5 Tips to Keep your Virtual Meetings Engaging!
COVID-19 changed our worlds & impacted us immediately! Our work environment changed to partially/completely remote. Everything shifted to an online platform. Prior to the pandemic, not everyone was so technologically savvy, but one year later we are finding most everyone in the business world is much more skilled using various platforms (Webex, Teams, Blue Jeans, Zoom, etc) We also found ourselves inundated with meetings all day. This will forever change the way we do business.
The question so many professionals are still asking is how do we keep these meetings engaging and dare we say, even fun? Here are some quick tips to keep your meeting attendees engaged, motivated and keep your meetings more productive!
1. Don’t forget that connection!
Many of us are finding we have less time and forget to build rapport and CONNECT before getting down to business. Take a few minutes to ask people what they are excited about for the week, how their week is going or what projects they are working on. Have them drop it in the chat. Call on one person and have others call on who they’d like to hear from. This will ensure others are ready to share something and fully engaged, rather than multi-tasking.
2. Energize your open!
If you run weekly or monthly meetings, challenge a team member to come up with a creative opener, a quick game, fun facts, ice breaker or a motivational or fun close. Select someone different each week. This not only will engage the team member, but let your employees shine using their creativity and help you determine what is important to them. As Dale Carnegie says, “People support a world they help create”.
Annotation functions are a fantastic way to create engagement. Have team members
mark up your slide with stars, hearts or stamps. Have attendees put a question stamp near something they want more clarification on, what they want to spend more time on, etc. Use the chat to encourage feedback from those that tend to be less vocal. Ask for feedback in the chat, then call on those that haven’t participated. This is a great way to make sure everyone is involved.
4. Be mindful!
Give back the gift of time when you can! Set meetings at 9:05 and end early if you can:
It can be tough for people in back to back meetings to find a few minutes to process the information from their last meeting and mentally prepare for their next meeting. Your attendees may need a bio break, coffee refill, jot down some ideas or review notes before their next meeting. Be aware of not just filling up the 1 hour because the meeting was scheduled for an hour. If you can be productive and end early, your attendees will be much more likely to join the next time!
5. Use Agendas!
We are all so busy. Help keep meetings moving by always sending a brief agenda out before. Share the agenda on screen to keep things on track. If appropriate, annotate right on the screen. Agendas will help you keep meetings on target, productive and focused while also ensuring nothing is missed.