We have shifted our work to remote mode. Whether its client meeting, internal team meeting, stakeholder meeting, vendor meeting etc. everything is now virtual meetings. In-person meetings are not happening anymore.

There are challenges of not having an in-person meeting like

  • Low attention span of people
  • Distractions around the audience
  • Technical glitches that could make the audio, screen share or video difficult
  • Moderating the meeting may not be as easy.
  • Multiple people may try to talk at once
  • Audience could be on video & audio mute, and you may not know whether they are present in the meeting
  • Maintaining the time in a virtual meeting could be challenging

If you are the one hosting any virtual meetings, follow these 9 steps and ensure your meetings are

Engaging. Interactive & Productive

Block meeting time in advance.

You can use Google Calendar and link the online platform with the calendar invite. If you are fixing up a meeting with a client and wish to give the client two or three dates or time options, you could use apps like Calendly, Youcanbookme, Acuity Scheduling, etc. These have a free as well as a subscription model and allows a lot of branding facility to help you create a positive impressive

Send the meeting agenda well ahead in time

This allows for pre-meeting preparation if any. Remember, in general, every meeting should have a specific outcome. Meetings are not to sit and think. If there is any thinking required, let the participants know to do it before and come with the ideas.

Also Read: 9 Steps To Successfully Leading A Sales Team During Crisis

Announce housekeeping & the meeting ground rules at the start

This prevents deviation or chaos from happening during the meeting. E.g., let the audience know about the duration of the meeting, meeting etiquette to be followed, breaks if any, Q&A format, the platforms, or software to be used during the meeting, parking lot questions, etc.

Keep the video on during the meeting

This allows you to influence your audience and impress your ideas. Even if you are not the host. Ensure your personal environment is properly lit with your face clearly visible, no clutter or distractions around you. You may want to use a ring light and a virtual background to get the much-needed effect.

Have clear communication

Take your audience’s name often. This will keep them engaged and alert. Be precise & relevant to your content. Do not beat around the bush, or you will lose your audience’s attention. Get your vocals & body language to express emotions and thoughts. Do not lose the humour. And let your audience save face all the time.

Keep the meetings interactive

Certain apps or platforms like Mural, Mentimeter, Google PowerPoint or Google sheets, slack etc. will allow information & thoughts to flow without hesitation. Use breakout rooms if your meetings need small group discussions.

Also Read: How To Lead A Remote Team To Success

Respect time

Adhere to the scheduled duration of the meeting. If you think you will cross the time, check with your audience if it’s okay to extend. They may have lined up some other meeting. In that case, schedule the follow-up meeting.

Summarise the meeting highlights

Clearly outline the outcome of the meeting, the next action steps to be taken, by whom and by when, next meeting time if any, delegation authority matrix if its an internal meeting etc. One productive way to get this done is by asking each member to speak out their responsibility or task, as discussed during the meeting. This develops accountability

Post meeting wrap up email

Always do send a thank you email with the recap of the meeting and the decided action steps. You may use notetaking software like Fireflies or Cassette 2.0, Zapier etc. This software records the entire conversation and produces transcripts. You may either attach the entire transcript or recording or create your recap notes from it and share it with your meeting audiences.

Follow these 9 steps, and you will find yourself producing highly effective & productive virtual meetings.

Which step do you miss out mostly?

Share your comments below!