Conducting virtual meetings over Zoom has become the norm for millions of people worldwide in recent months, with the software allowing for communication and collaboration between teams of all sizes.
There is a bit of learning curve when it comes to making meetings via Zoom as productive and valuable as possible, so if you are finding this a little overwhelming, here are some helpful tips to make your next virtual get-together a true success.
Presentation is important
It might seem like a meeting conducted remotely is not as formal or important as one that takes place in the flesh, and this mindset can compromise the quality of the experience for all involved.
To counteract this, ask participants to dress as they would for a day in the office and also make use of virtual backgrounds, like those available from HelloBackgrounds.com, to disguise and domestic clutter and give each person a more consistently professional appearance. This will translate into a more focused, engaged meeting which is taken seriously by all involved.
Preparation is vital
Unless you have a preplanned structure for your Zoom virtual meeting, you might find that you meander from topic to topic, miss out important points that you meant to cover or allow certain participants to dominate at the expense of others.
The way to overcome this is to prepare thoroughly, set an agenda ahead of time, establish clear objectives and also ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of their role in the meeting.
Etiquette is impactful
There are a number of things that can derail a Zoom virtual meeting before it has built up any momentum. This is why laying down key points of etiquette will allow you to sidestep common obstacles in this respect.
For example, making sure everyone who is not speaking has their microphone muted with avoid distracting extraneous noises from interfering with proceedings. Also using a visual cue, such as raising a hand, to indicate that someone wants to speak can avoid a lot of cross-talk and confusion.
Engagement is essential
Keeping participants engaged in what is happening in a Zoom virtual meeting is a challenge, especially if the only thing holding their attention is the voice of the current presenter.
The obvious solution here is to make use of visual aids, using the screen share function, so that everyone is appropriately attracted by what is being discussed. This will help with information retention as well as avoiding mid-meeting fatigue, particularly if time is distributed between as many contributors as possible.
Following up is necessary
Because there is a sense that Zoom meetings are potentially more casual than real-world encounters, it is also possible that the points raised in them will not be auctioned with the same urgency.
This is why it is a good idea to make sure that you not only agree on what steps to take, but also outline the means by which progress will be documented and demonstrated going forwards.