Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, online meetings had already become pretty ubiquitous, especially for dispersed work teams with tight budgets and little time. With the advent of social distancing requirements, online meetings have become a lifeline that allows many businesses to continue functioning.
However, managing online meetings effectively is a skill that not everyone has. This article offers ten tips for managing online meetings successfully – regardless of the role you are playing in the meeting.
1. Understand the technology
Of course, technology is the key difference between online meetings and in-person meetings. On the positive side, it can be very efficient (because attendees participate from their desk), but that gain can be wiped out by problems with the technology.
Do your best to be familiar with the technology and comfortable with using it.
People also interact differently when they are not all in the same room. Even on a video conference, there are differences in body language, posture, position, movement, and even seating arrangement. In most cases, an online meeting feels more approachable, because people can’t use their physical presence to intimidate or coerce.
2. Know your outcome
Regardless of your role, the most important thing you can take into the meeting is a clear outcome. Knowing this in advance helps you to keep the meeting on track. Even if you’re a junior participant, be clear about your outcome.
Ask yourself these clarifying questions:
- Who are the key groups at the meeting?
- Who are the key individuals in each group who will influence the others?
- What would you like them to think, feel, do or say after the meeting (in order for you to have achieved your outcome)?
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