Virtual Meetings 101
By: Johnny Nugent
Whether your company is back in the office full-time, still 100% remote, or somewhere in between, remote meetings are here to stay. Perhaps a very small silver lining that came out of the devastating coronavirus pandemic is that virtual meetings became commonplace. The technology was always there, but now our comfort level has caught up with the technology. Now, without investing in expensive travel, you can have a face-to-face meeting with anyone in the world. Pretty cool, huh?
In the ERP industry, our account managers and consultants are communicating with people in different parts of the country and the world on a daily basis. Here are our tips for making the most out of your virtual meetings:
Choose the Right Technology
From Zoom and GoToMeeting to Slack and Google Hangouts, the options in the virtual meeting space are endless. Take the time to research the various platforms before deciding what is best for your team’s needs.
- When you’re physically distant from your team it’s easy to lose track of your schedule. Be sure to send out a calendar invite to all meeting participants. It’s also helpful to set a reminder notification for 15 minutes prior to the meeting.
- Just like any in person meeting it’s especially important to create an agenda for the meeting. If it’s ready beforehand send it out to your team so everyone knows what to expect. This will prevent anyone from getting side-tracked and will ensure the most productive meeting.
Adopt a Video-On Policy
Face-to-face communication is more effective than just voice so it’s a good idea to encourage all meeting participants to have their video cam on. Whether you are meeting with internal team members, an established client, or a potential customer there are many benefits of seeing each other’s faces on the video screen including:
- Encouraging employees not to work in their pajamas all day. Getting dressed leaves you feeling energized and increases productivity.
- Ensuring no one is multitasking. You would never be texting, emailing, or engaging in some other distracting behavior in an in-person meeting so why would you do it on a video call?
- Bonding with co-workers. Remote work can be lonely so meet face-to-face with your co-workers to encourage a feeling of camaraderie.
- Putting a face to a name. Maybe you’re not meeting with co-workers, but rather someone brand new. It could be a client or a prospective client. Facial expressions are such an important aspect of communication so having a video on policy will help you connect and read your audience better.
Keep it Short
Meetings that last 15-45 minutes are most effective whether they are in person or virtual. Since it can be even harder to keep people’s attention through the computer screen, be sure to keep your meetings short and sweet to make the most out of everyone’s time.
Create a Professional Backdrop
Thanks to Zoom (and other remote meeting platforms) you can have a photo of pretty much any location as your virtual meeting background. If you don’t have something downloaded, be sure to keep your background professional. You don’t want to show off your messy kitchen or that you’re actually on vacation sitting by the pool. Neatly organized bookshelves or a wall with a simple photo gallery are good locations to look for in your home for your next virtual meeting.
Even if you are back in the office, with the many travel restrictions, we will still heavily rely on virtual meetings to meet with people in a different location. We hope these tips will keep your virtual meetings professional and productive until we can travel about more freely.