How to ensure your virtual meeting goes well

Date:14 May 2020 Author: Adrian Brown

Since we’re all stuck in our homes due to the nationwide lockdown, the business world has moved online. With this comes virtual meetings.

Whether it’s on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype or whichever other platform you prefer, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ve been part on a virtual meeting by now. Another thing that is almost guaranteed, is that something has gone wrong in one of your meetings.

If not, then perhaps you’ve failed to be productive in the meeting, or maybe it was the least efficient thing you’ve ever experienced. Whatever the case may be, there are ways around these struggles.

Here are some times to ensure your virtual meeting goes well:

1. Plug in 

Don’t rely on wifi. Plug into the internet/ethernet. This will help to avoid any unnecessary disruptions, like your wifi connection getting weaker and then disconnecting causing you to leave the meeting by mistake and having to be re-added.

2. Sit at a table 

Do not lie on your bed, your lounge on the couch during the meeting. It will cause a lazy feeling to emit to all of your colleagues, and in turn reduce productivity. Sitting at a desk or table will remedy this. (It is important to be aware of other forms of online etiquette such as putting your phone and laptop notifications on silent and not speaking over each other)

3. Sit in a quiet room 

We’ve all seen the videos where kids disrupt their parents video conferences or pets photobomb in the shot. While it remains adorable, it is also very distracting and causes the meeting to be unproductive and inefficient. Make sure that you’re sitting in a quiet room, with a closed door. If the room window is open to a busy road outside, consider shutting it for the meeting.

4. Be aware of muting 

It may be best to simply forget about the muting option all together and to not use it. However, if you insist on using it be aware of who is muted and when. Often, somebody will start talking not realising they’re on mute. This leads to lost information, lost time, and altogether frustration.

5. Do not invite the entire team

Unless the information is relevant to everybody, which it often is not. The more people in the meeting the slower it will be, this is in terms of the application you’re using and the meeting itself. Consider who really needs to be there.

6. Let people know well before the time

To ensure that everyone is ready, connected, and set up in time, let team members know about an upcoming meeting well in advance. This will avoid late comers, confusion with the use of the platform you’re using, last minute account creating and many other issues. Let’s not forget, as well, that people are home and may not be meeting ready (still in PJs) at the click of a button. Be aware of the circumstances.

7. Draw up and use an agenda

A simple step, but it will ensure a smooth running of topics to be discussed! Things can get lost in a virtual meeting easier than they can in a normal meeting. Be prepared for being sidetracked.

8. Reboot 

Before your meeting starts (be reasonable with your timing here, go for 20 to 30 minutes before), you may want to reboot your device. This helps to avoid technical glitches.

Also ensure that you do not have too many other programs running in the background. It will slow down your meeting application.

10. Pause downloads 

For the same reason as stated above, pause your downloads for the duration of the meeting!

Picture: Pixabay

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