How to Run a Great Virtual Meeting

Holding a meeting is not an easy task, which is on the verge of art. Nevertheless, experienced managers conduct effective meetings both online and offline. In this article, you’ll find practical tips on running an online appointment without getting bored.

Three biggest meeting mistakes

Before moving on to the recommendations, be aware that many moderators make these mistakes when scheduling meetings online.

Tediously long meeting

With all the desire, the employee cannot focus his attention on one thing for a long time. But if you set aside 60 minutes for a long meeting, you force him to do it. Of course, much depends on the conference’s purpose: solving problems that have arisen, consulting with employees, news, or a short announcement. In any case, a January 2019 study by Barco et Circle Research found that the ideal meeting time is no more than 22 minutes.

Too many participants

The number of participants in a meeting also affects its effectiveness. Inviting “everyone who has a free minute” is pointless. Meetings of participants, not spectators, are genuinely effective.

The purpose of the meeting does not match the means

For example, you want to actively discuss and hear different opinions from colleagues or company employees. In this case, it is not advisable to invite 15-20 people to the meeting. Instead, they will split into an active and a passive group, where the discussion will end. And if everyone shares their opinion, the session can take several hours – no one likes such meetings.

A few tips about running a meeting

Here are some helpful tips to help you have an exciting, practical, and rewarding meeting.

Gather precisely the people who should be at this meeting

Notify in advance everyone who must be present at the meeting. Write a letter or call. And if someone didn’t show up, but it must be, also contact him as soon as possible. If you see that some participants in the meeting have nothing to do, say so. Be polite, and offer to send a final resume, but remove them from the online forum.

Experiment with formats

Boring meetings, and even online, are very tiring. But you can spend it by introducing a new experience. For example, you can hold a meeting standing up. In theory, this will force those present to get to the heart of the matter and discuss only those issues that deserve it. Worth at least trying as an experiment; at the very least, people will think that a one-hour meeting doesn’t have to be one hour long.

Prepare for the meeting

The more materials participants have before the meeting, the more lightning-fast and effective it will be. Discussions often fail due to a lack of preparation. Always consider how long it takes to complete a task. Sometimes you need the bare minimum: write a list of problems and open questions or an email with the meeting agenda you send out the day before. Sometimes everything is not so simple: you must prepare a presentation, demo, and documents.

Start on time

Your bosses are the ones who set the tone for these kinds of meetings, so it’s in your best interest to be the first to let all your colleagues into the online meeting room.