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Do’s and Don’ts of Leading and Attending Virtual Meetings
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Do’s and Don’ts of Leading and Attending Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings have become a necessity these past few months. Your ability to lead and attend virtual meetings and remain positively productive is a key skill to master. Here are some tips.

Attending a Virtual Meeting

  • Enter the meeting early to ensure software and connections work before the meeting starts. Also, some virtual meetings require you to download a snippet of software before the meeting, so you need time to do this.
  • Mute your phone, and unmute only if you have something to say.
  • When you have something to say, click on the hand icon. This is the virtual equivalent of raising your hand at an in-person meeting.
  • Identify yourself when you speak.
  • Speak clearly and slower than usual.
  • Avoid multi-tasking. It can be tempting to switch over to another activity or check e-mail during virtual meetings, but you risk losing valuable information if your attention wanders.

Leading a Virtual Meeting

  • Send an agenda with the meeting invitation, just as you would for an in-person meeting.
  • Understand how the meeting software works and know what options you have available during the meeting, such as white boards, polling, recording, and document or desktop sharing.
  • Rehearse ahead of time. Do a run-through of the meeting, especially if you have multiple presenters or if you aren’t familiar with the software.
  • If you are going to use PowerPoint, make sure you choose powerful images and use animation to keep people’s attention.
  • Add interactivity, such as group discussions or polling, to get everyone involved. Polling also is a good ice breaker to start the meeting.
  • Assign a back-up person to handle any technical or login problems.
  • Login about 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled time and prepare your PPT and any handouts.
  • Explain how questions will work at the start of the meeting.
    • Can participants ask questions at any time or are they limited to a specified time slot?
    • Do people need to put the question in the chat box or just raise their hands to be called on?
  • Pay attention to chat messages that are sent during the meeting.
  • Measure the effectiveness of your virtual meetings by monitoring the level of participation during the meeting and surveying attendees afterward.

Virtual meetings can be time wasters or productive time savers depending on how they are led. Despite being virtual, these meetings need to meet the requirements of all meetings by accomplishing their objectives and being positively productive!