Hosting meetings is a crucial aspect of any business. A business meeting is a gathering of two or more people to discuss the company’s goals and objectives or about a specific project. Business meetings are generally held in the office. However, the rise of technology is allowing the participants to participate in discussions from anywhere virtually.
During the current pandemic situation due to covid19, most companies are operating by providing employees with the facility of work from home. With most employees working from home, online meetings have become the platform to discuss project developments and interact with each other. Hosting Video conferences on zoom, Google hangouts, join.me and other platforms is continuing.
Tips to Host engaging online meetings
You need to take an active approach to keep people engaged during an online meeting. Though people can see each other through screens during virtual meetings, there are high chances of distraction as the participants can easily zone out by surfing on the web or any other factors can lead to their distractions.
Here are a few tips that enable you to host engaging online meetings
1. Be clear about the purpose of the meeting
Business meetings are a common practice for any organizations. Multiple meetings are held every month for various purposes and requirements. As any meeting has a specific goal, be clear about why you are conducting an online meeting and inform the participants about the reason behind hosting a conference.
2. Introduce new members to the group
If any new member is attending the meeting, introduce that new person to other group members. It can be a new team member or a vendor or any sales executive that might have logged into the meeting. It would be best to create a welcoming atmosphere for the new members to make them feel comfortable.
Informing your team members about this new member before the meeting allows them to think of topics and questions to discuss and engage with them.
3. Be engaging with the group
During online meetings, there is a larger scope for team members to be less engaged.
You need to engage everyone with a topic that is familiar to everyone and raise everyone energy. Any meeting should have at least 8% of time dedicated to discussing issues that are not related to meeting. It can be anything related to employees, movies, music or entertainment, sports, TV shows, food and culture.
By following this strategy, you can indeed engage all the group members participating in the meeting. If the meeting is on Monday, you can always open the meeting by discussing how the weekend experience was. This is a great way to promote engagement in the team.
4. Define a structure for involvement
Virtual meeting platforms usually come up with inbuilt features to prevent people from taking over one another during online meetings. You first need to be aware of these intelligent features available on various platforms. For instance, zoom comes up with “raise hand” option, indicating that a participant wants to convey or ask something.
The facilitator should be wise and handle his position carefully, by instructing the participants to interact and tell them how to use the available software features.
5. Host frequent meetings of shorter duration
People who are not used to working virtually or attend virtual meetings might feel exhausted if the meeting goes on for a longer duration. It gets difficult for them to be present and engaged in the interaction. Instead of having long meetings, it would be better to consider hosting shorter meetings on subsequent days.
Make sure you don’t block the employees with multiple projects during the process of work from home. Therefore, properly check the e-mails and re-prioritize the meetings according to the work schedules and current project reports.
6. Be generous
It’s difficult for many employees to adjust to the virtual working and to work among family members with work from home. There might be few disturbances for some employees during a virtual call or meeting at the personal space.
All the online meeting participants need to be understanding and generous with each other as the calls may sometime get dropped, or they may face any further disturbance. Teamwork is the ultimate goal for any project, and that implies here as well.
Hosting online meetings can be more effective by following the tips mentioned above and using virtual meeting tools such as virtual whiteboards, screen sharing, and other collaborative tools that help conduct meetings more effectively and promote work.
Always consider providing training to your staff on using collaboration tools to make them familiar with the tools you are planning to use for online meetings.
Communication is crucial for any industry. To make things work for any company written communication or e-mail’s are not enough. Business meetings are conducted to maintain transparent communication between the team members and ensure that the workflow is smooth. The outbreak of covid-19 has made it impossible for business meetings to happen due to lockdown, and all the organizations started to rely on virtual meetings and video conferences.
With digital communication platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Ready talk, Go to meeting and Microsoft teams, all the organizations started hosting online meetings. By following specific tips, online meetings can be hosted in an engaging way to ensure the work is done at the right time.