Transforming virtual meetings
Do you dread bringing team members together for a virtual meeting? Are you looking for ways to transform this experience into an organized, productive platform for all participants? WD Communications understands this challenge and provides tools for ensuring successful virtual connections that support a professional company brand.
Virtual meetings offer a convenient alternative to face-to-face interactions, which are often inconvenient, time consuming, and monotonous for participants juggling various projects and struggling to meet deadlines. When conducted correctly, these meetings can have bottom line results for businesses looking to increase efficiency and keep costs down.
Creating virtual meeting success
Many professionals in leadership positions enjoy the idea of meeting with team members remotely but struggle in creating an experience that is engaging, meaningful, and productive. Virtual meeting success depends largely on how well the facilitator prepares for the event. Success hinges on not only the meeting itself but also on what happens before and after the meeting. As we tell managers, the virtual experience requires careful advanced planning; it is not something to be taken lightly or rushed in order to get to the next part of one’s day.
Preparation is key
WD Communications offers strategies for this planning process along with techniques for ensuring a successful virtual experience. Preparation is an important first step as it sets the stage for the meeting itself. Sending agenda materials in advance, ensuring that all audio and video technology tools are functioning properly before the day of the meeting, and communicating expectations beforehand to participants are all powerful action steps. Even the best leaders struggle in this area, citing “busy schedules” and a “lack of time” as excuses for poor planning. As one supervisor put it during a recent workshop, “I have tight deadlines to meet so I haven’t made the time to prepare in advance for virtual meetings even though things do go more smoothly when I do.”
Facilitate the meeting
The virtual meeting itself also requires intentional facilitation. We have found that strategic speaking (e.g., muting attendees when necessary, monitoring rate of speech) is critical to ensuring a successful experience for participants. Content design is equally important as it allows for an easy exchange of information when the facilitator pays attention to how visuals are designed for participants’ needs.
Pay attention to delivery
Finally, successful virtual meetings require attention to delivery. The facilitator’s tone, speech volume, and overall level of enthusiasm for the material influence employee participation and overall interest in matters discussed. These practices—along with others—are critical training points for managers at all levels who utilize web-based platforms for meetings.
Taking virtual meetings to the next level
Virtual meetings are becoming common practice for businesses that operate across various geographic locations. Bringing employees together to exchange information via a web based platform can be an effective, cost-saving alternative to face to face meetings. When designed and presented correctly, the process can be smooth—and even enjoyable—for all involved. With the proper training, managers at all levels can employ techniques that promote engagement during all phases of the virtual meeting experience.
If you’re interested in improving your company’s virtual meetings, check out these quick tips for virtual meeting success.