Virtual meetings are a powerful tool in the business world, but they also come with their own set of challenges. As we continue to transition into a world of fully remote or hybrid work, let’s look at some of the best practices for effective virtual meetings. Whether you’re the organizer or an attendee, these tips will help you show up for your team.
1. Have an Agenda
Having an agenda is essential. Agendas ensure that all attendees know what discussions to expect. Sending this information ahead of time allows people to prepare any documents or examples that they need. You can add the agenda to the details section when setting the meeting. This practice can also ensure that you maintain time for questions.
When the meeting is over, consider sending a follow-up email immediately after that gives the next steps to everyone involved. If you record your meetings, you can share a copy with everyone in attendance and those who weren’t able to make it. This in turn will also increase the whole team’s productivity.
2. Prepare Your Background
We have all experimented with the background options on Microsoft Teams and Google Meets, but these cyber locations can also be distracting. We have also heard horror stories of people not realizing a virtual call is happening when they walk past the screen. Ideally, a clean, distraction-free backdrop is best. Ensuring that it also provides proper lighting is essential to creating a professional appearance.
While you can technically take a call from anywhere, it’s ideal to have your back to a wall. When windows are behind you, they can cause a glare on camera. You may also want to angle your camera in a way that prevents it from showing people behind you.
3. A Strong Wi-Fi Connection
The quality of your meeting will depend heavily on how well everyone can hear and see your presenter. A good internet connection is essential to maintaining this visibility. It is best practice to test your internet connection before the meeting starts.
You also want to test your speakers, microphone, and camera to ensure that you can fully participate in the session. Many meeting software programs include an option to record or transcribe every meeting. Be sure that you advise everyone in attendance that you’re recording the meeting and intend to store it or share it as needed.
4. Be Present
Go up for a virtual meeting. You want to appear presentable and prepared. Remember that it is good etiquette to have your camera on throughout the entirety of the meeting, which means that you want to keep your attention on the speaker, not an additional screen.
Remembering that there is power in your virtual body language and participation is another essential best practice for effective virtual meetings. Attentive body language communicates focus and interest, showing that you’re there for your team and ready to participate.
Remote work can be just as effective as in-office, but it requires more planning and structure. By following the tips outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to having successful virtual meetings.