Video conferencing and virtual meetings aren’t new in business. They’re a popular alternative to unnecessary physical meetings and a great way to connect remote teams and drive productivity. In fact, a reported 94% of companies who implement video conferencing say it increases productivity.
However, like any technology, the tool is only as good as its user.
Whether it’s neglecting proper planning, failing to assign roles among attendees, or simply not using your video conferencing software to its full potential, there are several challenges that can arise in virtual meetings.
What Are Virtual Meetings?
Virtual meetings, also known as web conferencing, video conferencing or video calls, allow teams to connect multiple devices via video link. Most virtual meeting platforms like CommuniCloud support screen annotation, chat, speaker management, and interoperability with other applications.
Virtual meetings are popular for several reasons, including:
- Connecting remote teams and reducing travel costs
- Reducing overheads and empowering flexible working
- Improving team collaboration
- Reducing the frustration associated with time-consuming physical catch ups
- Improving meeting attendance and employee productivity
These are some fantastic benefits of video conferencing, but don’t happen without giving thought to how to conduct effective virtual meetings. Here are five simple but essential virtual meetings best practices.
1. Plan Your Agenda
Like any other meeting, virtual meetings require a defined agenda that clearly outlines the objective, topics and timeframe of the discussion. Remember, one of the great benefits of video conferencing is to increase productivity, so ensure all attendees understand why they’re involved and how they can contribute as per the agenda.
2. Create an Ice-Breaker
Many employees find meetings daunting, especially with new people. Icebreakers allow all attendees to feel comfortable before diving into the nitty-gritty. If you’re conducting the meeting, allow a few minutes of friendly small talk before tackling the agenda – it’s even considered good business etiquette in many environments.
3. Know the Software
Spending 10 minutes grappling with the software isn’t a good use of anyone’s time, and is one of the most common frustrations people encounter with virtual meetings. To avoid this problem, ensure you familiarise yourself with the functionality of the program before the meeting begins.
Better yet, use a video conferencing platform like CommuniCloud that is highly user-friendly and intuitive to learn.
4. Assign Roles
Every attendee in your virtual meeting should know why they’re involved. There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting through a meeting thinking “why am I even here?” Assigning roles can be a great element of your meeting introduction and will remove room for miscommunication.
Common virtual meetings roles can include:
- The Leader – Or the facilitator of the meeting and the person in charge of ensuring the agenda is followed.
- The Janitor – Or the person responsible for ‘cleaning up’ the meeting if it strays off course, or if some team members haven’t had their say.
- The Scribe – Or the person responsible for succinct note taking to share with attendees after the meeting has ended.
5. Engage The Team
Virtual meetings with remote teams are all about collaboration, so ensure you do your best to engage each attendee to participate in meaningful ways.
When done right, virtual meetings translate to great collaboration, productivity and saved resources. To learn how your next virtual meeting can be an effective and enjoyable experience for all involved, get in touch with us at CommuniCloud today.