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Improve the productivity of virtual meetings

What is Virtual Meeting?

A virtual meeting is simply a meeting that happens online rather than physically with all the participants in the same meeting room.

Why virtual meetings are important?

1. Reduced time wasting

With virtual meetings, the amount of scheduling and logistical faff surrounding a meeting tends to be significantly lower than with in-person meetings. You don’t have to think about booking a room, or worry whether your meeting space is big enough for all invitees, should they turn up.

2. Ease of costing

When all your meetings are digital, it becomes infinitely easier to quantify all the time your company spends on different catch-ups and communications. This is crucial if you are billing for all client time, or simply want to map where time goes across different projects.

3. Directness of communication

Because you can’t see where people are looking in virtual meetings, you can’t tell who they’re directing their comments or questions to—so you’re forced to become more explicit in how you communicate.

4. Productivity

Making travel arrangements cuts down on the productivity of every attendee. Since a person can attend a virtual meeting from his desk, it cuts down on both the time and the mental attention needed.

Tips to improve the productivity of virtual meetings

  1. Share out a meeting agenda in advance

It’s better in setting an agenda and sending it out ahead of time will go a long way for keeping the meeting on track. First of all, attendees will know exactly what will be discussed and in what order. And secondly, they can have time to reflect and jot down thoughts ahead of time, making your conversations much more fruitful in the long run.

2. Have a central notetaking document

Make sure there is a notetaking document set up and shared out to the group. Using Google Docs, Jamboards or some other method of tracking conversation will help everyone remember the key takeaways from the meeting.

3. Keep it professional by following basic virtual call etiquette.

Some of the best ways to make virtual meetings more effective are to:

  • Ensure your lighting is not behind you. Check to see if the light is too dark to show your face or so bright that it blinds others.
  • When others talk, look them in the eyes as you would if you were face to face.
  • Pay attention to the person talking. Don’t look around the room you are in, out a window, or talk with others that may be physically in the room with you.
  • Ensure your sound is turned on and adjusted correctly before the meeting begins and be on time for the meeting.  
  • Use the chat box and raise your hand when appropriate. Give the person talking time to finish what they are saying.
  • Dress appropriately for the occasion as a professional would dress.

4. Make it a conversation rather than a lecture

If you need to deliver information during a meeting, find a way to turn it into a conversation instead of a lecture. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Give the topic to someone on your team to present.
  • Break the topic up into pieces and have each team member present part of the information.
  • Invite an expert (or experts) to your meeting and ask them questions about the topic. Invite your team to ask questions as well.

5. Allow for movement for longer meetings

Most people are sitting at their desks for long periods. Therefore, for each 30-minute meeting segment, add a brief period to stand up and move around for all attendees.

Penned By: Rtr. Kavinda Senarathne

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