“See you guys next week for our team meeting on Zoom.”
I wonder how many times a statement like this was made in the past month or so.
In fact, how many virtual meetings have you been involved so far? Did you enjoy the experience? :)
With remote work becoming more and more the norm now and quite likely, in the near future, virtual meetings can be a bane for some of us or it can be something engaging or even fun.
Here are some simple tips that you can use at your next virtual meeting to improve an otherwise dour experience:
1) Do Not Zoom Into The Meeting
Ever been to a virtual meeting where there are periodic hiccups because some participants aren’t sure what to do? Assimilation to any video-conferencing tool may cause delays to the meeting agenda.
To eliminate these teething issues, I would suggest the meeting host to start the session with a brief run-through on the key functions necessary for a glitch-free meeting – muting and unmuting of microphones, screen sharing, virtual expressions such as hand raising and adjustment to the viewing interface etc.
Tip: Mute the microphones of your participants at the start of the meeting to eliminate any unintentional background noise when they enter the virtual conference.
2) Break Out, Not Break Up.
Imagine 20 people doing a remote brainstorming session, fighting to be heard and debating over ideas: utter chaos. To ensure optimal engagement and continued meaningful discussions, enable the breakout rooms function in your settings (Zoom has them).
If you are intending to hold break-out sessions during the meeting, I recommend giving your participants a heads-up on how long it will last, what they should discuss, how they can return to the main meeting room and what they’d be required to present upon the reunion of all groups.
Tip: Pre-group all participants, appoint an in-charge for each virtual break-out room and make sure to brief them on their role and responsibilities. If you are the team leader, you may pop in and out of each break-out room to ensure the discussions stay on course and this also gives people the opportunities to clarify any issues with you.
3) “Once Upon A Time, We Had Virtual Meetings Everyday…”
In the midst of our current pandemic, there is much anxiety and uncertainty. Despite morale running low, businesses struggle to keep afloat by bringing their processes online.
Instead of weekly meetings, we are called into multiple Zoom meetings daily – with your boss, with your team, with your customers, with your vendors, and even with your friends or religious groups!
“Not another Zoom meeting…” is an inner OS which some of your meeting participants may be already running. Hence to break the monotony, you may want to consider kickstarting your session with something light-hearted.
Get your participants to share a gif which best represent their current state, or make everyone showcase their most-loved possession in the house. If time permits, a virtual house tour may catch some off-guard and create laughter for everyone.
Tip: Surprise your team with breakfast delivery prior to the meeting and we are sure everyone would be off to a good start! If you actually know their home addresses that is…
Being an experiential learning advocate, I have never believed that meetings, training workshops or even work itself should be mundane, cookie-cutter or boring. So do your team members a favour and jazz up your next virtual meeting with these very applicable tips.
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