Fortunately distributed work doesn’t have to lead to disorganized meetings.
With some planning and a strategy, the team can have online meetings which are just as efficient and productive as having everyone in the same place.
Nowadays, remote meetings are becoming common. Sometimes, it’s the only way a contractor on the other side of the world can catch up. What’s more, businesses will reduce travel costs by 30 percent thanks to online meetings.
On the other hand, keeping focused when you’re all on the line is not always easy, instead of sitting next to each other.
To make the online meeting productive, all the participants must be kept engaged.
In this article, you will learn how to do it.
What makes people less engaged during online meetings?
Online meetings are also said to be less successful than face-to-face ones. So, why exactly is it so difficult to keep workers involved during the entire meeting?
There is always a way to look at your phone but during an online meeting, you will feel less embarrassed because it’s much harder for the other participants to realise that – especially when your camera is off.
During an online meeting, it is also much harder to build a personal connection with your participants. This is another reason why people don’t feel so obliged to stay focused.
You create a bond when you see someone face to face, keep eye contact, follow the language of the body.
All these factors make people interested more in the discussion. Last but not least, people often lose their focus during formal meetings because they’re more informal, especially if they call from home.
They feel relaxed because they can conduct a meeting from their living room, with their cat on their lap and Facebook opened in other browser cards.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling confident but the idea is to remain focused.
How to keep your participants engaged in an online meeting?
There’s nothing wrong with feeling relaxed, but the idea is to stay focused anyway. So, how do you keep the participants involved during the entire meeting? We know it could be difficult.
Below we share our best tips for successful meetings online.
First things first: You need to think about technical information to make your remote meeting successful. Be sure to use a secure internet connection, as well as a secure video calls device.
1. The shorter, the better
Stick to the timetable decided, and do not break it. The optimum meeting time is between 15 and 30 minutes, as we discussed in another article about successful meetings. If it’s not necessary, it’s much better not to choose longer time frames.
Also, if you were to hit the meeting date, people would still not be fully concentrated. The attention spans are becoming progressively shorter today – the only thing they’ll concentrate on is to count the minutes before the meeting is over.
2. Break the ice
Online meetings provide you with fewer chances to shape a bond with participants.
The time slots are also typically very short, which has its intent, but it also doesn’t give you much space for small talk.
In comparison, you don’t need that much time – all you need to do is build a nice environment at the beginning of the meeting.
A quick “How are you doing? “It’s going a long way.
Starting with casual chit-chat, participants could feel more comfortable and, eventually, more engaged in the meeting.
3. Introduce all participants
Some apps don’t show all members of the group, some only show a tiny pic of the user. Hence the camera has a slight angle too.
If the other side has a party you will not be able to fit everyone in the picture. That is why meeting someone individually is always a good idea.
Participants are more likely to get interested in learning who’s on the other side.
4. Create an agenda and share it before the meeting
Respect the fact that you’re not the only one that has a lot on their plate.
Meetings take time, including those online. This is why you should also take some of your time to come up with a plan that you’ll stick to and know exactly what issues you need to raise.
This is also a good move to forward the agenda to all the participants in advance.
Everybody can then better plan for the meeting, and avoid disruptive questions during the meeting.
5. Get smart with scheduling
Using a dedicated tool for scheduling meetings can work wonders.
For example, Harmonizely allows all participants to choose a suitable time for a meeting and to schedule reminders in advance.
This will make them more involved and concentrated, provided that it gives them a sense of power. We are free to handle all meetings scheduled which makes life much easier.
6. Invite the right people
How many people should be invited to such a meeting?
The fewer people who participate in the meeting most of the time, the better. Research indicates that 5 to 8 individuals are involved in the most successful meetings.
Be sure to invite others who are willing to contribute to that event. All will have the chance to talk and show their position this way.
So note-the fewer participants, the lower the chances of having some internet contact problems.
7. Stay focused on the goal
Reminding the participants of the main goal during the meeting will help them remain focused on the main issue.
You may want to write it down on a whiteboard if appropriate, and position it within the range of the camera.
These tricks will help you stay focused and not move away from the subject.
8. Ask questions directly
You don’t really hate it when there are two or three people talking at once?
This is sadly going to happen even more during online meetings. Often due to poor internet connectivity the voices can overlap, and the whole thing becomes a big mess.
Response, right? Ask him when you ask a question, ask it directly. It will help you prevent misunderstandings and everyone knows there is talk/
9. Don’t skip the review
You just don’t hate it when two or three people are talking at one time?
This will happen even more during online meetings, sadly. Often the voices will overlap because of poor Internet access, and the whole thing becomes a huge mess.
The response, right? Ask Him directly when you ask a question. It will help you prevent misunderstandings and everyone knows the talk is going on
We hope those tips will allow you to conduct online meetings even better from now onwards!