Just because you aren’t physically present, doesn’t stop you from having a great meeting experience. Equipped with collaborative tools and immersive HD multiparty video calling, Virtual Meeting can be a great alternative if you need to work remotely.
Here are some best practices for Virtual Meeting:
Schedule the Meeting
Schedule it in advance, with as much information as you have, such as topic, agenda, and any pre-reading materials. Having the meeting scheduled early will ensure a higher rate of participation. Your virtual meeting platform should allow you to send an email invitation with all the information they need, including a link, through which they can join the meeting. Be careful of time differences, if you are organising a meeting for people from different time zones.
Have an Agenda
The effectiveness of the virtual meeting will be heavily dependent on how well the time is used. This will be a product of how much thought and care is put into the agenda. Also, when discussions go off on a tangent, participants can easily switch off and turn to do other things unrelated to the meeting. One way to guide the discussion is to set tangible outcomes for each item on the agenda and have a time limit to achieve that. As much as possible, the agenda should be distributed ahead of time.
Check your System
Remind your meeting participants to ensure that they are able to log in and fully participate in the virtual meeting platform. This will also include testing their speakers, microphone, and camera settings. Also, turn off or mute messaging applications and email platforms, as your participants can potentially see these notifications, which could contain private data.
It is also a good practice to get your attendees to check their Wifi performance. They can use any internet based speed test to better understand their connection speeds. To be safe, it is best to hardwired their workstations.
During the Meeting
Set aside time for Roll Call and Chit Chat
With all the benefits of virtual meetings, it lacks the social and visual cues that are important for effective communication. It is even easier for the virtual discussion to be dominated by a few participants, making other participants feel unengaged and less compelled to focus and contribute. Take a few minutes at the start of the meeting to wait and acknowledge each participant. Use this opportunity for introductions if the participants do not already know each other. This will ensure that you start the meeting when everyone is present, and set the stage for more engaging discussion.
Actively Facilitate the Meeting
Virtual meetings require a greater level of facilitation than physical meetings. Whoever is leading the discussion will need to play an active role to move the discussion along, solicit updates and opinions from the participants, and reach decision points. This could mean cutting people off, or stopping a discussion that shows no sign of a resolution to move on to the next topic.
Also, set aside time for questions and for everyone to contribute. Just because everyone has been listening quietly, does not mean there are no questions. They may just have been politely listening and waiting for an opportunity to contribute.
Use Collaborative Tools To Engage
Most are visual learners and having Interactive Whiteboard capabilities let participants creatively demonstrate their thoughts and ideas. Participants can draw up ideas with pencil, highlighters, eraser, text and screen capture to facilitate better discussion. Screen Sharing with Annotation comes in handy when you want to share documents, presentations or video clips and get everyone on the same page. Participants do not need to download files or refer to their manual documents. You and your participants can also make annotations to explain and discuss your content while sharing your screen.
React to Network Issues
When the connection quality is low, advise your affected participants to choose audio over video. EnableX smart optimisation technology also automatically lower your resolutions and may eventually turn off the video. It is also advisable to hardwire your workstation. A wired ethernet connection to the workstation is always better than a congested Wifi.
Record and Share
Not everyone can make it for every video meeting. For those who missed out and for those who needs to review it, recording of the meeting can be done. The entire session, including the screen sharing presentations, can be done with just one click of a button. The .mp4 copy of the meeting can be emailed afterward and can be played back by simply clicking on the link.