Face-to-face meetings can be extremely valuable, but changes in how we work mean digital team meetings are becoming increasingly popular.
The most important question to ask yourself when planning a digital meeting is the following:
‘Is this meeting really necessary?’
Unnecessary meetings can be a huge drain on a business, causing wasted time, money, and overall an unproductive workforce. Before automatically making a digital meeting your go-to method of communication, it’s important to consider whether there’s a different means of communication. This could involve each person filming a video in their own time, a written document, or something else.
However, if you come to the conclusion that a digital team meeting is the most appropriate form of communication for your team, read on to discover our top tips to reduce the time of your meetings, and get the most out of them.
Digital meetings aren’t always bad and can be essential if your workforce is based at home or in different locations. They are a great way to ensure you maintain a relationship with colleagues you may not regularly see. Although they can be highly effective, you need to ensure you don’t experience virtual meeting overload. Microsoft conducted some research that found fatigue usually kicks in around 30-40 minutes into a meeting; this is why it’s so essential your session is full of engaging and relevant content.
So, how do you turn a physical event into a virtual one? You’ve chosen the platform, but how do you ensure that your team doesn’t nod off during the meeting? Most of the things you plan for physical meetings still need to be considered, such as content and engagement. But, it can be harder to ensure your team stays focused when you’re not in the same room.
Let’s talk about five ways to stop your team from daydreaming throughout your virtual meetings.
Set Clear Goals
Before you get started creating your agenda and inviting attendees, you should think about what you want from the meeting. What is the end goal? Make sure the content is relevant to the end goal. How much time should you allocate for the meeting? Ensure that you have enough time to cover everything.
If you are struggling to fit all the required content into a meeting with a reasonable time frame, consider taking part in a zoom fatigue hour with us. We will provide personalised tips to help you ensure your meetings meet their target and contain exciting content.
Plan Your Agenda
It is essential to create a clear plan for your meeting; there is nothing worse than being sat around in a virtual meeting waiting for something to happen. You should create an agenda that includes time allocations for each section of the virtual meeting. Make sure you stick to these times as much as possible. This avoids the meeting running over and also ensures you cover everything you intend to.
It would be best if you also considered sharing the schedule with attendees before the virtual meeting. This lets people plan and even make suggestions to improve the meeting and its content. Another great tip – include any links you will be referencing, so attendees have them on hand in advance.
Invite the Right People
Inviting too many people to a meeting can have adverse effects. Technology can fail if too many people are in a virtual meeting. Also, it can be difficult to input a conversation. Think about who needs to be in the meeting and invite them first, then consider anybody who could benefit from attending and ask them if you feel there is extra space available.
It would help if you tried to ensure everybody in the meeting is there for a reason. Attending a meeting that you don’t really need to be in is just dull, resulting in an uninterested team.
Invite a Guest Host
Having multiple hosts in a virtual meeting means that the pressure isn’t all on one person to get it right. More than one host will keep the attendees interested as it breaks up the meeting and mixes things up. Outside sources from other businesses may provide information that you don’t usually have access to or knowledge of. You could even consider asking a well-known name – this would definitely keep your team listening!
Engage With Your Team
What nobody wants is for a virtual team meeting to feel like a lecture. It is vital to make attendees feel comfortable. You want to feel like you’re talking to real people and not just into a computer screen! Encourage your team to talk to each other by planning fun activities. Also, encourage everyone to ask questions along the way.
Sharing your screen is a great way to make your meeting more interactive and keep your team involved. Attendees can even make annotations to your screen. This lets them make suggestions and give feedback, a fantastic way to stay focused!
Hopefully, these tips have inspired you to create more engaging and interactive content for your upcoming virtual team meetings! If you would like more advice on potentially cutting your team meetings in half, download our free template today!