One of the most incredible things about the world of business today is that you’re just as likely to work with someone at a desk next to you as you are to work with someone across the country.
In a fast-paced digital environment, most of us are no strangers to the need for online meetings. New technology lets us connect more easily than ever before with just the camera and microphone from our computers. But if you’re new to hosting a meeting online, what steps should you take to make it a success?
Here’s what you should know about how to conduct an online meeting with your team.
Get Help With Scheduling
If you’re planning to host a large online meeting, you might have trouble coordinating everyone’s schedules. Rather than enduring back-and-forth emails over ideal meeting times, consider simplifying things with group scheduling tools. From intuitive calendars to email scheduling, the right tool can make the initial setup less of a hassle for everyone involved.
Test Your Tech
Most of us are used to attending online meetings by now, but if this is the first time you’ve had to host an online meeting yourself, it’s worth considering things from the other side of the camera. To keep things rolling during your meeting, you’ll want to test any tech you’re using in advance.
Make sure you’ve downloaded any necessary software in advance. In addition, don’t forget to check that you know how to work everything from muting participants to sharing your screen. This is especially true if you’re using a new website or tool, whether you’re opting for a free conference call tool or a new social media platform.
Stick to Basic Best Practices
All of the normal best practices you’d follow for an in-person meeting still apply for virtual meetings as well. This means you should have an agenda, choose only the stakeholders who truly need to be present, and dole out action items, for example.
Set Your Expectations
When you conduct an online meeting for the first time, it’s important to keep in mind that your participants might also be new to the format. For this reason, it’s important to set expectations on the front end.
Do you expect participants to bring information to present? Should they speak as desired, or do they need to raise a virtual hand or wait their turn? Should they mute themselves when they aren’t participating?
Engage Your Participants
This is one of the most important online meeting tips: if you don’t engage participants, they might just end up staring at you as if they’re watching television.
Don’t hesitate to use basic engagement strategies, like asking questions, using an online poll or whiteboard, or breaking your meeting into smaller “breakout rooms” for conversation. You can even take breaks during a longer presentation, incorporating time for everything from brainstorming to active stretching!
Make the Most of Your Next Online Meeting
Though hosting an online meeting might seem like an intimidating feat at first, the reality is that they don’t need to be too different from the in-person meetings we’re more familiar with. A few simple tips are all you need to get the ball rolling, so make sure to use the ideas above to conduct productive virtual meetings for your team!
Want more of the tech tips you need to know? Check out our other posts for additional insights.