A Perfect Virtual Meeting
Meeting rules get plenty of coverage. Hence, an article on 10 steps to a perfect virtual meeting. Meetings are very much a part of everyday working life and, when done well, meetings add to the efficiency and effectiveness of a team. Collaboration is easier and more effective when teams work together in the same place.
Meeting rules get plenty of coverage. Hence, an article on 10 steps to a perfect virtual meeting.
There is also plenty to read when looking at meeting tips. On how to make sure your meeting is an effective use of your time and your teams time.
Our favourite is an article from Harvard Business Review, Why Your Meetings Stink—and What to Do About It.
Many rules repeat in the online information you can find when googling. So, our intention here is to identify how a virtual meeting room can assist in the delivery of a perfect meeting.
While there are many different types of meeting, we are going to generalise here. We group meetings into the following categories.
- Idea Generation
- Decision Making
Each category has its own structure, function and objectives. In principle, they have a similar structure to success. Shown below is a structure for success.
10 Steps To A Perfect Virtual Meeting
Let’s start by agreeing on the 10 steps, or at least by listing what the 10 steps are.
- Decide if you actually need a meeting
- Have a clear goal
- Keep it short
- Create an agenda
- Invite the right people
- Don’t surprise people with essential points or decisions
- Encourage participation and creativity
- Stop multitasking
- Take notes
- Finish on time
So, with these steps in mind, we present below the advantages of a virtual meeting in a virtual meeting room.
Decide If You Actually Need A Virtual Meeting
To be completely honest, technology isn’t going to help you much here. After all, this is your decision being the instigator of the meeting. Weighing up the pros and cons of scheduling the meeting as part of the process of planning. Therefore, we are going to assume you believe the meeting to be a valid one and that no-one is going to roll their eyes when you send them the invitation to attend.
Have A Clear Goal
One of the things people should see immediately on entering a room is what the goal of the meeting is.
In most meeting rooms, this can be on the slide deck, a flip chart or whiteboard. With the virtual meeting room, we do the same. You can ask people to acknowledge the goal as they walk in by asking them to sign the chart or flip board. In the meetingRoom virtual environment, everyone has a marker and can use it to tick the objective.
Keep The Virtual Meeting Short
We have all been in those meetings that seem to keep going. Often as they are not well managed, or as specific individuals monopolise the agenda.
So timing is critical, and in a virtual environment, you have two items that assist. The first, time zone clocks, as many or as few as you would like. The second is that you can assign a timer in the virtual meeting room, either to make sure the time spent on each topic is appropriate or to set a hard stop. Each participant can see elapsed timing.
An item that can assist in keeping a meeting on track is to “park” issues that are contentious or take too much time. These issues can then be re-visited at an alternative time, building a consensus outside of the meeting before bringing them back for discussion.
Parking issues in a virtual meeting room happens much in the same way it can in a real meeting room. Using a reference wall to note the problems or using the collaboration wall. You can then use the persistence features of the virtual meeting room, re-visiting the place, and meeting, to pick up the captured “parks”.
The other advantage of a virtual meeting room brings is that people stand up to take part in a virtual meeting. You need to move around to express yourself, to take part in activities at the collaboration, presentation and reference walls. The very nature of meetings where everyone stands focuses the mind on the task in hand. It also restricts people’s abilities to “multitask” during the session.
Create an Agenda
The one thing that most people do for a meeting.
The virtual meeting room provides templates for the whiteboard and collaboration wall. It’s then easy to either transfer or set up an agenda that all can see and follow. Get your virtual meeting room set up with the agenda and other information you need and then leave it safe in the knowledge that no-one is going to go in there and clean the board or move your notes.
Invite the Right People
A virtual meeting room brings a new environment for people to experience.
We see companies using virtual meeting room technology with their fast adopters. People comfortable with new technology, who use the solution creatively. Teams that deal with remote working also experience a new way of working.
Even then it’s essential to allow everyone to have time to acclimatise to the new environment. We find new users spend the first 5 to 10 minutes, adapting themselves to a virtual meeting room. Moving around, writing, interacting and generally trying things out. Then they slip into participating in the environment.
Don’t Surprise People with Important Points or Decisions
If you want to move to resolution, make sure everyone knows what’s coming. For instance, if there are contentious points on the agenda discuss them before the meeting to sound people out.
A displayed agenda that everyone moves to see on arrival is an excellent starting point.
This movement to read the agenda helps everyone get back into the mode needed for a virtual meeting.
Encourage Participation and Creativity
Immersion is one of the great benefits of the virtual meeting room environment. Speak, and people turn to face you, point and everyone can see what you are pointing at. Collaborate and take part as your colleagues watch and join in.
Use the tools on the collaboration wall to ensure everyone gets their say. Get everyone to draw on the walls to make their point.
Engagement is evident in a virtual meeting room environment. Everyone stands in a virtual meeting, delivering more interactivity and more people play a part. People know if you are doing something else. You can focus and achieve the meeting goal like never before.
In a virtual meeting room environment, the room is your notepad. Everything you create in that room is persistent, teams can go back to what they left and continue. Sharing the walls, security settings permitting, makes the ideas permanent.
Finish on Time
If you follow the steps outlined here, you will see that more of your meetings finish on time. In a virtual meeting room, your team’s creativity will grow. You will be drawing value from all meeting attendees.
A Perfect Virtual Meeting
Don’t take our word for it, though, get your virtual meeting room and try the 10 Steps To A Perfect (Virtual) Meeting. Select your team, identify the meeting that could best benefit and have a go yourself. Get your Virtual Meeting Room here.