Having effective online meetings is not something that automatically happens even when using the best online meeting platforms and technologies. The following tips should help you conduct online meetings that lead to the desired outcomes, something that facilitate effective communication, the proper discussion of plans and concerns, establishing of agreements or deals, or the resolution of issues.
Choose the most appropriate online meeting platform to use.
Many will claim that they are the best and they may be able to support such claims. However, these “best” options will vary in suitability for you. Be sure to properly evaluate your choices. Examine the range of features or functions offered. Evaluate reliability. Make sure that the online conferencing software you choose is intuitive or has a user-friendly interface. Moreover, choose a platform that enables integration with other apps and provides full desktop sharing and control, translation, as well as the faculty (APIs) to enable connection with other systems. It’s important to make sure that the online meeting software you use has all the features and functions you need and want. Most of the paid online meeting or conferencing platforms usually offer trial periods so don’t hesitate to give them a try.
Have a clear agenda or direction and there should be someone to lead the session.
Once you’re done with the technical concerns of your online meeting platform, it’s time to make sure that you establish a clear agenda. Just like doing conventional meetings, everything should be well organized. Avoid having a chaotic meeting by coming with a basic structure through which you can see the finer point to be discussed. Moreover, it’s important to have someone presiding over the online meeting. If you are the one inviting participants, it is a given that you will be the one responsible for presiding the meeting. If you are organizing or initiating the meeting but somebody else is deemed more knowledgeable on the subjects to be discussed, it would be better to relegate the role of presiding the meeting to that person.
Background noises should be minimized.
Of course, this one’s a given but online conferencing participants may have to be reminded to be in a quiet place as much as possible. It would be difficult to interact with several other participants in an online meeting when one or more of the participants are hardly comprehendible because of the background noises.
As much as possible, everyone’s attention should only be on the meeting. Multitasking can be a distraction and it would be disrespectful to other participants if you are not giving all of your attention to what is being discussed. Well, a certain degree of multitasking may be acceptable, as long as it does not interfere with the online meeting. It may help prevent participants from unnecessarily multitasking if everyone is compelled to be on full screen mode (with their online meeting application).
Make use of moderated and private chats
There will be instances when discussions should be limited to just two or more participants in an online meeting, like when clarifying things or asking for copies of certain presentations or files. To avoid
Observe the following don’ts
- Don’t shout or raise your voice for no compelling reason.
- Avoid making distracting movements.
- Don’t interrupt others while they are speaking even if they appear already too irritating to handle.
- Side conversations are a no-no. If they are really necessary, as mentioned earlier, make use of the private chat feature.
- Don’t wear distracting and noisy jewelry.
- Never be rude to others even in the midst of a heated discussion.
Make sure that nothing blocks the camera and microphone.
Carefully position your laptop or the camera and microphone accessories you are using so that nothing can block them. They should be positioned on a stable surface so they wouldn’t be shaking especially when you are using the keyboard.
Treat an online conference like a conventional offline meeting.
While almost everyone readily acknowledge that online meetings tend to be less formal than conventional offline ones, it is still advisable to maintain proper decorum and formality even in online conferences. Say the proper greetings and address other participants courteously. Look and act professional. Avoid the frequent use of slangs. Behave as if everyone is just in front of you. If you are responsible for presiding over an online meeting and you can observe some participants behaving in a less-than-acceptable fashion, you may want to drop them a message of reminder or warning. Try not to embarrass them as you try to keep things in control.
Ensure clear and concise presentations and make use of annotation tools.
Whenever you do presentations, make sure that everyone clearly gets the idea. Most online conferencing platforms provide useful annotation tools that are useful in making presentations or in adding notes to images and documents being shared. Additionally, it’s important to be concise. Verbosity is a no-no even when everyone appears to be tolerant of the wordy and long-winded presentations.
Use the desktop sharing function when demonstrating things such as applications or changes made on a presentation.
One of the greatest conveniences of today’s online meeting applications is the ability to share desktops or screens. With it, you no longer have to get a different camera to show what is happening on your screen or to get screenshots to be shared with other participants in an online meeting. Make good use of this feature.
Evaluate the sessions.
If you are new to the concept of online meetings, it helps evaluating the sessions you complete so you can improve the succeeding sessions. Most online meeting platforms include tools for assessing sessions and in getting summaries of the meetings conducted. These tools can be very useful so explore them.
Don’t assume that everything will be effectively carried out just because you are using a popular online meeting platform. Use these tips to make the most of your online meeting sessions.