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10 Traits of a Great Online Meeting

Online meetings have now been the norm for years. But just because they’re standard doesn’t mean they’re always enjoyable – or effective. They can even be downright boring and isolating. Implement these ten traits to nail your next virtual meeting.

1. Have an Agenda

There’s nothing worse than a surprise meeting with no agenda, outline, or context. Instead, a clear agenda should be sent well before the meeting time to give participants context. It should be realistic, meaning all agenda items can be discussed in the time allotted, and provide invitees with everything they need to be prepared.

2. Encourage Engagement

Encourage all participants to actively engage. This means encouraging the use of video instead of just audio, keeping larger meetings interactive with break-out rooms, and ensuring an inclusive environment where everyone has access to the same information at the same time. Using a unified communication tool can help capture gestures and reactions, critical aspects of communication that allow participants to feel connected on a human level – not just a workplace one.

3. Establish Ground Rules for Large Groups

When running virtual meetings with large groups, it is essential to manage the conversation and mute background noise that may interfere with the conversation. Use tools like the chat box for interactivity, and ask attendees to utilize hand-raising or Q&A functions for effective participation.

4. Ensure Your Technology and Internet Are Working Correctly

Before the meeting begins, check that your meeting video software is operating correctly. Ensure that all documents you need to share are readily available and that your webcam, audio feed, and any other crucial technology components are in good working order. You may even want to test your internet connection. Utilizing a secure connection is also essential to prevent hackers from accessing your meeting unauthorized.

5. Say Goodbye to Multitasking

Set the expectation that this meeting is the only focus at the moment. Don’t look at other screens, check email, or answer calls – and ask participants to do the same. Encouraging video and audio on for all participants is a great way to improve engagement.

6. Invite Only Those Who Need to Attend

Multitasking is difficult to resist when you have been asked to attend a meeting that should not have included you and is a waste of valuable time and resources – yours, and the company’s! Be strategic about who is invited to virtual meetings and respectful of each person’s time and role. It’s never a bad idea to double-check whether you have the right person.

7. Prioritize Human Connection

When possible, start the meeting with conversation that invites human connection. With many of us working from home, create space for the water cooler talk that would have happened in a traditional office setting as people settled into the conference room. Whether you implement formal icebreakers or simply leave room to catch up on participants’ weekends, make sure the meeting begins with the most important component: people.

8. Stick to the Allotted Time

Respecting everyone’s time means starting the meeting on time and ending the meeting on time. Other people will have commitments, so ensure they don’t feel pressured to stay in the meeting beyond the scheduled time.

9. Avoid Scheduling Meetings Back-to-Back

No one likes to go from one virtual meeting to another without regrouping or taking a quick break. If you must schedule back-to-back meetings, consider making them 45 or 50 minutes to give attendees some breathing room.

10. End the Meeting with Clear Next Steps and Action Items

Summarize key takeaways to clarify any decisions that were made. If there are action items, make sure each action item has an owner and a due date. That will give all participants a clear understanding of their responsibilities and the discussion outcomes.

TPx offers the Unified Communications solution you need to nail online meetings and optimize employee productivity and collaboration. Get in touch with us for a demo or more information.

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