Three tips to help you run an effective virtual meeting
15, Nov, 2021
Virtual meetings are the new normal for most Canadian technologists. This has introduced a number of interesting challenges. You may feel that making connections with clients, engaging audiences, and keeping the meeting focused is increasingly difficult. A virtual meeting can feel exhausting, unfocused and impersonal, but there are ways to work around this.
Here are some tips on how to run an effective virtual meeting:
- Humanize the Virtual Room
As video calls/meetings are much more effective than audio-only conversations, the host must be on camera, as it convinces others to also join on camera. Be aware of what you are wearing, what is in your background, and how the camera is set up. The optimal location of the camera is directly in front of you at eye level. Lighting is also very important, whenever possible open your shades and let the natural light shine in. Have your light source right in front of you and smile when on the camera. Presenting yourself in an engaging manner will humanize the virtual space.
- Keep Your Audience Engaged
One thing you don't want during your virtual meetings is awkward silence! Encourage everyone to be on camera whenever possible so they are less likely to become distracted by things around them. Ask questions and get the audience involved, spend some time talking about personal matters, and keep the crowd entertained.
Set an agenda that provides value to your audience and share it with them in advance of the meeting so that all attendees have had time to review and through each action item. A meeting that does not provide any value or is seen as unessential is likely to lose people’s attention. Be mindful of “zoom fatigue” and limited meetings to 30 minutes or less. Try to reduce meetings and communicate concisely via chat or email whenever possible to reduce screen fatigue.
- Stay Focused
Stay focused on what’s important. Know your material and keep it interesting. Focus on your presentation and agenda during the meeting but also on what others are saying and let natural conversations drive the discussion. While it is important to stay on topic, make sure that you let others share their thoughts. Technical errors and poor internet connections are a huge distraction. For your meetings to run smoothly ensure that everyone has the proper technology and knows how to use it before the meeting.
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