How to Run Effective Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings have many of the same problems as in-person meetings — but with added distractions and technical obstacles. Luckily, you are able to conduct effective virtual meetings by adhering to a few simple rules of meeting.

An agenda is crucial to keep virtual meetings on track and to keep participants engaged. You can also encourage participants by asking open-ended questions, asking for feedback and assigning roles to take notes or record the next steps.

If you’re preparing slides or other visuals for your presentation, be sure to test them prior to time, and also any software or hardware you may require. Be sure to arrive early in order to resolve any technical issues that may arise prior the scheduled start time.

It’s difficult to interpret body language and emotion when you’re unable to see your fellow attendees and so you should try to keep eye contact with everyone, or at a minimum, ask everyone to do this if they’re comfortable doing so. You should also choose an area that is quiet with no distractions to focus on the meeting. Turn off your microphone when you’re not speaking.

You can ask for feedback at end of a session if you are the moderator. This can help identify areas of improvement, as well as giving participants a clear idea of how their input was appreciated. In the last two minutes of a session it’s also a great practice to summarise the next steps, and to record any action items.

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