With most of us working from home, whether it’s to pitch a new idea or to conduct weekly check-ins with your team, online meetings are now the new norm. It may not be the first thing to cross your (or anyone’s) mind, but given the circumstance, your virtual environment has become a reflection of your, as well as the company’s, branding.
For instance, hosting an online meeting plagued by technical issues more often than not translates to unprofessionalism, while smooth-running sessions will make you (and your company) feel more polished. Additionally, without the physical presence and engagement of your team, virtual meetings may also begin to feel more unproductive.
As individuals who will need to be more accustomed to hosting team and client meetings, here are some tips for maximising the productivity of your virtual meetings.
#1 Work From A Quiet Place
Not to be confused with John Krasinski’s horror film, working from a quiet place reduces noise distractions and keeps the team focused during online meetings. Parents may want to excuse themselves to another room and have your spouse help with parent duty during the meeting.
While working in a quiet room is important, conducting a video call in an empty one can lead to unwanted, hollow echoes. This can be easily solved by including some soft furnishings in the room, including carpets, rugs or even pillows to reduce distracting reverberations.
#2 Test The Equipment And Software Beforehand
From broken meeting invite links to faulty microphones, we’ve all experienced technical hiccups. Not only are they distracting, but these issues also add to the unnecessary prolonging of meetings.
To ensure a productive call, conduct a dry run prior to the meeting. Working microphone? Check. Stable Internet connection? Check. As the host and/or facilitator of the meeting, try to be online at least 5 mins before the meeting to start the session on time.
#3 Use a Laptop
While using your mobile may be more convenient, using a laptop for virtual meetings will allow you to take notes and ensure a stable image as you engage in the discussion. Also, without the need to toggle between your phone and laptop, you’ll also be able to ensure your presence by maintaining eye contact with the team as you jot down the pointers.
#4 Be Present
From email notifications to working on another project, It’s easy to be distracted – especially when you’re not physically present at the meeting. However, just like conventional meetings, it’s important to focus and engage in the discussion at hand, in order to make the best out of the session.
As such, close all browser tabs and turn off all notifications before the meeting to avoid potential distractions. Plus, you’ll want to avoid everyone accidentally reading your emails and WhatsApp messages when sharing your screen.
#5 Look Out for Body Language
Especially so for video calls that involve a larger group of participants, you may find yourself accidentally interrupting someone or being interrupted.
As such, look out for cues and pause for a little before speaking, to ensure that all opinions are noted.
#6 Appoint a Facilitator
Similar to conventional meetings, it’s important to appoint a facilitator or moderator for virtual meetings, to keep the meeting on track as well as to ensure clarity of the discussion.
The facilitator will also look out for the involvement of all individuals and that their voices are heard – an important aspect that may be overlooked, especially without the team’s physical presence.
Despite the physical absence, it’s important to treat virtual meetings just as seriously as conventional ones. Doing so will not only ensure productive sessions, but will also lead to a positive association with your branding, whether individually or collectively as an organisation.
Open A New Business Banking AccountLooking for a bank account for all your business transactions? The OCBC Business Banking provides a wide range of business accounts for you to choose from so that you can find the most suitable account for your business needs.
Join The DollarsAndSense Business Community
For more content that helps entrepreneurs, freelancers, and self-employed individuals and learn to build better businesses, join the DollarsAndSense Business Community on Facebook.