Now that you use a virtual office for your business, you might feel like you’re in big trouble because you’re not a fan of meetings. Holding face-to-face meetings are hard enough as it is, what more if you do it online? With preparation, nothing is impossible! The thing is, you might actually find virtual meetings more effective, and that’s only possible with these tips.
1)Set a date ahead of time
If you want your meeting to be successful, don’t call for one immediately without a plan. Preparing in advance would give you sufficient time to ready your meeting agenda and send the necessary invites to your team--who may or may not be in different timezones.
2)Set one objective for the meeting
Setting multiple objectives for one meeting (whether virtual or not) would drain everyone of their energies and attention, and would possibly distract you from your main purpose. Keep everyone focused on one goal instead.
3)Make sure your Internet connection is stable
Remind everyone to make the call with a stable Internet connection. It’s also a must to tell everyone in advance to be in a quiet or working environment. If not, they should have noise-cancelling headphones instead.
4)Use the right apps or tools
You can use Skype for video or voice calls, but Google Hangouts, Slack, or oovoo are popular video chat software nowadays. You can share your screen or easily send links to the group. That beings said, you should also make sure your camera and microphone are working well. The last thing you need is faulty hardware.
5)Involve only the right people
Unlike real offices where it would be somewhat easier to have a lot of people in the room during a meeting, a virtual office needs only a limited number of people to be in the meeting. The less chatter, the better. Overcrowding isn’t a good idea--for the meeting and for your Internet connection.
6)Ask the same people to prepare
Give them an overview of what’s going to happen and give them sufficient time to prepare for the meeting. Don’t put anyone on the spot. This would give everyone enough time to review the subject matter, giving you easier time to explain what you have to.
7)Simulate a face-to-face meeting, but better
Don’t be too uptight and delve right into business. Be a little chill and be nice; ask everyone how they are and have a little icebreaker, if you want. Ask everyone to introduce themselves before starting to define roles and expectations.
8)Ask someone to take the minutes
Like a regular meeting, it’s a must to have someone actively take notes about what’s happening in the meeting. This person should be different from the person running the meeting, so don’t take this task on your own. Keeping track of what has been said is a must--especially if you’re only working on voice calls. Then ask for the minutes after the meeting and have it sent to everyone present.
9)Start on time
When it comes to virtual offices where timezones are quite sensitive, be sure to start as planned. You want to do this if you want to show that you’re a professional. This will give everyone the idea that your meetings should be taken seriously and knowing that you’ve got a great agenda planned, they shouldn’t miss this time at all costs!
10)Schedule a meeting follow-up
You wouldn’t be able to check if your meeting actually had an effect if you don’t check in on the group again. When the meeting is about to end, inform them that you are expecting results and a follow-up meeting should be scheduled 2-3 weeks from the meeting. This would give everyone working space to accomplish their tasks and responsibilities.
Run a great and seamless virtual meeting with these tips! You don’t have to fear that the meeting would be senseless and a waste of time. As long as you apply these to your action plan, you’ll be surprised how easy things will be for you. Good luck!