What it takes to successfully run a virtual meeting

From setting a clear agenda to making sure that the tech setup is working. These are important factors that determine the success and productivity of a virtual meeting with your team. Although, transitioning from face-to-face meetings to video calls may seem daunting, we have provided a guide on how to ensure that video meetings go as smoothly as possible.

As the COVID-19 virus has spread across the world, millions of employees have been asked to work from home, in attempts to reduce the spread of the virus. It can be difficult for managers and employees to all of the sudden move from their office spaces to having to work from home. In order for co-workers and employees to stay connected, organizations are relying on video conferencing tools such as Microsoft teams, Skype and Zoom.

Being a manager in these times, puts extra strain on this role, since your team has not been prepared for this transition and neither have you. Not being able to meet your employees face-to-face, makes video conferencing a vital tool to for your organization. Therefore, here are some important steps to keep in mind when setting up a video call. The most important take away is; a bit of preparation goes a long way to making video calls more tolerable for you and your employees.

1. Test the technology ahead of time

In order to mitigate the risk of technical difficulties, such as poor quality, sound or internet connection. It is important to do the following before the meeting;

  • Test the microphone
  • Preview your webcam
  • Check your internet speed

It could also be useful for you to start the meeting 5 minutes before, so there is room for any technical issues.

2. In group meetings, make sure that you mute on default

Doing this, will ensure that you are limiting any background noises, such as the kids talking or the dog barking. Only unmute your microphone when you want to speak. It is important, before hand to know the rules of when you want to speak, so not everyone talks at the same time. This can be for example raising a hand. Make sure that you are in a room where you are not disturbed by others during the time being of the video call.

3. Set an agenda

Being engaged is particularly important during a virtual meeting, otherwise it is very easy to drift off. Therefore, a manager can ask employees ahead of a meeting to plan to talk about something specific, so everyone feels engaged and well prepared for the meeting.

4. Pay attention

Use an ice-breaker in the beginning of the meeting, where 5 minutes are used to talk about non-related work things. Most of all, be present during the virtual meeting, just as much as you would in a real face to face meeting. One can easily see if the person behind the screen is doing something else.

5. Limit the number of people in a call

Respect people’s time and give people room. A good rule of thumb is book virtual meetings sparingly, for essential things such as showing documents or presentations. Having a limited amount of people in the call, also gives the opportunity for everyone to talk.

Assigning a facilitator can also be beneficial. This person will be designated in making sure that all voices are heard and who helps out with technological difficulties.

6.Take 5 minutes after the meeting, to see how everyone think it went and what can be improved