7 Tips for making your virtual meetings more effective

October 20th, 2020
7 Tips for making your virtual meetings more effective


With more people working from home than ever before, virtual meetings have become a critical part of running a business. However, the transition from in-person gatherings to video conferences hasn’t been particularly smooth for everyone. If your meetings are plagued by distractions and technical problems, your remote employees will feel even more disconnected.

Here are some practical tips to stop that from happening:

1. Always have a clearly defined agenda

As with any traditional business meeting, it’s important to have a clearly defined agenda, and to send it out in advance to all participants. Most business meetings end up being a waste of time due to a lack of proper planning. The agenda should include a list of topics to discuss and specify all the items that you want to accomplish. Every meeting should be time-bound as well, ideally lasting a maximum of 30 minutes.

2. Invite the right participants

This one also applies to traditional business meetings. The last thing you want is for meetings to needlessly stop employees from doing valuable work or waste their free time to discuss matters that aren’t relevant to them. It’s important to send invites to the right people, and do so well in advance to give team members ample time to prepare. When setting the time of the meeting, consider time zones if necessary.

3. Have a mandatory camera-on policy

One of the reasons many virtual meetings and other events fail is because some people don’t take them seriously. If participants don’t have their cameras on, then it’s hard to know if people are even paying attention. That’s why some companies have a camera-on policy. This helps better emulate in-person meetings by letting everyone see nonverbal cues.

4. Provide suitable hardware

Many companies find holding virtual meetings to be difficult because of technical issues such as poor internet connections and shoddy conferencing hardware. Therefore, it’s important to provide the right hardware to your employees to ensure consistent call quality and avoid excuses like cameras or microphones not working. At the very least, you should provide noise-canceling headsets approved for VoIP use. You should also encourage attendees to connect using their laptops rather than their phones, so they can easily take notes during the call.

5. Discourage multitasking during meetings

During virtual meetings, it’s easy for people to tune out the discussion and do other things, especially if there isn’t a mandatory camera-on policy. You should encourage your attendees to focus entirely on the meeting by having them turn off notifications and putting other tasks on hold during the event.

6. Allow small talk where appropriate

This may sound contradictory, given how we said every meeting must have a focused agenda, but it’s also important to allocate some time for small talk, especially given the current situation. Small talk helps people feel connected and more at ease with the setting. This is even more important for teams who aren’t accustomed to working from home or participating in remote meetings. Small talk will also help alleviate stress and keep people engaged instead of feeling isolated.

7. Select the right virtual meeting platform

Implementing all the tips above will be a lot easier if you have the right virtual meeting software. Virtual meetings can be something as simple as a facilitated group phone call or as complex as a full-blown team session complete with shared screens and real-time collaboration on files. If you need help determining your IT requirements, finding the right platform, and effectively implementing that platform, turn to a managed IT services provider like HERO.

HERO Managed Services provides top-of-the-line VoIP systems that will modernize and streamline all your business communications. Get in touch today to schedule your first consultation.

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