With the recent CDC COVID 19 guidelines, more organizations, companies, and businesses are slowly embracing virtual meeting. Virtual meeting are not only practical but also save on the cost compared to a physical meeting. Here are some valuable tips that will show you how to hold your next virtual conference.
1. Prior Preparation Is Key
Just like any meeting, virtual conferences require prior preparation. If you are the conference host, you may consider sending out the meeting’s agenda to the attendees prior to the meeting. Additionally, you should send the access codes, call-in numbers, or URLs for joining the forum a few hours prior to the virtual event platform. It would be best if you sent a few reminders to the attendees.
It would be best to test the virtual meeting application beforehand to avoid any embarrassing scenarios that could arise due to a technical mishap. Be well conversant with how the application functions. In addition, it would be best if you prepared the meetings presentation before the day of the actual meeting.
2. Room presentation
Experts recommend the use of neutral colors as your background in virtual conferences. You may decide to place a piece of art, such as a painting. However, such pieces should not overshadow your image during the presentation. Also, they should not be distracting.
The room you are planning to conduct the virtual conference in should be well lit. Consider placing your camera, laptop, or other device against the source of light for better visibility. Additionally, it would be best if the room is soundproof from external noises and distractions.
3. Breaking The Ice
Like in a physical meeting, there is a need to break the ice in the virtual event. You can do this by encouraging the participants to introduce themselves. Alternatively, you could start with an update from one of the participants.
Ensure an efficient audio and visual information relay by asking one of the participants to unmute their mics and confirm that they are seeing and hearing correctly. In case of any technical mishap during the meeting, ensure that the chat-box is open. Frequently visit the chat-box to check if there is any questions or comment.
4. Practice Proper Office Etiquette
Considering virtual conferences are held at the comfort of one’s home, one may be tempted to attend the meeting in their sleeping attire. Experts advise against this as it reflects on one’s professionalism. You never know when your input will be required, and you will be forced to unmute or open the camera.
The following are office etiquette tips for virtual meetings:
- Avoid distraction and turn off all phone notifications.
- Dress according to the office guidelines.
- Be audible when you are called upon to speak.
- Maintain eye contact by adjusting the camera to your eye level.
- Limit noise and unnecessary body movements.
- Abstain from multitasking during meetings.
Avoid Deviating From The Meetings Agenda
Recent studies confirm that more than half of the meetings conducted physically tend to deviate from the meeting agenda. The number is higher for virtual meetings and conferences. To limit deviating from the meeting’s agenda, it is crucial to send the meeting’s plan before the meeting. It would also help you if you assigned one of the participants to ensure that the meeting stays on its course.
Try Engaging With The Meeting Attendees
For an effective meeting, it is crucial to ensure that the participants are on track with what is happening. You may do this by asking participants to say their input, ask questions, or answer questions that may arise from the meeting.
Alternatively, you may decide to take a poll, ask an open-ended question to the forum that may trigger discussions and conversations.
Concluding The Virtual Meeting
Unlike physical meetings, virtual meetings tend to end abruptly. When concluding the meeting, it is essential to give an overview of what has been discussed and the assignments that may have been allocated. Additionally, it is crucial to thank the participants for their contribution and patience throughout the meeting.
Conclusively, virtual meetings and conferences have made the business world more comfortable. Therefore, one should learn and embrace these technological changes for a better tomorrow.