How to Run an Effective Remote Meeting
More and more professionals are using technology to hold remote meetings. Although there are many advantages of virtual meetings, such as people being able to attend them from anywhere in the world, remote meetings can create problems that negatively impact communication effectiveness. So, it is crucial you plan how you will run your remote meeting beforehand to ensure few problems arise, and everyone is on the same page.
Use Virtual Backgrounds for Professionalism or Humor
Some people use virtual backgrounds for privacy purposes. But backgrounds can be used for lots of other reasons too. If you have an important meeting with clients or management, you may wish to choose a professional-looking background for your conference calls, such as a city skyline or a private office. Or if you are holding a meeting with your team and you want to inject some fun into the proceedings so that people’s attention is held, you can opt for a humorous background. For example, you could use a virtual background to make it look like you are sitting in an airplane’s cockpit. If you use Zoom for your remote meetings, check out this company that has more than 90 videos and over 300 high-quality image backgrounds to use for your Zoom calls.
Decide How Communication Will Happen Ahead of the Meeting
You want to avoid everyone talking at once in your remote meeting, so decide ahead of time how the meeting attendees will chat during the conference call. Most apps have very useful chat options. However, you do not want two streams of communication to happen at the same time. Set rules for your remote meeting to ensure it goes smoothly, and everyone is heard.
Implement Effective Communication
In addition to having rules for communication in place, it is essential you think about communication while you are holding the meeting. Because of delays and connectivity issues, it can be easy to talk over people in remote meetings, so make sure you leave space for silence and time for people to respond. You should also watch for nonverbal responses such as nods or confused expressions so that you can respond accordingly and ensure everyone in your meeting understands what is being conveyed.
Agree on Other Protocols
Video conferencing tools enable users to turn their webcams on or off and mute or unmute sound. Your meeting will run much more effectively if you decide beforehand what the protocol for those elements are. You will want to avoid unnecessary interruptions when conducting the meeting, so it is best to get everyone to agree to default to video. It is much easier to avoid interruptions when you are able to see a person who is about to speak. As for muting, the general rule of thumb is to not use mute functions for a meeting involving less than six people. But if there are more, you can use the mute function appropriately to ensure interruptions do not happen when important information is being relayed.
Record the Meeting
Even if everyone from your office is working from home, it is inevitable that some people will sometimes miss meetings. You should set up a formal way for absentees to let you know they will not be attending, so you can ensure your meeting starts and ends on time. But, unlike in-person meetings, the great thing about a remote meeting is the whole thing can be recorded. Make sure all your virtual meetings are recorded so that anyone who misses the meeting can catch up afterward.