In the wake of COVID, virtual meetings have largely replaced in-person business meetings. As businesses reopen, many wisely continue opting for meeting virtually out of health and safety precautions.
The reduction or total elimination of regular business meetings is a breath of relief for many of us who struggle with the inefficiency of in-person meetings. Fortunately for both businesses and employees, quality video conferencing platforms provide an opportunity for meetings not only to continue safely but also to continue more productively than before.
The following are some tips we’ve compiled to hosting a productive video meeting and ensuring participants get the most out of the meeting.
1. Start the Call by Introducing Everyone
You wouldn’t start a conversation between two acquaintances who haven’t met at an in-person meeting or networking event without introducing them first. Making introductions is a practice that you should also apply to virtual meetings. Start your meetings off by introducing all participants on the call to create a welcoming and warm environment.
2. Remove Background Distractions
As the host AKA the productivity czar, you want as few distractions on the call as possible. That means you should have the meeting in a clean setting free of the clutter that attendees could see behind you, and in a quiet location with minimal background noise and movement. Participants will fall into distraction if a lot is going on visually or auditorily in the background of a work call. Some video platforms like Zoom have a virtual background feature that allows you to block your background, so you don’t have to worry about distracting anyone when you’re not in an ideal place for a meeting.
3. Look at the Camera When You Speak
One feature of virtual meetings that presents a distraction that doesn’t exist in regular meetings is that you see yourself on a screen for the duration of the meeting. Seeing yourself can make it challenging not to be distracted by your image while you’re talking. But to other meeting participants, this looks like you’re giving your attention to something other than the meeting. Look directly into the camera while speaking because this creates an environment where everyone feels and engaged and present in the call.
4. Eliminate Other Computer Distractions
We can’t help it– messages and notifications will come in while we’re on a video call. These can be very distracting and tempting to address during the meeting, but they can make attendees feel disrespected and undervalued. It’s best to disable notifications and messages while you’re on the call so you can focus entirely on the meeting.
5. Know Your Audio & Video Settings
A best practice is to mute your microphone while you’re not speaking, to limit any additional noise or distraction when other people are talking. Many people forget to unmute themselves when they’re ready to talk. Hosts within Zoom have the capability of muting and unmuting participants. Also, note the video settings– ideally, during a video meeting, you’ll want the video setting turned on. But virtual calls do not necessitate video.
6. Invite Only Participants Who Need to Be There
Inviting only need-to-be-there participants is a practice that should also apply to in-person meetings. Still, our virtual meetings allow us to do this more easily. Asking people to attend without needing to participate or make decisions can weigh heavily on the productivity of the meeting. Limit the attendee list to keep the meeting streamlined, and note that you can record meetings for people who aren’t there.
7. Host Until the Very End
If you’re the host, wait until everyone else has left the meeting before you hang up. It’s proper etiquette, giving participants time to hang around and get their final words before the end of the meeting.
Good Meeting Etiquette is Key
Just like in-person, you don’t get the reputation in your organization for scheduling unproductive meetings. When you practice proper video meeting etiquette, you ensure efficiency and professionalism in the meetings you run.
Want more guidance for running a better business during and after the COVID pandemic? Contact RAFCO Clean for advice or call 314-721-8427.