Participation, meeting features, and human connections are the keys to turning boring, wasted time in virtual spaces into productive, successful experiences. Use the tips below to make professional impressions as a virtual meeting facilitator or attendee.
- Distribute agendas and materials for pre-meeting reading (we recommend one-two days prior—not a week!) This approach saves time on decision-making and yields better questions during meetings.
- Give a two-minute primer on how to use meeting features including:
– Chat – Virtual Breakout Rooms or Tables
– Raised Hand – Annotation Tools
– White Boards – Polling
- Plan audience participation every three to four minutes. Ask questions or for input from specific attendees. Use peoples’ names as much as possible to personalize interactions.
- Balance your talk time. Include at least one, simple poll for every hour of meeting content.
- Help attendees stay present and involved. Ask them (and yourself) at the outset what you can do to make the session meaningful.
- Consider using webcams at least during meeting openings and closings.
- Look directly into the camera to simulate eye contact.
- Sit up straight and still. Excess movement distracts other attendees.
Strategic Speaking & Slides
- When facilitating, mute all attendees—then inform them when they are being unmuted.
- Maintain enthusiasm. Stand rather than sit to increase energy.
- When attending, mute yourself when not talking to eliminate background noise. Identify yourself before speaking: “This is Chris in Greensboro.”
- Slow down your speaking rate slightly. Lengthen your pauses by a few seconds to allow for audio delays.
- After changing slides, wait a few seconds before speaking. This approach helps attendees orient themselves to new content.
- Avoid text-heavy slides. Use annotations and overlays to highlight content. Point to content verbally: “On this next slide, let’s focus on the upper left-hand corner…”