How to Conduct Online Meetings

how to conduct online meetings

Organizing an online meeting requires many skills, and there are some basic tips to make it work well. Before the meeting, prepare a few things: contact details, supporting documents, time, and tasks. Don’t forget to communicate with the tech team and HR department beforehand. Scheduling globally can be challenging, but there are tools to help you plan your meetings efficiently. Worldtimebuddy is an excellent tool for this as it displays team members’ locations in a convenient table.

Preparation

To prepare for online meetings, participants should gather all the information they need beforehand. This includes reading the materials they’ve been provided with, doing additional research, and preparing questions and constructive feedback. They should also test out the hardware and the meeting platform, if necessary. Ultimately, online meetings can be beneficial for both sides. However, if they are not prepared properly, the results may be skewed. As such, preparation for online meetings must be balanced between the two.

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To ensure a successful virtual meeting, start with the purpose, agenda, and expectations. Define how participants will contribute and ensure clarity. It’s also helpful to include the method for providing feedback. In a virtual meeting, it’s often difficult to see individual participants, so use names and page numbers to identify speakers. This will help keep the meeting on track. For example, if the meeting is audio-only, everyone should mute their microphones after saying hello.

Tasking

In virtual meetings, participants are required to be present and fully engaged in the discussion. Often, this means they’re sitting in front of their computers. This is where technology becomes a helpful ally or a significant hindrance. To avoid such issues, use tools that support co-presenter leadership, and keep the meeting focused on the discussion. Tasking when conducting online meetings should include a few important tips that can improve the productivity of your meetings.

Make sure the meeting lasts a set period of time. When a meeting runs longer than planned, people tend to get bored and switch apps. To prevent this, the host of the meeting must ensure that everyone pays attention and asks questions to keep the meeting moving. Likewise, if you have a meeting with unfamiliar people, start the discussion with introductions and a few questions. Otherwise, people may begin to leave halfway through the meeting, which will slow down the discussion.

Timekeeping

Having an agenda for your meetings can help you stay on track and focused during the meeting. Preparation is key, so make sure to prepare the topics to be discussed and set a time limit for each one. You can also designate one person to act as the meeting’s timekeeper. Once the meeting begins, be sure to go over your prep notes and appoint a timekeeper. The timekeeper can remind everyone about the meeting’s specific topics and any assigned tasks or project deadlines.

It is important to maintain good timekeeping when conducting online meetings. Keeping the meeting on topic requires that the facilitator give each person two or three minutes to speak. If there are lagging members, direct the questions to those quieter people. Doing this will ensure that everyone is participating and engaging. In addition to that, it will also cut down on follow-up meetings that might be required to clarify certain issues. While online meetings are convenient, they require a little more time and planning.

Using chat pods

Using chat pods to conduct online meetings is a great way to engage everyone and keep the meeting on track. The chat window provides a place for attendees to exchange messages and questions, and a presenter can use multiple Chat pods to display different conversations. Chat pods can be set to show content to everyone or to the presenter only. The content of each pod remains in the meeting room until the meeting ends, but it is also stored in an email so it can be viewed later.

You can create a new chat pod or reuse an existing one. Be sure to name the chat pod and name it appropriately when you are in the room. To move from one chat pod to the next, simply hover over the up/down arrows on your screen to scroll through the chats quickly. Alternatively, you can press the enter key and click on the bubble button to select the next conversation. The message you send will be sent to the email address associated with your account.

Avoiding disruptions

The first step in avoiding disruptions in an online meeting is to set a time and place for the meeting. You can do this by setting a reminder email, sending a reminder message, and troubleshooting any technology problems. Regardless of the method you choose, you should allow 30 minutes for set-up and troubleshooting before the meeting starts. You should also review specific settings and setting up the physical space before the meeting. Disruptions will be discussed once you have set up the technology and the meeting space.

You may find yourself faced with a difficult situation where an interruption is inevitable. In these cases, you should avoid allowing interruptions by using a simple technique called “compliment and build.” When a member of your team makes an argument or a point, you can use the “compliment and build” formula to acknowledge the validity of the point and make it a point to continue. If the person continues with the same point, you can either stop the interruption or give them more time to make their point.

Setting clear expectations

When you are conducting an online meeting, make sure everyone knows what to expect. Set an agenda so everyone can prepare ahead of time. Also, be sure to communicate who is responsible for what, so people know how to contribute to the project. This way, you can avoid the risk of people multitasking. Here are some tips to ensure everyone is productive in your meeting:

Keep participants engaged and on task. In order to maintain a high-quality meeting, ensure everyone is on task and on time. Use common language that everyone understands. Make sure to schedule breaks for everyone to refresh. You may want to consider holding more interactive meetings as opposed to traditional ones. But make sure to stick to the basic rules. Once you have established clear expectations, you will ensure that your online meeting goes smoothly. There’s nothing worse than participating in a meeting that consists of long-winded side-talking and not doing anything.