Because of globalization and delocalization, but also simply of smart working, remote meetings have become a norm for most organizations. Unlike the more involving face-to-face meetings, the drop in attention and the loss of time (your and of the others) are always lurking. Here is a list of useful ideas to make these meetings more productive.
1. Use a dedicated software
Choose software that supports remote communication between the many options available (WebEx, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect and Skype for Business). These softwares manage conversations in real time, allow participants to ask questions and help to record comments and messages that are useful for everyone to follow the conversation.
2. Spread a well-defined program
If you have a pre-set and well-defined program, it is likely that the participants are more involved. Share the agenda with others in advance so that everyone knows how they can and must contribute and can prepare accordingly.
3. Break the ice
Breaking the ice at the beginning is a good way to create a positive atmosphere among the participants from the beginning. Ask initial questions or tell a curious fact or something funny. This way, participants will be more relaxed and willing to contribute. Probably it is something you often do in live interactions, why not do it remotely?
4. Presents all the interlocutors
Introduce all participants to the meeting. This will allow everyone to become familiar with the voice of the other participants, making everyone more available to take part in the discussion.
5. Make the meeting interactive
If your meeting is not interactive, it is boring and difficult to follow. You can use animated interactions, a virtual game related to the theme of the meeting or give surveys during the session to gather input from participants on a discussion topic.
6. Avoid static presentations
Who likes a static PowerPoint presentation? Use animations and impact images in your presentations to make them engaging and fun.
7. Make small "pauses" with light content
Chattering helps people feel connected. A joke or a brief mention of time helps people feel comfortable and interconnected, take a short mental break and go on with the task.
8. Do not delay yourself
Long meetings do not help anyone, let alone the results. A meeting with a good length ranges from 30 to maximum 60 minutes. Stick to the agenda and try not to overdo.
9. Send useful and summary information after the meeting
Send useful information for the participants. For example, an e-mail that summarizes who is working on what and what are the expected timelines.
10. Review your meeting
Once finished, review the meeting and ask the participants which parts they liked the most and which less. Was there anything that could have been skipped or included to make the meeting better? Encourage them to provide honest feedback to improve the quality of the future meetings.
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