Hosting a Virtual Meeting: 5 Best Practices and Tips
In a recent blog about engaging remote employees, we quoted a 2018 CNBC article, pointing out that while 53% of the world works remotely on a semi-regular basis, a comparatively lower percentage of Americans (43%) do.
My…how fast things change during a pandemic.
With the vast majority of American office employees now working remotely the ability to host a successful virtual meeting has suddenly become a top priority, and for good reason. A successfully administered remote meeting will not only represent you as a capable employee, but it will demonstrate that your company can adapt to any environment. So, how can you ensure that your meeting runs smoothly?
Here are 6 tips from Judge!
Organize the physical environment
Well before the meeting begins, gather all necessary aids. Prepare notes, paperwork, a calculator, a glass of water, or anything else you might need during the meeting. Next, make sure your environment looks presentable. Secure a quiet room with good lighting and a neutral background. Remember, the focus should be on you, your agenda, and your team — anything else will distract from the conversation. Can’t figure out the right space? Try something like Zoom’s background feature.
Prepare (and test!) your technology
What collaboration technology will you be using to conduct this meeting? If you’re the organizer, send clear instructions for downloading or accessing the necessary tools. If this is your first time using it, test everything…including the camera, microphone, your headphones, and any other features of the platform. You may not be able to completely avoid technological hiccups but testing in advance will reduce the likelihood of any unwelcome surprises.
Judge Pro Tip: Remember, most teams are filled with folks from different professional backgrounds, generations, and strengths. Not all participants will be equally comfortable with technology. A clear checklist will help everyone get on the same page.
Have an agenda
Depending on the nature of the meeting, it’s a good idea to send an overview of what you hope to accomplish. Your meeting outline should consist of key discussion points, along with any supporting information and documentation. This will help participants stay on track. If your team is working in different geographic locations, make sure to remind them of the time, the time zone, and the anticipated length of the meeting.
Use virtual meeting etiquette
Set the example by dressing the part. Evidence suggests that dressing professionally from head to toe (yes, even you fuzzy slippers) can influence the way we speak, act, and feel during the meeting. Turn off your texts, calls and social media notifications. Look towards the camera, and make your audience feel that you are connecting with them and engaged in the conversation.
Offer help and support
Clearly, a lot has changed since COVID-19 took hold in America. Many employees are working from home for the first time in their lives, and this may not be an anxiety-free experience for everyone. Accordingly, this is a great opportunity to talk to your team about overcoming challenges and offering support. Celebrate flexibility and lead by example.
Conclusion - Hosting a Virtual Meeting: 5 Best Practices and Tips
At the ends of the day, just because your team is working remotely doesn’t mean you need to be distant from one another. Take some time to catch up and engage in a bit of small talk. Remind everyone that you are in this together.
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