The coronavirus pandemic has made it much more difficult to have important meetings. Most meetings have been relegated to happening on a virtual platform. This makes it difficult for many to maintain focus, and the work that needs to happen doesn’t always occur. Follow the 10 steps below to help make your meetings more engaging.
1. Check-In and Check-Out
Start your meeting by getting everyone involved. It does not have to be anything lengthy; it just must involve everyone. An example would be everyone saying their name and one thing about them.
At the end of the meeting, do something similar. In this case, an example would be to have everyone go around and say how they feel after the meeting.
2. State Goals and Intentions
It is important to state the goals and intentions of the meetings clearly. If everyone is not on the same page, you will likely not accomplish everything you need to. Not only should you discuss this at the beginning of the meeting, but regularly reaffirm it throughout the meeting to ensure you are staying on track.
3. Break Down the Way To the Goal
Your meeting will have a big goal, but it’s important to break that goal down into smaller goals. This makes the goal feel more feasible and will help keep the meeting on track.
Ensure each step toward the goal is relevant and use visual aids for each step to help.
4. Digital Warm-Ups for Energy
In a meeting, it is important to break the ice. It’s even more essential in virtual meetings; it just looks a little different. Here are some examples:
- Spontaneous Object Sharing: Ask everyone to pick an object near them that has significance. Have them give a short explanation on why it is significant to them.
- Open-Ended Questions: Ask a question like “What are you hoping to get out of the meeting today?” and let everyone give a short answer.
- Practice Tools: If you are using a virtual tool, have a creative practice session using the tool before using it formally. This can create some laughs and get everyone comfortable with the technology.
5. Keep Everyone Involved
Make sure every person in the meeting has an active role. Depending on what you are trying to do, small groups may work better, so everyone isn’t fighting to talk simultaneously. If you are trying to teach the attendees something, it is important to have them apply it somehow during the meeting.
6. Smaller Groups Maximize Engagement
When you have many people staring at you, it can be scary to voice your opinions. Breaking down the big group into smaller ones can help people feel more at ease and increase productivity. Use the digital tools at your disposal, such as Zoom breakout rooms, to separate the small groups.
7. The Rule of Small Numbers
In digital communication, the less is more approach should be employed. When creating meetings, keep the following in mind:
- The overall group should be 12 or less.
- You should use smaller groups of 3-5 for intensive work phases
- Take a break once an hour and change the working mode every 15-20 minutes
- Keep sessions short (45 minutes for presentation/discussion, 90 minutes for work, exercises, or skills)
- One goal per session
8. Use Stories
Stories are great for expressing information. Keep these tips in mind:
- Use short videos to highlight learning points
- Have participants share stories
- Share a story in advance.
9. Use Visual Aids
The more visuals a presentation or meeting has, the more motivated the brain is. Easy ways to do this include making a presentation with lots of interesting visuals, not having a lot of text, and incorporating infographics.
At the end of the meeting, reward the participants. You could give them a virtual badge or a discount for future classes, among other things.
The biggest problem with online meetings is keeping the attendees active and engaged. Conquer this challenge by applying the above tactics. At Komstadt, we are focused on helping you with your workplace technology needs. Contact us today for more information.