5 tips for mastering the art of virtual meetings

There are so many benefits of digital meetings. They increase flexibility and accessibility. They can reduce the environmental impact, increase productivity and save money. And there are a plethora of providers to choose from such as Teams, Zoom, Google and many more.

But still, despite all its upsides, virtual meetings can sometimes fall flat, become uninteresting and non-engaging. And the culture of joining a virtual meeting, leaving your camera off and going about your other work tasks without listening is far to common.

Regardless, virtual meetings have become a cornerstone of many businesses. That is why it is so important that people master the skills needed to keep the audience or participants engaged. Whether you're conducting a team briefing, client presentation, or brainstorming session, the way you conduct your meeting is crucial to if it is going to have an impact or not.

Here are some tips to help you hold your virtual meetings like a super star:


1 Set the stage for success

“Sorry for the wait, my headset wasn’t charged.”

Before starting your digital meeting, take a moment to ensure you have all the must-haves ready. Make sure your computer and headset are chared and that you’re in an undisturbed and quiet environment. Select a comfortable place and position yourself in a well-lit area to ensure visibility. Check your audio and video settings beforehand to avoid any technical glitches during the meeting.


2 Prepare your materials

“Can you see my screen?”

If you plan to share slides or documents during the meeting, make sure to test them out beforehand. This will help you avoid any formatting issues or compatibility issues with the meeting platform. Having your materials ready and organised will streamline the flow of the meeting and keep participants engaged.

And instead of the infamous question if the participants can see your shared screen, say something like this instead; “If you cannot see my screen correctly, please let me know.”


3 Engage your audience

“Does anyone have a question?”

Have you ever been to a digital meeting where someone says; “Does anyone have a question” and gets met with dead silence?

Keep your virtual meeting interactive by asking direct questions to selected participants. Like “Dave, you had some comments on this yesterday, would you care to share these with the group?”. That will not only make the meeting more dynamic but also keep participants on their toes.

Encourage participants to share their thoughts and opinions, and actively listen to their responses. This not only fosters engagement but also ensures that everyone feels included and valued during the meeting. There are also great systems if you want to do polls or to let participants leave and upvote questions that you can take help from.


4 Encourage camera participation

“Is Mike still in the meeting?”

If you don’t possess some magic powers, you wouldn’t be able to be invisible in a physical meeting. So why should you be invisible in a virtual one?

To create a more personalised and engaging atmosphere, encourage participants to turn on their cameras or use avatars if that is a possibility. Seeing other peoples facial expressions, nods or laughter helps foster a sense of connection and prevents the meeting from feeling like a one-sided conversation.


5 Maintain professionalism

“Anne, is that your pyjamas?”

Even in a virtual setting, it's important to maintain professionalism throughout the meeting. Dress appropriately, use professional language, and adhere to meeting etiquette guidelines. Set ground rules for the meeting, such as raising hands to speak or muting microphones when not speaking, to ensure a smooth and productive discussion. And after the meeting concludes, follow up with participants to provide a recap of key discussion points, action items, and next steps. This helps reinforce the meeting's outcomes and ensures that everyone is aligned moving forward.


By implementing these tips, you can elevate your virtual meetings from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether you're leading a small team or presenting to a large audience, mastering the art of virtual meetings is essential for success in today's remote work environment.

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