Meta description: At a time when remote work is the new normal, how do you make virtual meetings more interactive? Here are some tips.
Technology has afforded us a way of communicating with people from different locations. It is convenient, cost-effective, and cutting out the commute even makes it environment-friendly.
But it can also get extremely boring. After hours of staring at a monitor and listening to someone drone on about statistics, attendees could easily zone out, get distracted, and disengage with the discussion. This does not bode well for a company’s productivity.
As telecommuting becomes the new norm, virtual meetings have become part of the daily grind for many. But getting people’s undivided attention during the meeting is the real challenge. How do you keep your team and other stakeholders engaged even without the onsite dynamics and in-person interactions? Try the following tips.
Before you schedule a virtual meeting, you might want to ask yourself if a meeting is really necessary. In an era of video calls, virtual meeting fatigue has become a real thing. People are getting tired of staring at multiple faces on their screens and getting holed up in one position for hours on end.
So before sending out that link, take a moment and ask if there’s a better way of getting the results you need without holding a virtual meeting. Perhaps an email would suffice if you’re just planning to give not-so-urgent information. Or if a quick phone call or two will get the job done, maybe you don’t need to round up the whole team.
Take it from the richest man alive — more isn’t always merrier. Or at least, not when it comes to meetings. In the early days of Amazon, Jeff Bezos came up with the “two pizza rule”. Following this rule, he designs meetings with a maximum number of attendees that can comfortably share two boxes of pizzas.
Cutting down the number of people you invite to your meetings ensures that you invite only vital staff or stakeholders for the matter at hand and free up everyone else to do other tasks. It can also make the meeting move at a faster pace. Plus, there’s a lot of time to listen, consider, and discuss key people’s perspectives.
You can use an ice breaker to start the meeting to make the attendee feel at ease and comfortable. You can show your human side and endear yourself to them by sharing short anecdotes of your life. Or you can get to know them by asking fun questions about themselves.
These activities can promote bonding and create an atmosphere of inclusivity so that people get engaged with the discussion.
Virtual meetings are opportunities for you to connect with your team and come up with laser-sharp ideas or solutions. But to get everyone up to the task, you need to create an agenda and send it to the attendees in advance. If possible, you can delegate some tasks to team members. This way, everyone is prepared and involved so deliberations don’t have to take too long because it’s easier to stay on track when you have an agenda beforehand.
Virtual or otherwise, communication is a two-way street. People are more likely to listen when you listen to them. So get the attendees talking and sharing their insight on a particular topic by asking them questions and considering their perspectives.
Aside from this, you make use of people’s energy and channel it to focus on solving problems or coming up with extraordinary ideas. With them involved and inspired to contribute to the discussion, there’s no space for boredom and distractions during the video conference.
Want your team’s undivided attention? Gamify your presentation and let their competitive spirit do the rest.
For instance, you can incorporate misspelled words in your presentation and ask the attendees to list them down. Or you can insert a cartoon character in inconspicuous places and ask the attendees to take note of how many times the character appeared in the presentation.
These games are simple but they catch people’s attention and give them an incentive for actively listening.
Another thing you need to consider during the virtual meeting is the visual experience. Your audience’s attention span can be a tricky thing, especially with accessible entertainment everywhere. If your attendees are forced to look at the same faces or screen for minutes at a time, their eyes will start to wander and so will their minds.
To make sure they won’t wander into la-la land while you’re presenting, use images and videos to explain the context and drive home your point. Stunning visuals capture people's attention in ways no words can.
There are lots of tools to help you conduct a virtual meeting. But if presenting to a larger audience is what you have in mind, then tools like Viostream makes your job easier. From sending branded invites to attendees, collecting RSVPs, and embedding videos with subtitles in your presentation, this video platform has everything you need to live stream your presentation.
Aside from its live-streaming function, you can create branded videos with advanced analytics to engage stakeholders and customers. You can also release access-controlled training programs for your employees.
Running a smooth and efficient presentation is a key skill that team leaders must have a good handle on. At a time when remote teams and stakeholders are the norms, handling people in different locations and rallying them to achieve certain goals can be challenging. To make virtual meetings work, you need to go the extra mile to create the right dynamics.
Alternatively, instead of virtual meetings, you can opt to live stream your presentation and use tools like Viostream to connect with a larger audience. Contact our support team to see how Viostream can help you take your online events to the next level.
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