4 Guidelines for Effective Online Meetings
Meetings are an essential function for high-level executives, managers, and supervisors on the ground floor. Still, today’s work environment often calls for these sessions to be held online rather than traditional in-person gatherings.
While the function is the same, the meeting leader is trying to gather and disseminate information with employees, it is essential to understand how technology has changed the game and what you can do to have the most effective online meetings. Take a look at the following tips to get you started in the right direction.
Learn How to Break the Ice
Meetings tend to become monotonous and stale. To get the attendees to engage at a higher level of interest, you might get the ball rolling by breaking the ice and having everyone in attendance introduce themselves, their role within the organization, and their reason for attending the meeting.
A more informal approach might provide an excellent benefit for some workplaces. In these cases, you could start the meeting with a brain teaser or guessing game to stimulate the mind and encourage thought-provoking discussions.
Ensure Your Meeting Is Organized
Preparing in advance for your meeting with a proper structure can help you make the meeting time productive.
Thanks to technological advances, you can achieve this goal in many ways. Begin with a group calendar that lets everyone in attendance know the meeting time, agenda, and the software necessary to hold the online meeting.
Verify that everyone in attendance knows what you expect of them in the meeting. Attendees should learn how to operate the video and microphone equipment, how to act within the dynamics of the meeting, and what information they need to fulfill their part in reaching your meeting objectives.
Maintain Proper Meeting Etiquette
While online meetings are becoming more commonplace in various workplaces, especially given the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, that doesn’t mean everyone understands how to act professionally in different situations. All attendees should know the basic rules that will help your meeting run smoothly from start to finish.
While you can implement various meeting policies, the basic idea behind them is that everyone in the meeting should be engaged, understand how to operate virtual meeting software, and focus their full attention on the meeting and its participants.
Follow Up With Meeting Notes and More
Just because your online meeting has come to its conclusion doesn’t mean that you’ve completed your work. You are still likely going to want to follow up with those in attendance to ensure that attendees carry out action items and that you’ve provided them with information they need to know.
To gauge the success of your online meeting, you’ll want to demonstrate rapport with your attendees. Depending on the audience, you may want to send business thank you cards to let them know that you appreciated their attendance at the meeting.
With these tips in mind, you’ll feel more confident planning for and hosting online meetings regardless of the topic at hand.
Image via Flickr by Henry Söderlund
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