When planned and organized, web meetings can be very productive. Has your team done online meetings before? Are they productive, or slow and repetitive? Well attended?
Let's look at some ideas for how to boost productivity during web meetings.
Send out the meeting invite with key ingredients to prepare attendees to participate
- Pre-Meeting Briefing: Background about the meeting, why, what, who, and goals
- Link to help documentation on the web meeting tool you will be using in case someone isn't familiar with the tool
- Facilitation plan (link to Getting Started with Online Meetings)
Conducting the Meeting
Having a designated meeting facilitator is important for all meetings, and especially so for online meetings. If folks will not be on web cameras it will be difficult to use body language to anticipate who wants to talk next, who is checked out, etc.
Keys to productive meetings include:
- Using online collaboration tools
- Show slides to help folks focus
- For high energy groups, consider a split-screen with slides and Meeting Notes
- Use the chat feature of the online meeting tool to maximize productivity and use air time wisely
- To keep all folks engaged, consider a round-robin discussion or the "Raise your Hand" feature
To promote a positive perception of web meetings, make good use of the time, respect people's contributions, and wrap up the meeting on time. When concluding an online meeting, similar to an in-person meeting, remember to summarize the resulting Action Items or Next Steps from the meeting, share when the next meeting will be, and when folks can expect to receive a copy of the meeting notes.