How to Lead a Good Virtual Meeting?

 


The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced us to circumstances that were existent only in our imagination a while ago. Who could have imagined being huddled up in our homes for such a long period of time? While we got a chance to be more productive simultaneously giving us a chance to relax, we very well know that work cannot be jeopardized for long.  Now, even attending a virtual meeting can be a difficult task for a lot of people, and conducting one is something on a different level altogether. 


There are many challenges that we face in a virtual meeting.  It is anyway very difficult to lead a good meeting in person, leading a virtual meeting makes it more difficult to engage with the teammates. In the meetings being conducted nowadays, a lot of people stay in leisure mode and less attentive due to the comfort of home i.e. there are possibilities of a lack of professional attitude in the team. Creating an engaging environment tops the list among other challenges such as adhering to meeting protocols, having a productive discussion without any external disturbance, etc. 


There are a few ways through which you can lead a great virtual meeting -


1. Share the Structure of the Meeting Beforehand


It always works in favor if things are pre-planned and organized in prior. When you invite your teammates for a virtual meeting a few days or a week before, make sure that you mention the following things


• The topic of discussion

• The kind of contribution you're expecting from your teammates.

• The structure providing the timing and duration of your presentation, discussion, and feedback session.


This will allow your teammates to brainstorm beforehand and come up with the ideas and approaches to discuss in the meeting. This will save time and would lead to a more fruitful discussion. It would also keep the meeting from being diverted off the main agenda on hand.


2. Keep Your Humor Intact


Virtually the essence of the meeting is conveniently missing. In virtual meetings, personal connectivity is lost. So, it is very important to create bonding among the teammates. Therefore, invest the starting 5-10 minutes in chit-chatting with your teammates. Let them have an informal conversation among each other to catch up on each other's whereabouts. This bonding would help you and your teammates to connect at a better level. The team which is connected at a personal level grows at a faster rate. It would lead to better conversation and communication for a healthy exchange of ideas and a better understanding of the matter among the team members.


3Call Out the Lost Voices


While you're leading a meeting, do not just focus on your presentation. Make sure that the session is interactive providing a chance to everyone giving their point of view. There would be extroverts who would come up and participate but you have to analyze who isn't speaking and shying away from the interactions and you can politely ask for their opinions to have the full participation of everyone attending the meeting. Even in the feedback session, make sure that everyone gets to say anything regarding the point of discussion.


4. Avoid Any External Hindrance


Working from home might affect your working schedule as there is no fixed time to do anything at home.  But make sure that you're present in the meeting a few minutes before to check up if your network connectivity, computer, ppt and everything else is working properly. Any kind of disturbance- be it noise in the background, network issue, low pitch of voice- it makes people lose interest in the topic. Therefore, make sure to check everything beforehand to avoid any problem in between the meeting. 


If you adhere to these points then there's nothing stopping you from leading a good virtual meeting. Make sure that you ask your teammates to give their feedback about the meeting before you end your meeting. The constructive criticism will help you perform better the next time you'll lead a meeting. The pandemic has taught us to keep moving even in dire circumstances and thus Raj Kapoor rightly said,” The show must go on”, the work must also go on.


Written by - Khushi Prajapati

Edited by - Vaibhav Sharma


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