Online meetings offer numerous benefits to modern companies, including increased flexibility and cost savings. However, they can also be challenging to conduct effectively.
The main problem is that remote team members have a lot of distractions, which take their attention away from the ongoing conversation. Here are a few tips to help you hold successful online meetings:
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1. Set a clear agenda.
A clear agenda will help you and your team keep track of the main topics during a meeting. It will prevent participants from drifting off or discussing non-agenda items that aren’t relevant to the goals of the meeting.
Make sure to send out an agenda draft in advance of a meeting and share it with all the team members for input. This way, everyone has the opportunity to contribute and ensures that the agenda reflects their needs.
2. Have a moderator.
A moderator is essential for online meetings, as the presence of a person keeps the conversation on track. They also help attendees keep track of the meeting’s goals and make sure everyone is on the same page.
The moderator should start the meeting on time and ensure that the participants are engaged in the discussion. They should also remind participants about the topic of the discussion and encourage them to raise their hands if they have any questions.
Moderators should also reprimand talkers who are rambling or repeating points too often. This may be a little touchy, but it’s important to do so in a lighthearted way.
3. Time-cap your meetings.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your online meetings run smoothly is to time-cap your event. Providing a start time and an open time allows participants to plan ahead and to avoid the embarrassment of arriving late. If you’re hosting a meeting with multiple people, it’s also wise to make sure that everyone has the same start time and that there is plenty of food and drink available. This makes it more likely that your foxy participants will show up on time or at least in the right mood to enjoy a spirited discussion. Best of all, you’ll be able to save time and energy by eliminating the dreaded last minute scurry.
4. Avoid distractions.
Distracted behavior during meetings is unprofessional, a surefire way to irritate others, and it makes the meeting less effective.
When conducting online meetings, avoid opening unnecessary tabs, checking emails or responding to texts. Instead, open a separate browser window for the meeting and keep it closed during the meeting.
Also, turn off notifications on your computer and phone to minimize distracting distractions during the meeting. For example, you can silence your email or text messages by clicking on the settings button for each of them before you start your web meeting.
5. Use visual assets.
One of the best ways to engage a virtual audience is through visual assets. Shared screens, a virtual whiteboard, and slideshows can all be effective.
A large screen graphic or poster is also an eloquent way to get the attention of your online meeting attendees. In addition to being the most impressive item on your virtual agenda, it’s also one of the most effective ways to promote collaboration. This is especially true when used in tandem with a collaborative digital whiteboard like Mural. In fact, if you haven’t already, consider adding a Mural board to your next online meeting. The benefits are well worth the effort!
6. Take notes.
Taking notes is an important skill to master when conducting online meetings. It can help you stay organized, increase efficiency and build accountability within your team.
Rather than trying to capture every word of a conversation, take notes on the key points that need to be documented. Then, sum up and distill your notes so that you can understand them better in the future.
There are several note-taking methods, including the Cornell method (which involves jotting basic notes on the left side of a page and writing down key points and takeaways on the right). If you’re hand-writing your notes, use shorthand or symbols to quickly get common ideas onto the page.