Wondering how to conduct a meeting effectively from home? It’s a simple process, but here are a few critical differences between holding a face-to-face meeting and holding one remotely.
With so many people at home now due to COVID-19, virtual meetings are happening more often than ever.
When you’re ready to learn the differences, so you can ensure your remote meeting goes off without a hitch, read on.
Start With an Icebreaker
If you’re used to holding your meetings in the office like most folks, teleconferencing is an entirely different experience. It’s more formal than a telephone call but less formal than a face-to-face gathering.
To help you and your colleagues connect, start out with a quick icebreaker.
An example of this would be to go around and have each person describe something in their environment hidden offscreen. Make sure it’s something unexpected or humorous!
Appoint a Moderator
Conducting effective meetings is all about remaining on task. The easiest way to do that is to recruit a taskmaster or your moderator.
Her job is to stop the meeting when a speaker gets derailed. Then, she points out the direction the meeting needs to head in order to stay on task. She can also play the role of a timekeeper, which is important for any type of meeting you’re holding.
Build Your Agenda
It doesn’t matter whether you’re having a willy-nilly pow-wow with coworkers or your boss’s boss called you on an instant conference call. The key to conducting a meeting effectively is building a roadmap.
It works better if you build your map before you get to the meeting.
If that’s not possible, take the first 3 to 5 minutes with everyone and build that roadmap together. Then, hand it off to your moderator and let her keep you on task.
Plan for Technical Difficulties
To conduct effective meetings, everyone needs to show up on time and bring their materials. That’s simple if you just need to bring yourself and plop down on a chair in the conference room. It’s much harder when attendees must deal with possible software and hardware issues.
Make sure everyone reboots their computers 20 minutes before the meeting. Also, make sure everyone’s familiar with the platform you’re using. If not, designate one of your technical whizzes to show up 20 minutes early to help any Luddites.
Set Time Limits
Build time limits into each section of your agenda. Ask the moderator to keep you on track. If you must move on before you finish a section, jot down a quick note and revisit the subject next meeting.
Did you know that a messy desk reduces productivity? The items on the desk distract the owner from her focus. That leads to a less fruitful workday.
The same can be said for distractions during a teleconference. Make sure your attendees put their cell phones away and turn off social media. Ask them to move to rooms devoid of auditory distractions as well: kids yelling, automotive interferences, and the like.
Send Everyone Notes
After you finish, dissect the meeting. What areas still needed to be covered? Which actionable items did you decide on?
Send everyone the Cliff Notes version to make it easier. Reminding people what happened during the meeting and what was decided upon is a good way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Read also: How Does an online Chatroom Operate?
Conduct a Meeting Virtually Today
When you conduct a meeting from home, keeping everyone focused is the hardest part.
Implement an agenda, pick a moderator, and avoid distractions to be successful.
If you want to learn other ways to improve a telecommute during the coronavirus quarantine, hop over to our library full of digital insights.