Running Successful Online Meetings
In the current environment we’ve all been forced to run and join online meetings using various tools such as Teams, Zoom or Google Meet. There are some crucial things you can do to ensure your meetings run smoothly.
Prior to your meeting
- The key to using any tool is to make sure you know how the tool works and what options you have available to you.
- Run a pilot to check connections prior to your meeting – especially if it’s your first meeting.
- Have a few pre-written notes on common errors and how to fix them.
- Optimise your environment, by switching off any distractions like your Outlook, turn your phone to silent, shut down any applications you don’t need, turn off pop-ups and may be even re-boot your pc before the meeting starts (just to make sure).
- Check your bandwidth and if working from home make sure other members of your household are off the internet too, especially if they are consuming bandwidth.
- Webcams are an important part of the meeting as research shows a 20% increase in engagement when we can see each other. Words of warning though
– You don’t need to have the webcam on for the whole meeting.
– Check the lighting to ensure you can be seen properly.
– Make sure you are looking directly at the webcam and not a second computer.
– Be careful with which background you use as this can be distracting.
- Send out your meeting agenda with meeting etiquette – see below for some ideas.
- If it’s a large meeting, appoint a meeting moderator to keep an eye on the chat window, and keep to timings to ensure you focus on your delivery.
- Arrive on time by joining a few minutes early.
- Double check your connections prior to the start of the meeting.
- Find a quiet place to avoid distractions.
- Mute yourself useless you are speaking to avoid un-necessary background noise.
- Optimise your environment – turn off pop-ups, close down applications.
- Check your bandwidth – who else in the house is taking up bandwidth?
- Read the Agenda before the meeting.
- Do not talk over your colleagues.
- Respect each other’s point of view.
- Grab a drink before the meeting starts.
- Keep to the timings.
During the meeting
- Don’t assume those attending your meeting understand how to use the tool either. Make sure you point out the key features i.e. where to find chat, how to use the whiteboard, and so on.
- First impressions count so start off the meeting with a clear agenda.
- Maybe allow for 5-10 minutes chit-chat to relax nervous attendees and allow everyone to catch up and virtually e-meet.
- Maybe start off with a motivational message, an ice breaker or a round-the-room introduction
- Start off or end with a quiz or game – the Bite Size Millionaire Games with its leader board or our Snakes and Ladders board game are ideal for this!
- End the meeting on time.
After the meeting
- Share any action notes.
- Follow up on actions.
And finally – good luck – although with a little preparation beforehand, you won’t need it at all!