So, you’re getting ready to host a virtual meeting for a group of people at work. The only problem is that you’ve never hosted a virtual conference 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 ensure your virtual meetings are engaging and effective? And are there any common mistakes you need to make sure 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
To have a successful virtual meeting, you must ensure you’ve planned well ahead of time. So, make sure you’re familiar with the information is essential. But that’s not where you’re planning should stop, either.
To ensure that everyone gets the most out of the experience, you will want to pick a date that most 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 you understand how to use the technology. This is especially true if you’re relatively new to virtual meetings or have never posted.
A pro tip? Have a virtual practice meeting with a few colleagues to ensure you know how to set everything up. That way, you can ensure things go smoothly when the meeting occurs.
3. Check Your Internet Connection
Another massive benefit of having a virtual practice meeting beforehand is that it gives you a chance to find various issues. And one issue that can derail a virtual discussion 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 you have the bandwidth 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 review a few ground rules. Then, let everyone know how long you plan to have them and remind everyone to mute their microphones unless speaking.
It’s also a good idea to limit how many people speak, especially if more than a handful of people attend 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 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 to ensure no problems occur.
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 massive 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 hosting a virtual meeting.
And while visual aids and PowerPoint presentations are great, going overboard with what is on your screen is never a good idea. Instead, keep things simple, limit who can speak and what can be seen, and you should have great success.
7. Keep Things Loose and Fun
Oddly, some people attending your virtual meeting would rather be doing something else with their time. That is not indicative of you but more of how easy it is to procrastinate on a computer.
With that in mind, you can do a few things 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 too much; no matter how entertaining you are, you’ll lose many people. Second, try to have some energy when speaking, as a monotone voice isn’t ideal for listening for an extended period.
Doing so can help keep everyone lively and engaged, which is what you want.
7 Tips for Effective Virtual Meetings
Well, there you have it! Those are seven tips for effective virtual meetings that any first-time host needs to know! So now you can approach your first virtual meeting confidently, 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 starts, 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 possible.
We are looking for more tips on how to get the most out of technology. Check out the rest of our blog!