As remote work continues to be the norm, virtual meetings play an integral role in staying connected with employees and clients alike. But the lack of face-to-face interactions makes it harder to create an engaging atmosphere and easier for participants to tune out and multitask.
Here are seven tips to quash boredom and encourage participation in your virtual meetings:
1. Start with an introduction
Once everyone is in the call, welcome them and make any necessary introductions. Be sure to mention names, titles, and roles if the participants are meeting for the first time. This lets everyone know who’s in the call and gives them an idea of what the meeting is for.
This is also a good time to make small talk. Ask participants about their week or share an anecdote. Or, you could...
2. Kick off the meeting with an ice breaker
With a fun ice breaker, you can break down barriers and set the stage for creativity and participation. This allows participants to get comfortable with speaking and interacting with one another, and makes it easier to transition into the meeting’s agenda.
3. Follow an agenda
Having an agenda helps you and other participants prepare for a meeting, and it guides you through the topics that need to be discussed. It also ensures that you start and end on time so that participants can resume their work quickly. It’s a good idea to send a copy of the agenda with the meeting invite or go over it at the beginning of the call.
4. Avoid doing other tasks
Just like in-person meetings, virtual meetings require your full attention. That’s why you shouldn’t check emails, wash dishes, or do other tasks while on a call. You may think you’re saving time and being more productive by multitasking, but you’re more likely missing information because you aren’t paying attention to the conversation. Not only that, but this also sends a message that you're not taking the meeting seriously and don't value other people’s.
5. Ask participants for their input
Keep meeting participants engaged by asking for their input or inviting questions. Providing opportunities to speak allows them to focus on and think critically about the topic at hand. But avoid asking for or sharing information that’s not relevant. This can derail the discussion and hinder productivity.
6. Spice up your meeting with visuals
Use visual aids when illustrating points or giving context. Not only does this capture everyone’s attention, but it also makes it easier for them to remember the information you share during the meeting. If you have a presentation deck, jazzing it up with photos and videos will be sure to drive engagement and encourage interaction.
7. Employ virtual brainstorming tools and tactics
Bouncing around ideas with your team may seem difficult to do in a virtual environment. But there are many video conferencing apps that have screen sharing or whiteboard features, which enable you to map out ideas on the screen for everyone to see and pitch in. By employing virtual brainstorming tools and tactics, you and your team have better opportunities to come up with unique ideas, launch novel initiatives, and pursue new strategies.
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Evaluation is the key to engaging virtual meetings
Immediately after the call, take some time to assess how it went. You can gather feedback from participants to learn how effective your preparations were and if you were able to clearly get your message across. Recall any issues that could have been avoided, and don’t forget to follow up on pending action items. All this information will allow you to plan better and more engaging virtual meetings in the future.
Another way to ensure the success of your virtual meetings is to have the right technology. We at Prosum can help you with this and more. Call us today and find out how our innovative and cost-effective IT solutions can help optimize your business processes and boost your employees’ productivity.
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