4 Secrets for Hosting a Productive Virtual Meeting

As more and more companies are shifting online (either temporarily or on a more permanent level), it's become essential to hold productive meetings online as well.

This can be challenging.

In-person meetings can be engaging and active with a good planner who can easily get everyone moving in a good conversation. How can you make this happen online?

We're here to help. Don't fret about your next virtual meeting being a dud; we've got you covered.

Keep reading to learn all about how to reach virtual meeting success.

1. Focus On the Positives & Use Them

When planning virtual meetings, too many people get weighed down by the problems they're already anticipating.

Instead, focus on the positives and exploit them.

These meetings can be done at any time and they're shorter than "real life" meetings, as well as less time-consuming due to lack of travel and setup. Have a solid agenda prepared in advance and share it with attendees so they know what to expect. Consider scheduling the meeting at a time that is most productive for your attendees. You can even let them vote on it.

For a larger conference-style meeting, there's also more opportunity for connection and networking, particularly if you are using a platform with enhanced capabilities. When everyone is online it can be easier brainstorm, collaborate and get things accomplished more efficiently.

2. Keep People Engaged

When you're doing a meeting online it's easy to get straight to business. You're talking to a screen, after all.

Instead, perhaps consider doing a fun and engaging "around the table" (so to speak) activity to get things started. This can be a simple icebreaker, a check in question, or even just an opportunity to share how each attendee is feeling that day. The goal is to make sure everyone feels seen while setting the tone for the rest of the meeting so that participants recognize and appreciate leadership’s efforts to run a productive meeting that is respectful of their time and talents.

3. Know and Utilize Your Technology

Too often, people jump into virtual meetings without having any idea of what they're doing. A few months ago this was to be expected, but we've now had time to adapt.

It's embarrassing to host a meeting over video chat and not know how to mute or unmute yourself, or worse, to end up adding something silly to your screen without even knowing (although this might help engage your audience! Silver lining!).

Make sure you know your tech first before you start. A lot of programs have fun features that can let you share your screen for presentations or use a whiteboard for a super collaborative brainstorming session!

4. Encourage Good Etiquette (and Use It!)

When we're behind our individual screens it can be hard to turn off "alone mode" in our brains. We're busy people, so it's tempting to multi-task by answering messages and emails and trying to get some work done on the side while the meeting is going on.

Gently set ground rules about how to properly participate in one of these meetings and what the expectations are for participants (consider messaging like: Please focus! No multitasking! Your voice and active participation matters!). While some messages may be important, commit to keeping any distractions to a minimum.

It's also best to encourage a "one person talks at a time" rule (holding the metaphorical conch shell). With lag, it's likely people will talk over each other without realizing it. Encourage muted tabs until someone is ready to speak and arrange a system for conversation.

And of course, don’t forget - you’ll need to model this behavior if you expect your employees to follow it.

Virtual Meeting Planning Is Confusing. We Can Help

Don't stress about your next virtual meeting. These are the meetings of the future and they can be a lot of fun if you're properly prepared.

If you need help with your virtual meeting success, we are here to assist. Visit our site to learn more about the services that we offer.