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Virtual Meetings: A Short Primer On Making Them Better

Virtual Meetings: A Short Primer On Making Them Better

If there is one thing we’ve all learned during 2020, it’s that virtual events do not offer the same experience as in-person ones.

In some cases, like music concerts, there is no substitute for the live, crowd-filled version. But in others, it’s possible to accomplish virtually what normally happens in-person.

Virtual meetings fall into this latter category. But getting them right takes some preparation and a bit of a different perspective. MindTools has a useful checklist for ensuring your virtual meetings are effective for everyone involved.

For organizers, picking the proper technology tops the list. Do you need to record your meeting? Will attendees need to access it via tablets and smartphones as well as computers and smart boards? Review your needs, then ensure the platform matches them.

Another key point is to have someone designated to be the meeting leader. Someone needs to be in charge, especially in a virtual environment where body language and other non-verbal cues are hard, if not impossible, to pick up.

Ground rules are another must-have. Should attendees all have their cameras on? Will there be open-discussion that requires having mute buttons off the entire time, or should attendees be on mute unless they’re speaking? Setting expectations at the outset will help attendees feel comfortable.

Depending on the group attending, you may want to have a short introduction period or roll-call involving all attendees. This works well for small, inter-organization gatherings. If you’re meeting with a few well-known colleagues, it may not be necessary.

Virtual meetings can be effective—with a little planning. Read the full MindTools post here for more details: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/running-effective-virtual-meetings.htm.