As we slowly gain our freedom back and sole or hybrid remote working policies become further embedded in our new normal; businesses have seen a rise in the need for virtual meetings!
We live in a society where more often then not we meet face to face early on in establishing a relationship. Small talk can consist of the journey to the meeting, the weather or general small talk that naturally flows when you are meeting with someone in person. Because of this a host of start-up’s have emerged trying to re-create the live meeting experience.
As we adapt to the new era of virtual meetings, we are also adapting to a new way of building relationships. For many of us virtual meetings are a new founded way of conducting business and engaging with new clients and customers. So how do we know if we are truly getting the most out of these meetings?
One of the key elements in ensuring your virtual meeting goes off without a hitch!
It is likely your organisation has already provided you access to popular apps such as Zoom, Amazon Chime or Skype for Business. When you are sending the link ensure the invite instructions are clear and concise - no one wants to be waiting in the wrong virtual meeting room!
Ensure you have a strong internet connection and your video and audio has been tested prior to your meeting. While people are more understanding as we adapt to our new way of working when making an introduction to a client or candidate for the first time the last thing you want is for the meeting quality to be poor. This can delay getting what you want from the meeting and avoid all agenda points being covered.
Virtual meetings can feel more time pressured. It can be more restricting for a meeting to run late where another virtual meeting is scheduled straight after. People will be logging in and waiting and cannot see that you may be held up. It is important to ensure a clear agenda is set out highlighting what you want to achieve from your meeting.
The idea of an icebreaker makes most of us cringe! However it is important to use every tool to reinforce interpersonal relationships with people especially when meeting with someone for the first time.
Call on people
Getting everyone in the meeting to participate without talking over each other is a challenging aspect of running a virtual meeting. Why not periodically call on an individual to speak, share their input or ask questions. This allows everyone to have an input and be seen without having to interrupt another line of speaking.
When walking into your computer it can be easy to get distracted by a new notification or email coming into your inbox. Ensure you close all other windows and turn off notifications so that your attention is not drawn away from the virtual meeting window.
Remember - anyone else in the meeting is looking directly at you and any distracted gaze will be more highlighted and noticeable!