters. Your tone. The rhythm. Justified variation in the pitch of the voice while speaking. And, even your volume can play a crucial role in keeping the discussion interesting. Keeping it simple is the key. Know in advance what important points need to be discussed. You should also make use of perfect body language to convey exactly what you want to say. For a professional environment, it is an important skill to acquire.
- Make Sure You are sitting in a Technically sound environment
Is the internet working smoothly? Do you have high-quality devices? Is your laptop/system working properly? Assume yourself ready for a virtual meeting only when you can answer YES to all the above questions. For virtual meetings or precisely to say online work, a technical sound environment is the foremost important thing. If you are leading the meeting, you must check on the employees, if that’s working fine at their end. In addition to that, a good quality headset is essential as it will not only cut through the noisy background but will also help with a clearer voice.
- Assign tasks to Everyone in the Team
So, there are different tasks to be done & ostensibly different roles to play. While a single person can handle all of these responsibilities ~ take keynotes, look after the team management, motivate the participants, ask questions, and more. But, this form of a virtual meeting will not be as encouraging as everyone doing their bit and participating throughout the meeting. Distributing responsibilities with different names for each role as schedule checker, meeting manager, keynote, presenter & distribute all other responsibilities according to what is required. An amazing way would be to keep rotating these roles among attendees for every other meeting.
- A clean and professional background is must
While this may sound trivial to many, but everything counts. It does have an effect on you as well as the mood of other participants. This can be considered under soft skills. When you learn presentation skills, you are taught the art of looking professionally good. While through an in-office-work model we say that the surrounding we are working does have a direct impact on productivity. Consider this in a similar way. Maintain throughout the meeting a professional & clean background. If that is not possible for you, technology has given us different options. Many software like skype, have the option to blur the background. This software provides an option to customize the background.
- Set the Mood of the Meeting for everyone to Positive
While in office, all of us are almost in the same space & state of mind – and if not that can be easily turned on. But, this goes completely opposite for a virtual meeting. There are different people in the meeting who come from different spaces. Before the meeting starts, each of the team members can be in a completely different emotional state of mind – some might be in a pessimistic state. Therefore, it is the duty of the meeting manager to set the tone to positive for everyone, so that their mental & physical presence can be felt during the meeting. Start it with some light & out-of-the context conversation to set the tone of the meeting.
In nutshell, the idea is that, in addition to discussing the agenda, keeping the attendees motivated is crucial to replicating similar results through virtual meetings as in-office meetings. In a similar attempt to keep the spirit of the attendees high, AdMedia has come up with the innovative FREE Virtual Lunch & learn program. Under this initiative, the company is taking the onus to get delivered healthy & freshly cooked lunch to the attendee’s doorstep, before the meeting starts.
Given the crisis of coronavirus, such attempts will not only make the meetings productive but will also keep everyone safe & healthy in self-isolation.