Updated: Nov 22, 2021
With COVID-19, many of us have experienced the dreaded zoom meetings. Uncomfortable pauses while waiting for members to join, or struggling with the occasional technical difficulties, we've all been there. So how can we make the most out of our online meetings?
If you're hosting the meeting here's four tips to make your remote calls more productive.
Create a waiting room for members
If you're on time you're late! Set the meeting time for 15 minutes before you actually want your meeting to start. We've all used this trick for the employee that always seems to have car troubles and still come to work only 5 minutes late... Triple A isn't that fast. Let everyone into the meeting after 5 minutes and start off with cameras and microphones on. Start off like any other meeting with the casualties or go over your plan for the meeting. Creating a wait room gives everyone a couple minutes to settle in, grab their cup of coffee and adjust their camera and microphone. You're instilling preparation and our next tip is how to avoid members of the remote call from joining late.
2. Lock the meeting
This should be standard for any meeting. When you allow employees to show up late repeatedly you're taking away a valuable skill that will serve them well, showing up on time. Our suggestion is to lock the meeting after 10 minutes. Many remote platforms allow participants to request to be let in the meeting, don't be afraid to let them wait it out.
3. Plan your entire meeting
Remote platforms allow for screen sharing and presentations. Take advantage of this feature. While allowing your participants to see both the presentation and the presenter, you increase engagement and retention. If you decide not to have a presentation prepare an outline of what you intend to discuss. Create a plan and stick to it. Everyone appreciates a short meeting.
4. Provide Questions not Answers
"Does anyone have any questions or comments?" Usually goes one of two ways, your audience was super engaged and has something to say or more times than not they're hoping the meeting is over ASAP. Unfortunately more likely than not you've lost their attention before that. Do this instead. End your meeting with a firm closing and request an email from each participant. This works for a classroom, work meeting or even client proposal.
"In conclusion we know that Simple Social Success is the right marketing company for you because we understand your needs and goals in-order to significantly increase sales and profit for your business. Please email us by the end of tomorrow with your questions or thoughts as we additional unique strategies we'd like to implement for your business. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you"
Straight-forward and concise. You've created a prompt. And warranted a thoughtful response that will lead to a second conversation. If you're not looking for a timely response instead plan a follow up meeting or point of contact.
But what if you're on the opposite end and you're not the one leading the meeting? How do you make the most of your time. Time is money right?
Time isn't money, time is opportunity to learn, grow, improve and it's not to be taken advantage of. Here's three tips on how to take the most away from a remote meeting.
Prepare for the Meeting
This seems like a given, to prepare for a big meeting, interview or class but it really comes down to, are you ready? Don't go into a meeting blind in any occasion. Dress properly.. at least on the top half and grab your meeting necessities. A couple of ours is a notebook, a drink and a clear space from distractions or clutter.
2. Take Notes
Often times on remote meetings we find ourselves checking our phone or a personal favorite of mine... do some quick online shopping. If you're in a meeting, you're there for a reason. Take notes on what's discussed, any ideas you may have or questions. Taking notes increases retention and looks a lot better than you staring at yourself in the camera.
3. Take initiative
“A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.”― Banksy, Wall and Piece. Engage in the meeting every chance there is, you're more likely to take away at least one more thing than you would have. You'll spark conversation and require a response if not now then later. You're more likely to stick out of a crowd no matter the size. You'll thank us.
Remote meetings don't have to be a drag. Be creative and engaging, otherwise you're throwing away an opportunity, no matter what size it may be.