What Are The Best Practices To Make The Most Out Of A Virtual Meeting?
Let’s face it, no organizer likes the task of scheduling a meeting. These days, people have over-filled schedules that barely allow them to make room to go to a physical traditional meeting at an assigned location. Holding virtual meetings seems to be the best solution to this problem. Unfortunately, even though virtual meetings are becoming increasingly prevalent, there are a lot of people that have not been trained properly on what it takes to host one of these gatherings.
There are seven practices, based on an extensive amount of research that can increase the effectiveness of conducting a virtual meeting. Following these practices will ensure that your meeting is successful, neglecting to follow these practices can cause your meeting to go the adverse way.
The seven best practices to conducting a successful virtual meeting are:
- Get Organized
- Assign roles to attendees
- Use the attendees names
- Silence does not qualify as consent
- Visual cues are helpful
- Eliminate background noise
- Provide training and preparation on the use of virtual meeting technologies
Virtual meetings are not the types of gatherings that can be conducted without notice. Virtual meetings will require careful planning. Individuals that utilize virtual meetings will agree that in order to get the most out of a virtual meeting, the organizer must have all of the materials that they are going to review over throughout the gathering organized.
Getting organized is going to involve:
- Making an explicit pre-meeting plan
- Sending out documents to attendees prior to the meeting
- Ensuring that every attendee knows the direction the meeting is going to take
- Have a plan, if things go wrong
Assign Roles To Attendees
A great way to keep all parties engaged in the meeting is to assign each participant a role that they will be required to engage in while the meeting is taking place. There are a lot of teams that will find that rotating the roles throughout the meeting will make it more interactive. Some of the roles that an organizer can assign to their attendees include:
- Leader- The leader will be the individual who is responsible for setting up the meeting.
- Scribe- Scribes will keep notes during the meeting. This information can then be dispersed to everyone who attended the meeting, for future reference.
- Gatekeeper- The gatekeeper is responsible for watching the participation of individuals within the meeting.
Use The Attendees Names
When in a virtual meeting, it can be difficult to determine who is speaking. This can result in confusion for the entire group. It is important that everyone who is speaking in the virtual meeting, introduces themselves, prior to answering or asking a question. This makes it easier for the scribe and gatekeeper to keep up with the level of participation within the meeting.
Silence Does Not Qualify As Consent
The leader will be able to check with each participant who has attended the meeting when decisions are being made. This way they can ensure that everyone within the meeting is in agreement concerning a specific decision. Make sure that every party within the meeting is given the ability to voice their opinions, before the next topic is discussed.
Visual Cues Are Helpful
Explaining a concept to a large group of virtual attendees can be difficult. However, be introducing visual cues to clarify the concept that you are explaining, you will be able to capture the attention of your audience, keeping them engaged in the information that is being presented. It is important for organizers to remember that not every person is able to learn through audio cues, some individuals are better visual learners, so having visuals available will grasp the attention of these individuals.
Eliminate Background Noise
It is extremely difficult to incorporate new age technology into meetings, without having to worry about dealing with other distractions. Background noise can force people to get lost, and not be able to keep up with the information that is being presented to them in the meeting. Muting participants while the leader is speaking, and having individuals chat responses or use certain cues to speak is a great way to eliminate unwanted background noise.
Provide Training And Preparation On The Use Of Virtual Meeting Technologies
Virtual meetings will require participants to be familiar with the technologies that will be employed during the meeting. It is important that the leader does not assume that everyone who is involved in the meeting understands how to use the technologies of the platform that they are on. Carefully informing every one of how the virtual meeting technologies work prior to conducting the meeting, will ensure that the virtual meeting is enjoyable for all parties involved.