How to Run Effective Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings face the same issues that in-person meetings face but they are also subject to distractions and technological obstacles. It is still possible to run an efficient virtual meeting by following the basic meeting protocols.

A schedule is crucial for running virtual meetings on time, as well as keeping participants engaged throughout the session. It is also possible to encourage participants by asking open-ended questions, soliciting feedback, and assigning roles to take notes or record next steps.

If you’re creating slides or other visuals for your presentation, make sure to test them ahead of time, and also any other software or hardware you might need. Arrive early to allow time to fix any technical problems that may arise prior the scheduled start time.

It’s difficult to read body language and emotions when you’re unable to see your fellow attendees – so try to make eye contact, or at least ask everyone to do so when they’re comfortable. You should also choose a quiet space with no distractions so that you can give your full focus to the meeting. Turn off your microphone when you’re not speaking.

If you’re a moderator, be the one to ask for feedback from the participants at the conclusion of the session. This allows you to pinpoint areas to improve, and gives participants a clear understanding of how their input was appreciated. In the last two minutes of a meeting it’s an excellent idea to provide a brief overview of the next steps, and to record any action items that were assigned.

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