If you have ever attended a virtual meeting before, you will admit it takes a lot in the planning stage for the meeting to be effective and leave lasting memories. Many organizations are currently using virtual meetings rather than face-to-face interactive meetings primarily because they are relatively easier to plan and arrange. Additionally, virtual meetings are comparatively less expensive, and they are designed to involve only the relevant attendees.
Thanks to the advent of digital technology, these meetings are increasingly being held, especially when there are pandemics that bar people from public gatherings. This discusses the necessary steps you can take to ensure your next virtual meeting successful and fun for each of your guests.
The Success of a Virtual Meeting
Virtual meetings are different from regular face-to-face meetings in the way they are arranged and held. The right approach to holding a successful virtual meeting should be the one that provides virtual assistance to your company on an offshore basis. This means the approach can be employed any time you need consultancy services from colleagues or provide directions to your staff, ensuring that the meeting ends up successful. Therefore, there are simple steps you can take to ensure you achieve all these with little or no hassles. The following tips will help you host a successful virtual meeting for your next event.
Decide on the Appropriate Online Platform
You should select the best platform that is most convenient based on your meeting agenda. Also, you will decide if the platform you are choosing is intended for quick check-ins or decision-making sessions. There are several online platforms from which to choose the best for your virtual meeting. These include Skype, Citrix GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, and Zoom.
These platforms offer almost similar services when it comes to hosting virtual meetings, albeit with minor differences. Therefore, you have to carefully review all the online platform options you have to settle on the most appropriate. For instance, you may consider features such as web polling, which allow you to evaluate the opinions of people. Also, you may need online whiteboards, which serve best when holding brainstorming sessions in groups, though this may be relatively costly.
In deciding the best online platform, always note the advantages and drawbacks of video conferencing. For instance, video conferencing provides vital nonverbal cues to participants, making them feel engaged. On the contrary, other participants might become uncomfortable using video conferencing, prompting them to stop participating.
Prioritize Specific Skills
If you are planning to assume the facilitator role in your virtual meeting, it is imperative that you learn and perfect certain tools and skills that will guarantee the success of your meeting. As a start, you may use ice breakers, especially if most of the participants have not met before. This is a simple yet powerful tool used to encourage the participants to relax, allowing them to develop acquaintances before beginning the business discussions.
Furthermore, you can ask the participants to briefly introduce themselves to one another, as well as stating their occupation, and help them find confidence in interacting with one another. However, this approach requires that you practice before the meeting to ensure the ice breakers bring out the effect you want on the attendees.
Another area of concern is ensuring you are entirely comfortable and can work perfectly with the software you intend to use in the virtual meeting. For this reason, you need to perform thorough rehearsal with all the tools you plan to use in your meeting to enable you to operate them with fewer struggles in the meeting.
You Need Sufficient Preparation
The need to keep business discussions on track and focused, as well as the occasional need to deal with arising conflicts, requires that you prepare sufficiently before hosting a virtual meeting. These meetings are different from face-to-face meetings because they require you to use software, and cases may arise where the software you are using develops complications that bar your important attendees from attending the meeting.
This requires that you set enough time in your schedule to prepare adequately for your virtual meeting and dealing with any arising technical challenges. The next factors to consider as part of your preparation are the objective of your meeting, the intended attendants, and the primary agenda to be discussed, which entails the exact topics to be covered and the time to be spent on each topic. Furthermore, strive to ensure punctuality in your starting and finishing time. This comes as a precaution against the need to show up late or be the first to leave.
If you intend to host a longer virtual meeting, it is recommended that you plan your information segments to last a maximum of minutes each. The shorter periods help to keep the attendees focused and engaged all through the meeting. The best tactic is changing the pace and tone of delivery when ending and starting a new section, preparing your participants for the next phase. Another essential element of preparation is ensuring that the time at which you intend to host your meeting favors every attendee. This avoids the scenario where some of your attendants are left behind with the schedule, and you can personally consult them for the best time of the meeting.
Before the meeting day, send every attendee the login details, including the current URL, if necessary. Also, let them know the agenda, the attendees, as well as the time when the meeting is to start and end. Importantly, have someone in place to handle any arising technological hitches, as this will allow you to solely focus on the discussion.
The most notable challenge with hosting virtual meetings is getting all attendees involved in the discussion from the start to the end. This is especially the case where the meeting seems boring, less interactive, and hardly engaging. Therefore, if you are assuming the facilitator role at your virtual meeting, ensure everyone at the meeting has the opportunity to speak their mind.
You can achieve this by regularly pausing momentarily in between the discussion and ask for any input from attendees, allowing them to comment on the matter under discussion. As much as this helps the participants to stay focused all along with the meeting, it is a way of gauging their emotions and monitoring their attention levels.
Another tactic is making use of activities and asking questions that prompt your attendees to participate. This way, everyone in the meeting is less likely to be distracted, allowing you to hold their attention for as long as the meeting is running. Subsequently, when everyone in the meeting feels captivated by the discussion and is adequately involved, this is a sure sign that your virtual meeting will end up successful.
Virtual meetings are different from regular face-to-face meetings in the way they are arranged and held. The right approach to holding a successful virtual meeting should be the one that provides virtual assistance to your company on an offshore basis. This means the approach can be used any time you need consultancy services from colleagues or provide directions to your staff, ensuring that the meeting ends up successful. Therefore, there are simple steps you can take to ensure you achieve all these with little or no hassles. The following tips will help you host a successful virtual meeting for your next event.