Are you tired of hosting virtual meetings that seem to fall short of your expectations? Perhaps you’ve encountered technical difficulties, struggled to keep participants engaged, or failed to achieve the outcomes you had hoped for. With the rise of remote work, virtual meetings have become the norm, but without proper preparation, they can quickly become chaotic and ineffective. With the right preparation and tools, you can run virtual meetings that are both productive and engaging.
That’s why we’ve created a pre-meeting checklist to ensure your virtual meetings are a hit! Follow this checklist to set up your tech platform, define your meeting’s purpose and outcomes, and decide who will do what. By following these tips, you’ll be able to host effective virtual meetings, leaving both you and your participants feeling satisfied with the outcomes.
Before your meeting, it’s crucial to make sure you are familiar with the technical platform you’ll be using, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. Confirm how to set up invitations and invite attendees, and practice using every feature you plan on using, such as chat, whiteboard, video breakouts, polling, sharing screen, and reaction icons. You should also consider security measures and determine any relevant limits or constraints and workarounds.
Determine the number of participants attending and what level of the organization they represent. Train participants on the tools you’ll be using, ahead of time if necessary. Consider any potential resistance, power dynamic issues, or interpersonal challenges that participants may be walking in with that may need to be dealt with.
Confirm the purpose, outcomes, and agenda for the meeting. Confirm the content of meeting notifications, such as the meeting URL, ID, and password, and provide tech instructions. Determine any pre-work that participants must engage in to be ready for the meeting, such as pre-reads or handouts, and send initial communication and reminder notifications.
Check that all relevant apps or documents required are working and close any notifications that may interrupt the meeting. Make sure your lighting and computer positioning enable a full view of you and use headphones to ensure good sound. Set up your supplies and print crucial items such as process notes, parking lot, participation map, and speaker’s list.
This means first defining the outcomes you want to achieve in the meeting and then determining the overall strategic purpose. It’s also important to consider how decision-making will be conducted and how the agreement will be tested, such as through polling or using a ranking scale.
Define the meeting’s process, including the topics, flow, timing, and methods to be used, such as brainstorming or decision-making. To be efficient you should also decide which virtual tools you’ll be using, such as chat, breakout rooms, polls, or other digital collaboration tools.
In addition, it’s important to request help with key support roles, such as co-host/producer or scribe. You should also prepare to invite people in the meeting to take on less-demanding roles, such as timer, chat monitor, or sub-group facilitator. By defining the process and roles, you can ensure that everyone knows their responsibilities and the meeting runs smoothly.
Getting ready for your virtual meeting is like setting the stage for a great show. Defining the purpose and outcomes is like crafting the script and determining the process and roles is like directing the performance.
Effective meeting management is all about being prepared in advance and setting yourself up for success. By following these steps your virtual meetings will be more than just another video conference call… they will be a dynamic and engaging experience that leaves your participants feeling energized and empowered. So, get ready, define your purpose, determine your process and roles, and let the show begin!
Do you have a unique meeting challenge not covered by one of our blog posts? We’re always looking for different dilemmas to discuss in our articles!