Oh no, not another Teams meeting!

You may be concerned that the novelty of meeting remotely has worn off and that your employees are less engaged than when meeting in person. Here are 10 tips to get the most from meeting remotely.

1 Simplify your slides

People may easily tune out if your slides contain too much content. Remember, meeting online demands more attention than meeting in person. Keep them simple.

2 Join the meeting early

Whether you’re presenting or attending, joining early will stop you from wasting time fixing your camera, or microphone or resolving other technical issues.

3 Encourage people to turn on their cameras

As your colleagues join the meeting, prompt them to turn on their cameras. Of course, you shouldn’t force them to do so but the meeting will be more personal if you can see each other. You wouldn’t stand facing the wall with your back to your colleagues if you were meeting in person.

4 Outline the agenda

Tell people why they are there. Use the first minute or two to outline the subject matter and objectives.

5 Ensure hybrid meetings are remote-friendly

If some people are online while others are in the same room, adjust the meeting activities to accommodate your remote audience. Instead of writing ideas on a whiteboard, share the screen and write the meeting outputs on a shared online whiteboard.

6 Only share your screen when necessary

Sharing your screen helps everyone follow the discussion but don’t share your screen unless you need to. It is better to let your online attendees see you and each other.

7 Minimise presentation time. Maximize discussion time

Remote meetings can be impersonal. Build your meetings around discussion rather than one-way content broadcasting to encourage people to interact.

8 Give everyone a voice

Someone may be sitting in silence with a million-dollar idea. Invite people who have been silent for a while to comment on the current topic or share their ideas. Encourage people to raise their hands digitally if they wish to speak.

9 Don’t lose anyone

Staying alert during an online meeting can be challenging. If it will last longer than an hour, break it up into smaller chunks. Breaks will allow people to catch up on calls, deal with e-mails and take comfort breaks. Sprinkle your meeting with live polls to retain your attendees’ attention and get them to actively participate.

10 Close your meeting with clear next steps

Ask someone to take notes. Summarise the key points and actions before ending the meeting. Share the notes with attendees and those stakeholders who couldn’t make it.