Managing virtual meetings and think tank conferences doesn’t have to be frustrating. While we acknowledge that getting a large group together online and somehow keeping their attention throughout the event can be a little tricky, there are ways to overcome this obstacle and manage virtual meetings to deliver success.
The following tips will help give you an advantage when it comes to leading virtual meetings and conferences with your team.
Most people like to hide behind their screens, especially if they don’t need to have their video on, during meetings and zone out to do other things. In order to avoid this challenge, make sure your meeting requires all team members to have their videos on so that they don’t have a choice but to be attentive to what’s going on.
When leading virtual meetings, it’s important to take timing into consideration. You need to make sure you are keeping time and following your agenda during the meeting. This will keep you on track and will keep the audience focused on the presentation.
There’s nothing like a thought provoking or powerful question that will draw your audience towards you from the start. Think of something that creates a conversation and that will establish instant connection between you and the audience when you open your meeting.
It is important to keep in mind how you will connect with your audience. Make sure you are empathetic, informed and approachable. Your tone and facial expressions is what your audience will be taking note off and those features are what will set the tone of the entire meeting. This also means that as employees talk to you or one another, everyone should maintain respect and empathy to ensure the meeting is effective and efficient.
As you facilitate the meeting, it is important to open up the platform for everyone to speak up their thoughts, answer questions and maybe even ask questions themselves. If time permits, ensure that everyone has gotten the chance to share what’s on their mind as you don’t want to miss something important. This will also give an opportunity for the more quieter employees to be able to share their thoughts and give any important updates as necessary.
As mentioned, it’s important to keep your audience engaged and even involved whenever possible. In order to keep your employees attention, your presentation should be on point, contain visuals and should have elements of engagement within the audience. This could include break out rooms for the team to discuss, real time polls/Q&A and maybe even a light game to end the meeting with.
As we become more accustomed to a more virtual world, we have to understand and be okay with the challenges that come alone the way. The good news is, we can always learn from past mishaps and make the next meeting or agenda an even smoother and more successful one.
Check out our guide to hosting successful virtual events before you plan your next meeting!
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