There are certain things you should be doing within every video conference to allow effective collaboration.
Whether you are new to video conferencing or a seasoned professional, there are aspects to consider in terms of efficiency. It can be related to a set of features you should be using or your activity within the meeting. Fortunately, there is a recipe for an efficient meeting. You just have to use the available ingredients.
1. Invite the right attendees
This can’t be emphasized enough. If you have too few people, too many people or the wrong people invited to your web conference, there is no hope for an efficient meeting. Be sure that everyone who needs to be there is there. And no one else.
2. Audio and video
Before the actual meeting can start, you should check that your microphone and webcam works. Then double check. Then triple check. You don’t want to lose time while fixing your gadgets or changing your gear. All meeting masters know the importance of preparing and testing all technology before a video conference. You can even make a test meeting with some of the attendees before the actual meeting time.
3. Introduce the meeting
As you are starting the meeting and giving the introduction, the important thing is to go straight to the point. The ideal situation is that everyone is there the moment the meeting starts, but in our busy world there is always someone who comes late. When someone joins in, there is no reason to explain everything repeatedly since it will hinder the start of the meeting constantly. So don’t be like David in this hilarious but sadly accurate conference call.
As you are presenting, try to think that you are giving a presentation to a large audience. Or maybe giving a speech at a wedding. You don’t want to imagine anyone yawning or checking the time while you speak. The same comes to video conferencing – even though you might not see all the other attendees, remember that they can see and hear you. Go straight to the point and make it short. Cut all unnecessary slides and words that do not bring any value to the meeting.
5. Pass the baton
If you are the host, it’s your job to make sure everyone is contributing at the web conference. Even if you love being the center of attention, the attendees are there for a reason. Their contribution is vital for the sake of an efficient meeting. You don’t want to lose any important points or opinions due to the fact that you (or someone else) are speaking constantly.
6. Ask questions
The goal of an efficient meeting and video conferencing is to allow collaboration to happen between individuals who work towards a common goal. Collaboration doesn’t have to purely mean pitching ideas. It can take a form of asking questions. A Chinese proverb says: “He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever”. Also a great quote to start a meeting with, don’t you think?
7. Provide help and support
It’s great to ask loads of questions during a web conference, but what’s more important is to provide support to the attendees. Even if you don’t know all the answers, make sure you follow up on questions after the meeting. Otherwise the time that was spent for the questions was for nothing. Efficiency continues even when the cameras and microphones are shut.
8. Final remarks/questions
Schedule 5-10 minutes at the end of the meeting for everyone to throw in their last comments or questions. An efficient meeting won’t leave anything unclear. And what’s more important: it ends at the scheduled time. Don’t practice unnecessary prattle, especially in the last minutes.
9. Conclude meeting
Make sure everyone’s on the same page. Summarize the items that were discussed, decisions that were made and tasks that need to be finished for the next meeting. Don’t leave anything up to interpretation. However, there is a big chance you might be stuck with explaining something all over again. Or maybe someone brings up a completely new issue. Drive the meeting towards the end.
10. Generate and share replay
Some online video conferencing solutions will allow you to record the entire meeting and replay it anytime. This is especially great when it comes to defining the next meeting objectives. You can go back and replay the previous meeting, see what was decided and was the outcome as desired. Remember to share the replay with other meeting attendees.
There is so much you can be doing within your video conference. We tend to forget what can be accomplished and the different gadgets we have at our disposal. A web meeting delivers the in person experience within a digital environment. Just like your virtual meeting, use every tool at your disposal. You may be hindering your meeting experience if you choose to not use all the tools available