We have all participated in our fair share of virtual meetings. Sometimes they are engaging and motivating. Other times it is hard to concentrate on what is going on. We may not be able to make every meeting the perfect combination of information and interest, but there are a way to actively increase the effectiveness of your virtual meeting. There are actions we can take to ensure our virtual meetings are as effective as possible.
The nuts and bolts
Starting with the basics, if participants have any trouble seeing or hearing or distractions are prevalent during the virtual meeting, it will not be an effective meeting. Items that meeting attendees should pay attention to:
- Lighting – natural light is excellent, especially in the form of a window in front of you. If you are in a room where that is not possible set up lighting in front of your computer, to cut down glare and ensure you are not talking from behind a shadow.
- Sound – built-in computer microphones are fine, but they can sometimes sound distorted or muffled. A better alternative is headphones or earbuds with a microphone. The bonus of ear buds or headphones is your sound quality is better, and you are less apt to be bothered by disturbances around you.
- Eliminate distractions – do everything you can to cut out the possibility of distractions. Let everyone in the household know you are in a virtual meeting, so they do not inadvertently disrupt you. Shut the door to your office or room. Turn your cell phone to silent.
A step up from email or voicemail
When inspiration strikes during virtual meetings instead of sending an email, why not send a quick video message? Loom is a browser extension that allows you to capture your screen, voice, and face to create video messages you can share in less time than it would take to type an email! Video messages are almost as good as running into an office with the latest, greatest idea tripping off your tongue.
Loom is perfect for creating how-to, FAQ, and training videos. Instead of trying to get important information across during a real-time meeting, it allows people to plan their presentation out and take and re-take as necessary, so their message is clear and on point.
Round Table check-ins
When King Arthur decided to change the shape of his table from a rectangle, featuring heads at either end, to a circle with no clear designated spot of significance, it was to signify the importance of everyone in attendance.
A successful virtual meetings is one where everyone has a voice and is acknowledged. That is why it is crucial to schedule time during meetings to discuss the wins and challenges of everyone in attendance.
Celebrating success is as important as helping teammates overcome challenges. Part of the process of working collaboratively, allows everyone to have a small part in the success, even if that entails being a positive force on the sidelines. Beyond that, everyone can learn from the success, emulate it, and look forward to their win.
Staying connected and our collective core values
We can maintain connections by checking in with each other and continuing to work collaboratively. By focusing on our companies core values such as:
Entrepreneurship – keeping the entrepreneurial flames burning through collaboration and teamwork.
Excellence – the unwavering dedication to performing to the best of our abilities regardless of geographical location.
Integrity – maintaining integrity in all we do as we work our way through whatever situations present themselves.
Citizenship – remembering that every one of us is an integral part of the community in which we live and work.
The purpose of virtual meetings is the exchange of information. A check in to confirm everyone is on the same page and headed in the same direction. A confirmation that no matter where we are, we are all connected.
Although virtual meetings are generally for the purpose of business, that doesn’t mean they have to be all business. It is possible to liven them up by participating from the Bat Cave, or outer space. With the click of a few buttons, you can change your virtual background and participate from anywhere.
Once Zoom has started to click the small arrow to the right of the camera icon, and you’ll see the option to enable a virtual background. You can choose from what Zoom already has installed. We have also found these fun options that you can upload on your own like these options from DC Comics or this fun selection from the tech republic.
Through periods of great progress and slower, more difficult times, it has been a source of great pride to watch the way everyone approaches their business, integrity, and positivity, whether virtually or in person.
For more information about effective virtual meetings, check out our blog How To Maintain An Engaged Team, While Working Remotely.