The COVID-19 pandemic forced many organizations to make the transition from in-person meetings to virtual meetings. Now, with many offices continuing to operate as hybrid offices and a multitude of employees working remotely, virtual meetings have become the norm. Video and live streaming have become integral parts of interoffice communication, and virtual meetings facilitate contact, collaboration, and interaction amongst employees, wherever they may be.
But without proper planning, hosting a virtual meeting can be ineffective. There is also an inherent etiquette that must be adopted when hosting and participating in virtual meetings to ensure each meeting effectively serves to help the hosts accomplish their goals. Consider these virtual meeting best practices the next time you host a meeting, and you’ll likely see an improvement in information retention, participation, and productivity.
There are a few major issues that could derail your virtual meeting. One of the largest is that it can be difficult to ensure everyone is paying adequate attention during the meeting since they are not physically in front of you. Another problem is that some types of meeting applications can experience unexpected lag, glitches, and other malfunctions. The following virtual meeting best practices will eliminate those issues and many others.
Choosing the right platform for your virtual meeting might be one of the most important virtual meeting best practices. You’ve probably heard of the more popular video conferencing software applications available. While many of these do offer strong functionality, organizations can benefit greatly from using a robust, feature-rich video management platform such as Viostream. This enterprise-grade platform offers advanced analytics, secure video portals, crash-proof communication, and much more, enabling you to truly optimize your virtual meeting potential. Start your free trial to try it out for yourself.
Note: Many popular virtual meeting apps also contain security flaws that hackers and cybercriminals can take advantage of. Choosing a secure video and live streaming platform helps eliminate the risk of cyber threats and unwanted attendees.
An equally important part of virtual meeting best practices is ensuring that you have a good reason for calling all attendees together. Virtual meetings aren't impromptu meetings around the water cooler. The last thing you want to do is impede productivity by interrupting everyone’s work with an unnecessary meeting. Many topics or questions can be easily answered with a simple email. Meetings should be used for more important agendas, such as discussing new concepts or developments, gathering insight and advice from the team, decision-making roundtables, or other purposes for which attendance is wholly warranted and necessary.
As part of your virtual meeting best practices, hosts should be fully prepared for what needs to be discussed. Materials can be sent to meeting attendees before the meeting begins to give them time to review it. It won’t be a very productive meeting if attendees have to take the time during the meeting to have a first look at any materials. On the other hand, the distribution of materials combined with virtual training can result in increased retention and a reduction in training costs.
Additionally, being prepared with your topics and discussion points can keep the meeting flowing smoothly, eliminating moments of uncomfortable silence where everyone is waiting for somebody else to proceed.
Attendees who are engaged are more likely to remain connected to the virtual meeting in a manner that benefits everyone. Take the time to ask for input, encourage suggestions, ask questions, etc. Also, make sure to introduce everyone at the beginning of the meeting. Introductions are especially important for new members, helping to improve bonding and encouraging interaction.
You can also foster engagement by ensuring there is little distraction. Ask attendees to turn off notifications, web browsers, and, if possible, cell phones as well until the meeting is over. It is also a good practice to have everyone mute their microphones when they are not speaking because even the noise of shuffling papers can serve as a distraction to others when picked up by the microphone.
Keeping in mind virtual meeting best practices, eye contact with other team members is also important, especially when addressing a specific individual. It’s all too easy to stare directly at the camera above the screen rather than the screen itself when talking. Direct eye contact instead helps others feel engaged and diminishes the appearance that you are distracted and looking somewhere else.
For virtual meeting best practices, It is also important to foster connectivity and communication outside of the meeting. This serves to build a rapport amongst team members who may not often see each other in the office. You can schedule times for free chatting before and after the meeting as well.
Adapting to a virtual environment for meetings doesn’t have to be difficult for anyone, provided you follow the above virtual meeting best practices. Having the right equipment for live streaming and hosting meetings is also an important consideration. That’s why many brands and organizations ultimately choose Viostream for hosting virtual meetings.
Viostream is an enterprise-grade video management platform that enables organizations to easily host live events and virtual meetings in a secure and crash-free environment. Featuring advanced analytics and more ways to connect and engage your audience, this robust platform will serve to greatly improve and advance your internal video communication strategy. Contact our support team to learn more or start your free trial today.
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