How to hold successful virtual meetings

The most common form of meeting today is a virtual meeting. This means that you participate digitally, usually via a link or platform where participants are included on audio and video. The meeting may involve employees based remotely or physically in the office as well as external parties.
Online meetings provide the freedom to attend from anywhere, but they also come with some challenges. To ensure communication is as smooth as possible, you should think about some practical things before the meeting starts.

1.
Have an agenda for the meeting and send it in the meeting invite. That way all participants can better prepare for the meeting.

2. Introduce everyone who is present at the beginning of the meeting.

3.
Ensure that the technology works. For example, do you need to download an app or have an account to attend the meeting? Is your audio working?

4.
Make sure there is an agreement about expectations and rounds of talks. Who is leading the meeting? When is an appropriate time to ask questions? Who is responsible for ensuring the meeting sticks to the agenda?

5.
Coordinate and moderate the meeting so that all participants can take part unhindered and request to speak.

6.
Add a chat that the meeting leader or another designated person keeps track of during the meeting so you can answer any questions that are raised. This can be an effective way to ensure everyone participates, particularly in large meetings, while avoiding disruptions for the speaker.
Home office with desk and chair
It's not just the technical aspects that need to work. It is important that participants have the opportunity to participate on equal terms and can request to speak. This is achieved by having structure and clear routines for remote meetings and communicating the purpose of the meeting in advance.

Another challenge with digital meetings is that it’s hard to stay focused for more than 30-40 minutes because the brain has to process more signals than in a physical meeting. If the meeting needs to run longer, add breaks into the agenda so as not to lose the interest and attention of the participants. Better yet, consider whether a series of shorter, more focused meetings would be more suitable.

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