Virtual meetings have become an essential part of work life now. For some, it is normal; for others, it is a new experience.
Now let us attempt to understand what virtual meetings are. Organizations or individuals host virtual meetings over the internet or a digital network to accomplish a shared objective. A well-ordered virtual meeting nurtures an environment where individuals can share information and collaborate without being physically present in a room or a location. As a result, accomplishing the shared objective is much easier.
Planning is crucial in getting the most out of the virtual meeting. That is also the secret ingredient for a fruitful virtual meeting.
This article shares a few essential tips for organizing a fruitful virtual meeting. Hopefully, these tips will be beneficial in managing an effective online meeting.
1. Make a checklist
Hosting a successful virtual meeting poses some unique technical challenges, i.e., technical. The outcome that you expect out of the conference is soft or hard. “Soft” refers to spending some quality time with co-workers online. On the other hand, hard refers to reaching an agreement regarding the sales or marketing strategy.
Making checklists assists in maneuvering the challenges, and as a result, the meeting will be more productive. To make a checklist, you have to analyze what you require to host a meeting- for instance, the tools and agenda for the meeting.
Before starting the meeting, you have to ensure that the software functions correctly and accesses a steady internet connection. Not everyone will be well-versed in technology. Therefore, you can organize a mock meeting to familiarize them with the virtual meeting.
You also have to ensure that you have informed the participants of the online meeting. Participants joining in the middle of the meeting can hurt the productivity of the meeting and leads to confusion.
Meanwhile, you have to set an agenda for the meeting. That would make the meeting more productive and help to stay focused to come up with a solution.
2. Use a scheduling software
To organize the meeting better, you can use meeting scheduling software like Picktime. The software assists in managing the meeting and sends automated reminders to the participants via email or SMS. Furthermore, you can also integrate video conferencing platforms like Google meet and Zoom in the reminders.
The reminders help inform the participants of the meeting and send the link to join the virtual session. As a result, you do not have to send the links to join the online meeting separately to the participants. That saves a lot of time. The software has a ton of other features that are worth checking out.
3. Take note of the details
You have to take note of the details of the meeting at least a week before you formally plan to host the meeting. As a result, you can better manage the challenges while hosting the meeting. The challenges, for instance, you may face;
- Technical glitches
- Disruptions or interferences during the meeting
- Disturbance during the conversation as there is none to moderate the discussion. People tend to talk over.
If you take note, you can envision how the meeting should go and what to do if the meeting goes off course. Meanwhile, you also have to document the meeting flow to better plan for future meetings.
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4. Identify the right tool for virtual meetings
You have to identify the right tool and technology for the virtual meeting. Once you have identified the tools, then you have to learn how to use them. As a result, if any of the participants have doubts, you can assist them. You can also give the participants instructions that they can consult if they have any doubts.
While you choose the tool for a virtual meeting, you can consider the following to select the right tool;
- Whether you can mute or unmute the attendees
- Switch on or off the video of the participants
- Discharge the participants when needed.
- Whether you can select a background
- Whether you can use other platforms during the virtual meeting simultaneously
- Whether you terminate the session when needed.
Considering these will help you determine the appropriate tool for the virtual meeting.
5. Set an agenda for the meeting
Before starting the meeting, you have to set an agenda for the meeting. As a result, the attendees would know the purpose of the meeting, who the speakers are and what they will discuss.
That is because everyone knows what to do, so they will prepare themselves to attend the meeting. The attendees will also ask relevant questions during the session. As a result, you can steer the discussion toward achieving the desired outcomes and make it more productive.
6. Help the speaker when needed
After you have identified the speakers, you can help them with the meeting if needed. For instance, not everyone is tech-savvy and may need some help. Furthermore, they may need time to prepare for the meeting. Therefore, before you schedule a virtual meeting, you have to consult with the speakers and understand their requirements.
If the speakers want to record their secession, you must ensure they have the right software and devices. For instance, you can confirm whether the spears have all tools like a microphone and other devices. If not, you can assist them in setting up an appropriate environment for the virtual meeting.
The measures you take can ensure the virtual meeting goes smoothly without any hiccups.
7. Start the meeting a little early
You can conduct a pre-meeting check by starting the meeting if you start the meeting a little early. Otherwise, you can advise the participants to join earlier. As a result, you can ensure that all the device functions correctly. That would also enable you to make further inspections, for instance, whether you can mute or unmute the speaker or turn the video on or off.
8. Allow the participants to interact
When you start the virtual meeting, you can let the participants greet each other. That will help them to get acquainted with each other. That will also result in participants communicating with each other smoothly.
You can make the meeting more interesting by quizzing the participants about any topic or playing some smoothening music. That will help the participant to ease and converse with each other.
9. Come up with a plan to combat technical difficulties
It is easy to cause disruptions during a virtual meeting. For instance, a simple power cut can cause significant trouble. Because that would cut off access to the internet and other necessary functions. Furthermore, the participants may face difficulties while joining the virtual meeting.
Therefore, it is essential that you have a plan when faced with such challenges. For instance, you can send a troubleshooting tutorial when the participants have issues joining the virtual meeting.
After the meeting, you can send the participant the meeting summary. That would inform other participants about the decisions made during the session if they could not attend the meeting.
10. Inform the participant of the meeting in advance
After you have decided to host a virtual meeting, you have to communicate the same to the participants in advance. That also includes any changes. As a result, the participant can prepare themselves for the meeting.
If the virtual meeting takes place frequently, you can stick to a common practice such as logging in or informing them how they can log in. For instance, if the meeting is about checking the progress of the ongoing project, you can ask the team leader to share the details. As a result, the participants receive necessary insights and ask relevant questions during the meeting. The team leader can answer them.