The swift pivot to remote work early in the pandemic brought with it the quick implementation of virtual meeting software. The goal was to get employees set up at home as quickly as possible and to reduce interruption to the business. Because of this, much of the new work-from-home processes were created on the fly. There wasn’t time for long-thought-out protocols to be put in place up front.
Now that the pandemic is waning, many businesses have decided to keep remote work as an option, at least part of the time. It’s a great way to attract and retain workers in a time when so many business are facing staffing shortages. It’s also a good way to reduce overhead and other costs to help on the road to post-pandemic financial recovery.
Because of this growing trend, virtual meetings have taken a permanent place in our everyday workflows. Even companies that plan to bring employees back onsite may choose to continue using virtual meeting software because of its ability to improve efficiencies and collaboration.
We all remember how challenging it was for so many people to get used to virtual meeting software early in the pandemic. There were Zoom cat filters that got stuck, children or pets walking into the room, and pajama-wearing employees who thought their videos were turned off. While laughing at situations like these can help lighten the mood in uncertain times, we’re at a point where we need more structure.
Now is a great time to reassess your virtual meeting protocols. At Vidyo, we specialize in virtual meeting software and know the ins and outs, the challenges and the opportunities. We’ve put together the following six guidelines on how to improve virtual meetings, so you can get the most out of your virtual conferences.
Set Objectives in Advance
Early in the pandemic many of us held virtual meetings as a way to check in to see how everyone was doing. We were all in it together, just trying to figure it all out. Now that we know what we’re doing, it’s important to begin implementing more structure into our virtual meetings. The first step is to create objectives for every meeting. Besides helping meetings run more efficiently, this exercise can help identify opportunities for handling issues through an email or phone call instead. Or you may identify opportunities to combine meetings to make better use of everyone’s time.
Once your objectives for the meeting are clearly established, you should send them out prior to the meeting—preferably with the meeting invitation—to ensure everyone has the opportunity to prepare. When people come to a meeting prepared, they’re more likely to engage. And that leads to more effective meetings.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
The leader of the meeting sets the tone for the meeting so it’s important to demonstrate what’s expected. That means having your video on 100% of the time so everyone can see you. You should test microphones and speakers before you start the meeting, and do all you can to avoid ambient noise. This might mean moving away from air conditioners and windows, silencing alarms and phones, turning off text alerts, etc.
It’s also important to look professional. Just as you wouldn’t show up at work unshowered and wearing pajamas, you don’t want to show up at a virtual meeting looking like you just got out of bed. Put in the effort to make sure meeting participants know the meeting is important and that you’re there to get things accomplished.
Stay Engaged and Interactive
It’s easy to lose focus during virtual meetings, especially if you’re not the one speaking. It’s also challenging to be the person presenting when you see people yawning or clearly reading emails and not paying attention. A good idea to keep everyone engaged is to make it clear up front that the meeting is going to be interactive and that everyone is expected to actively listen and engage in the conversation. Have questions and discussion topics ready and make sure everyone has an opportunity to provide input.
Communication is Key
The key to successful, productive meetings is overcommunication. We’ve all heard the saying, “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.”1 There’s a reason why this adage from Aristotle is so popular; it works. Even then, it’s important to make sure you’ve been understood and that everyone’s on the same page. A great way to do this is to ask each stakeholder to reiterate their takeaways.
Take Notes and Share Them
Once the virtual meeting has ended, immediately pull together notes from the meeting, including the takeaways. It’s important to do this right after the meeting while information is still fresh in your mind. Once you get involved in other projects or issues of the day, it’s easy to lose important nuances that you would remember right after the meeting.
It’s helpful to use the same format to capture and share your notes each time so that they’re easy to read and reference. This should include main topics, takeaways, and meeting participants. Also include any open or unresolved issues and next steps. Once you’ve distributed the notes in an email, you may want to post them where they can be easily accessed by all stakeholders.
Use the Right Virtual Meeting Software
There are a lot of virtual meeting solutions on the market. Because of how quickly businesses moved to implement solutions early in the pandemic, they may not have chosen the best solution for their business. It’s not too late to reevaluate your software to determine if it’s really offering you an optimal experience and a positive return on your investment.
When it comes to virtual meeting software, Vidyo stands above the rest. With Vidyo, you have everything you need in a single solution. Here’s why we’re better:
Platform. Vidyo’s patented platform integrates with virtually any application, environment, network, and device to deliver the highest quality experiences that strengthen teams, build trust, foster long-term relationships, and improve quality of life and work for everyone.
Ecosystem. Whether embedding real-time video using vidyo-io and our rich APIs, or through integrations built into the VidyoCloud platform, organizations large or small can reimagine their business models while delivering improved results.
Security. Our products offer extensive protection for sensitive information your organization transmits, including files, text, screensharing, video and audio. Our security features go above and beyond industry standards and are designed to keep your communication and private information safe.
Learn why companies like Bloomberg, Barclays, Optum, NASA, the U.S. Army, BestBuy, and the Mayo Clinic put their trust in Vidyo. Contact us today.