6 Steps to More Engaging Remote Meetings
Remote meetings are an essential part of today’s workflow. As companies continue to evolve and expand, the frequency of remote meetings grow. Engaging your team during a remote meeting can be hard, but it isn’t impossible. Below are our six tips for an effective and engaging remote meeting:
1. Stick to An Agenda
The first step to creating an engaging remote meeting is to drive interest before the meeting begins. Send out a meeting agenda with the following information:
- Why are we having this meeting?
- What’s our goal for this meeting?
- Meeting format and expectations for participants
- Meeting time, log-in information, and other technical details
- Participant expectations: what to bring, research, required materials
Always schedule and confirm a specific time, accounting for time zones, for your remote meeting. If you want your team engaged during your meeting, help them show up ready to do that. By sending out this information ahead of time, ideally a few days, your team is mentally prepared for the process and outcome.
2. No Muting
This is one of the easiest ways to increase engagement. Instead of your teammates wandering around their houses doing dishes and vacuuming, they’re accountable for being present as they would in a physical meeting. Of course, this means you need to respect the time you set for the meeting and try to avoid going overtime by being efficient.
3. Personalize It
Remote meetings can feel impersonal, but you can change this with video technology. Compared to a few years ago, technology is much more reliable and video conferencing is much more do-able. Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, and Blue Jeans all offer quick solutions.
Another way to personalize your meeting is through screen-sharing. Sharing a screen in real-time allows your team to follow along as you’re talking. It helps bridge the physical gap by allowing everyone to see the same thing, as they would in real life. You can also change the screen share so anyone in the meeting can share their screen if they have a question or comment. Examples of services that you can use include Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts and Join.me.
4. Involve Everyone
In your meeting agenda, assign everyone at least one talking point. This gives them a purpose for being at the meeting and will keep them engaged as they anticipate their turn to speak. It also affirms that they’re part of the team and are spending their time in a valuable way. If everyone has a talking point, try to cap your remote meeting at five members. Having more than five members can be difficult because of distractions, sound quality, or a poor connection. It’s better to have frequent meetings with fewer participants. Not only does this improve meeting quality, but it also creates a better culture for your organization overall by placing more value on each individual. If you want to drive engagement even further, have your team help build the meeting agenda in advance.
5. Switch It Up
It doesn’t matter how engaging you are as a speaker; no one wants to sit in a meeting, let alone a virtual meeting, for hours at a time. If you must have a longer virtual meeting for a product launch or training session, it’s crucial to break things up. Schedule in regular breaks for stretching, leaving the meeting, and recharging. Regularly stop for discussions or questions if you can. If it’s a particularly long meeting make sure there isn’t one person speaking the entire time. Monotony is the quickest way to kill engagement, so it’s important to break it up any way you can.
6. Assign Responsibilities and Follow-ups
Assign each of your teammates a responsibility during the meeting. For example, rotate a note-taker and a time-tracker. By doing this, you’ve guaranteed that at least two members of your team are engaged throughout the meeting. After the meeting, create a place where everyone can post their follow-up assignments, questions, or thoughts about the meeting. This way, the meeting is effectively followed up and put into action instead of forgotten.
As companies move toward remote work, virtual meetings will become more common. Now that you know how to keep your team engaged, you need the right technology to support your team and maximize engagement.
EDC helps companies and lots of other organizations improve their AV for effective and engaging meetings. Does your conference room need an upgrade? Call 612-355-2300 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start your project today.