Managing Your Remote Team: 7 Tips for Effective Virtual Meetings

So, you’re getting ready to host a virtual meeting for a group of people at work. The only problem is, you’ve never hosted a virtual meeting before and aren’t quite sure what you’re doing.

Well, virtual meetings aren’t as complicated as you may think. And once you familiarize yourself with the technology, you’ll quickly realize that it’s no different than a traditional meeting in-person.

So how can you make sure your virtual meetings are both engaging and effective? And are there any common mistakes you need to make sure that you avoid? We’ve got the answers to those questions, and more, in this article!

Now then, let’s get started!

1. Plan for Meetings Far in Advance

In order to have a successful virtual meeting, you need to make sure that you’ve planned well ahead of time. Of course, making sure you’re familiar with the information is important. But that’s not where you’re planning should stop, either.

In order to ensure that everyone gets the most out of the experience, you’re going to want to pick a date that the majority of your team agrees upon. This is why planning at least one week ahead of schedule is wise.

It’s worth noting that afternoon meetings have been proven to be most effective. But if your virtual meeting attendees are all early risers, perhaps they’ll agree that mornings are best instead.

2. Understand How to Use the Technology

Outside of picking a date and familiarizing yourself with your content, it’s a good idea to ensure that you understand how to use the technology, too. This is especially true if you’re relatively new to virtual meetings or have never posted on before.

A pro tip? Have a practice virtual meeting with a few colleagues to ensure you know how to set everything up. That way you can make sure things go smoothly when the actual meeting occurs.

3. Check Your Internet Connection

Another huge benefit of having a practice virtual meeting beforehand is that it gives you a chance to find various issues. And one issue that can derail a virtual meeting in a hurry is a poor internet connection.

So, take a speed test to ensure your internet is fast enough. That, along with a trial run, should be enough to ensure that you have the bandwidth needed to host a virtual meeting.

4. Set Some Guidelines Beforehand

Once everyone has signed on and your meeting has begun, take a few seconds to go over a few ground rules. Let everyone know how long you plan on having them for, and remind everyone to mute their microphones unless speaking.

It’s also a good idea to limit how many people are speaking, especially if there are more than a handful of people attending the virtual meeting. Having too many live microphones is a great way to have your meeting turn into a shouting contest, which isn’t what you want.

5. Don’t Forget About Audio

Speaking of audio, it’s a good idea to make sure that everyone can hear you clearly before you begin your meeting. Of course, you’ll be able to do this during your trial run. But it’s also a good idea to ask the day of as well, just to make sure there are no problems occurring.

If you plan on having multiple people speak, have them log on early so you can confirm that their microphones are working. If you can’t hear someone clearly, it’s a good idea to have them sit this meeting out until they can get the proper equipment needed to participate.

6. Limit What’s on the Screen

Of course, a huge benefit to having virtual meetings is the ability to screen share with other users. So knowing how to screen share on Mac or PC is a good idea, especially if you’re the one hosting the virtual meeting.

And while visual aids and PowerPoint presentations are great, going overboard with what is on your screen is never a good idea. Keep things simple, limit who can speak and what can be seen, and you should have great success.

7. Keep Things Loose and Fun

Odds are, some people attending your virtual meeting would rather be doing something else with their time. That is not indicative of you, but more indicative of how easy it is to procrastinate on a computer.

With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to keep things loose and fun and help keep people engaged with your meeting from beginning to end.

First, consider keeping your meeting to one hour or less. Anything else is simply too much, and no matter how entertaining you are, you’re going to lose a lot of people. Second, try to have some energy when speaking, as a monotone voice isn’t ideal to listen to for a long period of time.

Doing so can help keep everyone lively and engaged, which of course is what you want.

7 Tips for Effective Virtual Meetings

Well, there you have it! Those are 7 tips for effective virtual meetings that any first-time host needs to know! Now you can approach your first virtual meeting with confidence, allowing you to create an experience your team will enjoy!

Remember, take your time during the planning process. Pick a popular time and day, familiarize yourself with the technology, and know your content.

Once the meeting has started, limit what is on screen and who can speak. Failure to do so can lead to your meeting going sideways fast and should be avoided if at all possible.

Looking for more tips on how to get the most out of technology? Check out the rest of our blog!