Working from home is not a new concept. Prior to the pandemic, roughly 1.7 million people in the UK worked remotely. Today, however, that number has drastically increased, and virtual meetings will continue to be prominent. With that in mind, virtual meetings need to optimise collaboration and connectivity, just as traditional in-person meetings.
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This article will cover 5 top tips to help you host a great virtual meeting.
A virtual meeting is a form of communication that utilises video and audio technology to help individuals connect and collaborate, regardless of their physical location.
We will cover:
As the host, the main thing to consider is what you want to achieve in the meeting. A useful tip is to bullet point the areas that need addressing to ensure that you cover everything, and your meeting stays on track. It will also reduce meeting time, optimising your day.
At the end of the meeting, summarise your action points to make sure that everyone is clear on what is needed and when.
Be realistic with your time. Virtual meetings can be more intense than face-to-face meetings because there is an absence of non-verbal cues, many of us feel self-conscious and they require more focus.
Try not to burn yourself out with back-to-back meetings. Instead, make realistic timelines and try time blocking your calendar to reduce spontaneous meetings.
There are many communication platforms available such as Join.me, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. They all have various functionalities so it’s best practice to familiarise yourself with the technology beforehand to execute your meeting successfully. Check that you can navigate features like screen sharing, muting and unmuting and webcam permissions with ease.
Additionally, always be prepared for technical challenges as people are working from different locations with different internet speeds and experiences.
Video is a great way to make people feel included like they are physically in the meeting while keeping engagement levels high. When participating in a virtual meeting, always turn your camera on and position it at eye level to look natural – like you are sitting across from each other.
Lighting is also an important factor to consider. If the sun is shining, it might bleach out the picture but if it’s too dark, it will be difficult to see you. Similarly, stick to a neutral background to minimise distraction.
People tend to look at their screens rather than the camera but by looking at your camera, you create a stronger connection with your meeting participants.
There is now a high standard of virtual meetings. Your laptop webcam is not enough. High-quality webcams, PTZ cameras and all-in-one USB video conferencing devices are now affordable and attainable.
Make sure that your microphone is turned on and working when you want to speak. However, if there are multiple attendees in the meeting, mute your microphone when you are listening to prevent background noise and interruptions.
A useful tip is to mute notifications while you are on a call so that you aren’t bombarded with distracting sounds throughout the meeting.
Soundbars and headsets are popular choices for home offices and huddle spaces. They’re compact, high-performing and typically low maintenance compared to other fixed installation products. Some conferencing soundbars come as a full solution with built-in cameras and microphones.
A 2021 study by Google believes that over 75% of survey respondents expect hybrid working to become a standard practice within the next three years. Virtual meetings will continue in the workplace and we must present ourselves professionally.
Here at Midwich we have a wide variety of workspace technology to help you stay connected. Head to our Meeting Room Configurator to discover more!
Text updated April 2022.