At present, after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way of scheduling work meetings has changed dramatically, so many companies and businesses have chosen to hold virtual meetings. This is mainly due to the fact that this virus has led to strict confinement measures being applied in many countries, in such a way that many organizations have been forced to opt for teleworking or home office to continue offering their products and services.
In addition, although there are communication alternatives such as sending emails or telephone calls, virtual meetings are usually considered a better option, because during these meetings it is much more feasible to be able to communicate effectively. However, when holding a virtual meeting, it is important to take into account some practices to carry it out effectively. You should also look into usability testing.
How to Become a Better Virtual Meeting Host?
As these are virtual meetings, there is always the possibility of something unforeseen on a technical level, so the ideal thing is to verify that all the equipment required to carry out the discussion is in optimal condition. Not only is it enough to document and research around these software, but you also have to do tests to verify which of the applications for virtual meetings is the most suitable. Covid-19 has really slowed the world down but sped up the digital possibilities. More businesses want to communicate this way in the future and this will in turn create more jobs, new skills and a taste for the future.
Tips Prior to the Virtual Meeting
Plan your meeting before starting it:
- Define the purpose and objectives of the meeting and share them.
- Define a realistic and challenging time, then communicate it.
- Make sure all the key people are on the invitation.
- Think of an introduction that provides enough context to start the meeting.
- Use an agenda to guide the meeting and define all the points that should be touched.
Prepare the environment where you will take the meeting:
- Physical environment: Light, ventilation, visual background, auditory background
- Support: Water, coffee or some sweet
- Complementary tools: Notebook, pen, tablet, etc.
Communicate What the Purpose of the Meeting Is
When holding a virtual meeting, it is important that when the meeting begins, it is communicated what its purpose is and how it will develop in a summarized way. This will allow attendees to know more clearly about what will be discussed during the activity. It is also recommended to establish the rules that must be followed during the development of the activity, since it will allow attendees to know when they should participate to express their opinions or concerns.
To guarantee the privacy of virtual meetings, it is recommended to use a VPN, as it can reduce the risks of any inconvenience that could jeopardize the security and digital privacy of the host or attendees. The way how to use a VPN is usually quite simple and will generate more confidence and peace of mind when developing successful virtual meetings.
During the meeting:
- Make sure you build the common thread and conclude on what is being discussed.
- Make sure everyone participates, they can use voting, polls or have a dynamic by turns to dialogue.
- Avoid distractions from the environment.
- Part in small groups, to encourage diverse opinions in the discussions.
Promote the Interaction of the Participants
From the beginning of the discussion, it is important to apply communication techniques and strategies that allow to maintain the interest of the public and promote effective communication with the attendees. Therefore, since it begins to develop, examples and analogies of the points to be discussed should be used to promote dynamic virtual meetings.
People tend to feel more connected and better understand anecdotes or practical situations, especially if they evoke events from everyday life or fit perfectly with experiences related to the work environment.
Treat Attendees With Familiarity
To the extent that participants are treated with familiarity and positive emotions are transmitted that create a pleasant environment for the development of virtual meetings, these can be more enriching for both the host and these attendees. In this way, it will be possible to have more alternatives and ideas if the meetings are held in order to solve problems at the labor level or to plan the development of a particular project, since both the participants and the host will be able to reach agreements as they communicate effectively.
Keep Track of the Development of the Activity
Ideally, the host should be in charge of verifying that the information that he is communicating is really being transmitted in an ideal way, for which they should carry out a follow-up in which they analyze whether the participants are understanding the messages that have been shared. The platforms that are used to develop these virtual meetings often provide the facility to choose some participants to ask follow-up questions and make sure that the activity is being carried out in a successful way.
“This time of crisis is demanding that we react to circumstances in an accelerated manner, let’s take advantage of this opportunity not only to react but to transform ourselves.” Entrepreneur Mag 2020.
Virtual meetings on the Internet have become one of the best alternatives to continue carrying out various work assignments, since these allow multiple tasks such as keeping track of employees, conducting job interviews and even completing business in these circumstances where it is best to maintain social distance. Therefore, both managers and employees of a business or company should be open to the possibility of using these technologies to organize meetings in which they can express their concerns and opinions, just as they did in person. 2021 is going to see many changes and it is believed that it will shape a new digital business model, which will be beneficial to all. Having people work from home and use less resources is also a huge benefit to the planet. Sustainable is the future. Digital is here to stay. Make the most of it.