How To Run A Great Virtual Meeting In A Short Time | Eric.ai

Meeting Insights

When it comes to meeting face-to-face, there's no substitute for being in the same room. But as more and more of us work remotely, virtual meetings become a necessary evil. If you're going to run a successful virtual meeting, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. This guide will show you how to run a great virtual meeting, from choosing the right platform to keeping everyone engaged.

Tips For Setting Up A Great Virtual Meeting

Let's first start with how you can set up a great virtual meeting. Below are some tips:

Choose the right platform

As today's business climate changes, so do the way we communicate. To hold a successful virtual meeting, you need to make sure you're using the right platform. Consider the needs of your team when choosing a platform, and be sure to test it out ahead of time!

A few things that you should consider while choosing a platform are:

  • Ease of use: make sure the platform is easy for you and your team. No one wants to waste time figuring out how to use a complicated system.
  • Integrations: consider what other tools you and your team are using. You'll want to ensure that the virtual meeting platform you choose can integrate with the other tools you use.
  • Security: With more businesses moving online, security is more important than ever. Ensure your chosen platform has robust security features to keep your meetings safe.

Set a meeting agenda and send it out in advance

One of the most important parts of a successful virtual meeting is being well organized. Before your meeting, take some time to create a plan and send it out to all attendees in advance. This will help keep the meeting on track and ensure that all of your meeting attendees are on the same page. You can also use the plan to collect any pre-meeting materials you need from your attendees, such as reports or presentations.

Start and end on time

Start on time and end on time
Fig. 1. Start and end on time

When holding a virtual meeting, it's important to start and end on time. This shows your attendees that you respect their time and are organized. It also sets the tone for the rest of the meeting - if you start late, it will likely throw off the rest. Make sure to allow some buffer time at the beginning and end of the meeting in case any technical issues need to be ironed out. Virtual meeting tools often allow you to schedule meetings in advance and send out reminders to attendees.

Set up a test meeting in advance

If you're using a new virtual meeting tool, setting up a test meeting in advance is a good idea. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the tool and ensure everything is working properly. It also allows you to work out any kinks that may arise, such as technical issues or sound quality. Suppose the screen sharing isn't working, or the audio is choppy. In that case, you can fix things before the actual meeting starts.

Check if everyone can be seen and heard

When setting up your virtual meeting, ensure everyone can be seen and heard clearly. If possible, use a video camera so attendees can see each other's faces and body language. If you can't use a video camera, ensure everyone's audio is working properly. For the team members attending the meeting, it's important that they can see and hear each other.

Encourage participation

To keep your virtual meeting interesting and engaging, encourage participation from all attendees. Ask questions, solicit feedback, and get everyone involved in the discussion. Many experts say that the goal of a virtual meeting is to mimic a personal meeting by creating an environment where team members can interact, exchange ideas, and collaborate on projects. If team members are not allowed to participate, they will quickly become disengaged." When you encourage participation, you're more likely to hold everyone's attention and achieve your meeting goals.

Take breaks

If your virtual meeting is longer than an hour, it's a good idea to take a break every so often. This allows attendees to step away from their computers, stretch their legs, and take a mental break. Suppose your next virtual meeting is scheduled for two hours. In that case, you can plan to take a five-minute break every hour. During the break, attendees can get up and walk around, grab a snack, or take care of any personal business.

Use video

If at all possible, use video during your virtual meetings. This allows for a more personal connection between attendees and makes it easier to read body language and cues. While audio-only meetings are certainly an option, they're not as effective as video meetings. If you can't use video for the entire meeting, try to at least use it for introductions and any other important points. When the remote meeting is over, ask attendees if they would have liked to see more videos used. This will give you a good idea for future meetings.

Keep it organized

Keep meetings organized by sticking to a clearly defined agenda
Fig. 2. Keep meetings organized by sticking to a clearly defined agenda

Just like any in-person meeting, remote meetings need to be well-organized. This means having a clear agenda and sticking to it. It'll be harder to get back on track if you veer off topic. It's also important to assign roles for each meeting. Designate someone to keep time, someone to take notes, and someone else to handle any technical issues that come up. Having a plan and assigned roles ensures that your virtual meeting is as productive as possible.

Mute your microphone when you're not speaking

This is a helpful tip for both in-person and virtual meetings. When you're not speaking, mute your microphone, so that background noise doesn't interfere with the meeting. This is especially important if you're using video, as any distractions will be magnified. If you need to cough or sneeze, mute your microphone first. Then, unmute it and let everyone know you're back when you're finished. Even if you're not using video, it's still polite to mute your microphone when you're not speaking. This way, you won't accidentally interrupt someone who is speaking.

Make sure your video camera is positioned correctly

If you're using video in online meetings, be mindful of your camera positioning. You should be in the center of the frame, and your face should be well-lit. Avoid having a bright light behind you, making it difficult for others to see your face. Make sure that the camera is at eye level. No one wants to look up your nose during a meeting. In an effective virtual meeting, it's important to be seen and heard clearly. Just like the in person meetings, ensure you're in a quiet space where you won't be interrupted.

Use the chat function

Usually, there is a chat function in virtual meeting software. This can be a helpful way to communicate with others during the meeting. For example, if you have a question but don't want to interrupt the speaker, you can type it into the chat, and someone will respond. The chat can also be used for side conversations unrelated to the main discussion. However, be mindful of how you use the chat function. If it's distracting, it can take away from the meeting.

Summarize what counts

Summarize key points after the meeting
Fig. 3. Summarize key points after the meeting

Summarize what was discussed after the meeting. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what needs to be done next. If there are action items, ensure they're assigned to specific people. This will help to keep the momentum going and ensure that tasks are completed promptly. 

So, in your next meeting, try some of these tips to make it more effective. While they seem simple and common, you’ll be surprised at how well they work.

Eric.ai - Make Your Next Virtual Meeting Even More Impactful

When it comes to business, first impressions matter. Your virtual meeting should be just as well-organized and professional as your in-person conference. Eric.ai can help you make sure of that. Let's get to know about some of its features.

Easy agenda assignment and tracking

Eric.ai can help you keep track of who's responsible for what during your meeting and ensure that each agenda item is being addressed promptly. When the meeting's over, simply export your summary and share it with your team.

Automatic note-taking and task management

Eric.ai takes care of the tedious work of writing meeting summaries and creating next-step tasks. This way, you can focus on the discussion and be more productive. Even if you need to step away for a moment, you can rest assured that Eric.ai has covered for you.

Create action items as you meet

It can be tough to keep track of everything that needs to be done after a meeting. With Eric, you can create action items on the fly and assign them to team members.

Track participation to make sure everyone is heard

In a virtual meeting, it's easy for some team members to feel left out. Eric.ai can help you track who's speaking and how often, so you can ensure everyone has a chance to share their ideas. For successful virtual meetings, effective communication is key.

So why wait? Get started with Eric.ai today and make your next virtual meeting more impactful. Your team will thank you for it.

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