Conference meetings are an essential part of our work lives, but the feeling of the zoom link meeting’s contents looming over us is all too common. The dread that follows, and the time spent achieving nothing overlaps the work done and hampers productivity and excitement about work. If your employee finds themselves nodding along to this sentiment, employers and managers need to go the extra mile to make virtual meetings engaging.
In a survey conducted about meetings and productivity, 91% of the participants admitted to daydreaming during meetings online, while 39% of these meetings were spent dozing off. However, the loudest of all statistics were approximately 50% agreed that they thought meetings were a waste of time.
Below are the 5 important tips to adapt to hold an effective and successful conference meeting:
- Select the competent tools
Meetings are essential and can be plenty productive, but they can also steer into chaos very quickly as more people join. Having a meeting with 5 people is not the same experience as having one with hundreds of people, which is why delegating tasks and finding the right tools is just as important as the theme for the meeting.
While there are multiple collaborative platforms that allow hundreds of participants, there are very few tools to monitor and participate together. Choosing the right tool for a virtual conference helps in boosting the meeting and turns the meeting fun, interactive, effective, and successful.
It is time for every team to invest in the right team collaboration software to ensure that the meetings are as smooth as can be. Smart filters, preview files, smooth collaboration tools, and so on are essential for seamless calls and collaboration.
- Invite appropriate participants from the Teams
Handling things with etiquette is an essential quality one must possess, and the same goes for conference calls: which on the outset might seem like an easy job. Keeping track of the team members joining and defining their role in the call is the first step to having a successful meeting.
Invitations must be sent well in advance to ensure that there’s less confusion, and making use of the google calendars reminders is not a bad idea! Invitations must include a few information such as a short introduction, agenda of the conference, its objective, date and time, contact details, and a few documents for support.
- Build an agenda and stick to it
There’s nothing that a little practice doesn’t solve, and this is especially true when it comes to conference meetings. Several people assume that it is an easy task, but being in the presence of more than a hundred people can be overwhelming.
Having too many objectives and trying to conquer it all can be counterproductive, with a flurry of topics to handle- you might find yourself not being able to focus on a single objective.
The average professional spends 21.5 hours in a meeting, and it is important to have each one count. This is why focusing on a set of actionable topics keeps the meeting fresh and interesting, and venturing out with a one-track mind ensures that employees don’t feel lost in a jumble of topics.
- To engage everyone, include some fun elements in the meeting
While participation in meetings is a norm, meetings shouldn’t seem like an obligation but a way to connect with like-minded people. It is important to have voluntary participation, or else, the meeting could easily seem like a chore.
However, it is a fact that people feel more connected to meetings that happen in person. 86% of the crowd in a Harvard study said that they were more likely to engage in person.
But, fret not, because as essential as online meetings are, they are relatively easy to crack if you have the right plan, and you know how to engage audiences.
Meetings that go on for an extended period of time can feel tedious and lead to a lack of concentration, so to break the tension, you can try engaging with the participants. Make sure to have a weekly meeting where you talk about non-work-related happenings so employees have a support system.
- Assign someone to write Minutes of Meeting (MOM)
Sometimes a conference lasts longer than it is supposed to as one may lose the track of time and the nitty-gritty details of the call. To avoid mishaps, it is important to keep a track of time by assigning someone to note down the minutes of the meeting in order to avoid meetings being stretched.
(The author Sudhir Naidu, Founder & CEO, Troop Messenger and the views expressed in this article are his own)