Despite the challenges that arose over the recent pandemic, the situation has been a learning session for various industries. Industry leaders have been forced to adopt new modes of operation in order to remain afloat. One of the current trends in business is online business meetings.
Aside from sticking to laid down health regulations, most entrepreneurs have discovered that this is one of the most low-cost and efficient means to conduct business. This trend is likely to stick for generations to come. Hence, businesses need to equip themselves with a few tips on how to conduct a seamless online meeting.
Set an agenda and communicate it to participants on time.
Every meeting, both physical and online, need an agenda, a point of discussion. Setting a meeting without a clear agenda often results in time wastage and confusion among participants. For your online meeting to run smoothly, never initiate a meeting without an agenda. Prepare a formal agenda highlighting all the key points of discussion during the meeting. It is also best o sort the agenda according to your current business needs to make the entire meeting easy for everyone.
Within the agenda, you should also mention the roles expected from each participant during the meeting. Send this agenda at least 24hrs before the scheduled time. This way, the participants can be able to familiarize themselves with the topics. You should also seek the acknowledgment of the attendees. Finally, set an automated meeting reminder.
Appoint a moderator.
A moderator’s job is rather simple. They are tasked with ensuring order in the meeting. Once you appoint a moderator, they take on the authority to control the proceedings of the meeting.
The moderator gives the attendees permission to speak and ensures everyone sticks to the meeting agenda. A moderator is invaluable if you are looking to set up an online meeting due to miscommunication resulting from internet connection and video or audio quality.
Set up your conference in advance.
Your system plays a major role in determining the success of your meeting. Setting up your system involves selecting a high-quality video conferencing platform that your devices can support. For the meeting to run smoothly, all the participants should prep their video conference system for half an hour.
To prep the system, you need to ensure your microphone and camera are in good condition, and the video conferencing platform of your choice can support multiple users. Make sure your team uses a specialized application such as zoom for multiple participants to enhance professionalism.
Set time limits.
Setting a time limit can help yield positive results from the meeting. This way, you can get all the key points rather than dwelling on off-topic conversations. An example of time-capping is setting the meeting to last an hour, with each participant being assigned specific minutes depending on their contribution and role at the meeting. With a time-cap, the attendees will focus their attention solely on the agenda, yielding a productive meeting.
Distractions during a meeting have been known to lower the productivity of the meeting. This is, however, made worse by the fact that the attendees will be joining the meeting from remote locations. To avoid any miscommunications brought on by distraction, you need to issue guidelines on the background setting.
Ensure all the participants are in a closed well-light room with clear background with the proper connection. To improve audio quality, it is best to use headphones or a collar mic instead of your device’s mic.
Make sure the attendees are not multi-tasking, for example, answering emails or phone calls while attending the meeting. The etiquette expressed during a closed-door business meeting should also be employed in a virtual meeting.
End the meeting with action items.
Most business meetings tend to end with unreliable promises from the attendees. The moderator needs to extra call to action statements from each of the agendas listed and receive a uniform acknowledgment from the participants. The most important thing to do is identify and assign each call to action to an individual and set a deadline. These three moves will make it easy to track the resolutions of the meeting to ensure the meeting was productive.
Share the meeting notes.
Once you have given the final remarks, ensure a summary of the meeting notes is sent to each of the attendees. Within this summary, you need to list the action points identified during the meeting and the name of the person responsible for delivering the action item. Once everyone has received the summary notes, ask them to acknowledge the notes and ascertain their understanding.
Online business meetings usually involve individuals from different locations. It is with careful and timely preparations that these meetings can actually run smoothly and even yield results.