Digital technology is creating new demands and skills for business communication. Virtual meetings are becoming more and more popular in the business environment. This is not surprising – they require less effort to organize, they do not require physical presence in the office, and all it takes is a handy user’s device to conduct them. But even here, there are secrets of how to properly conduct such meetings. What you need to do – tell us further.
A useful checklist for conducting online meetings
So, for a virtual meeting to be as effective as possible, use the following helpful tips:
- Choose a platform to host the meeting in advance. There are a lot of tools for remote meetings, but the most popular is undoubtedly Zoom. However, you can choose any other similar platform you or your contacts use.
- Make sure you inform the meeting participants in advance. First, make an accurate list of the people who will be attending the meeting. Then send them an invitation email with the exact date and time, method, format, topic (or summary) and other important details about the event. Send out reminders a day or two in advance.
- Make a plan for the meeting. To make sure you don’t miss any important points, it’s a good idea to outline in advance what you’ll be talking about. It should not just be about the issues you want to cover. You should also allow time for questions from participants that may arise during the discussion.
- Give a short briefing to the participants of the meeting. If you didn’t specify the rules of the meeting in the invitation letter, you should do this at the beginning of the online meeting. This will not only help to keep the meeting on track, but also to set the meeting participants up to be friendly to each other.
- Create a relaxed atmosphere. Take a few minutes at the beginning of the meeting to chat a little with the meeting participants. In this way, you’ll show personal interest in the people you’re talking to and defuse a tense atmosphere. This can be accomplished not only by video chat, but also in a regular work chat room.
- Involve all participants in the conversation. If some participants are less active than others, ask leading and engaging questions. Keep track of everyone’s speaking time, so that everyone has enough time in the meeting and no one feels left out.
- Structure the meeting so that participants have no unanswered questions at the end of the meeting. Try to include what you think is important to collaborate on, and ask participants what they would like to discuss. To find out how the meeting went, you can conduct an anonymous survey of the participants after the meeting. This way you will know how it went and what mistakes to avoid.
When conducting online meetings, don’t ignore modern rules of etiquette. For example, try not to shout or speak too softly, listen carefully to your interlocutors, do not interrupt, and avoid being influenced by extraneous factors. Check your computer and your headset beforehand to avoid potential technical difficulties.
We hope that our simple tips will help to solve the age-old problem – how to host virtual meetings at a proper level.