Preparation: Tips for Online Meetings – Part 1

In the ever-expanding world of technology, meeting remotely has never been easier. In order to conduct effective online meetings, here are a few preparation tips for online meetings and webinars.

Tips for Effective Online Meetings and Webinars – Part 1

In the ever-expanding world of technology, meeting remotely has never been easier. The internet offers many helpful tools for conducting online webinars and video conference calls. In order to conduct effective online meetings, this learning event will cover a few important recommendations.

Prior to the event:

Know the Limits

Knowing how to leverage the functionality of a product is essential to ensuring easy and seamless team meetings.

Familiarizing yourself with the technology as well as providing material to help others do the same will allow you to easily use the software as well as know its limitations.

This will help you avoid wasting time navigating menus during a webinar or having to pause and receive assistance during a video conference.
Anticipating potential limits with the technology is essential.

Prepare Materials

If your meeting requires a presentation, make sure it is clear, concise, and easy to follow.
Limit the amount of text and increase the use of graphics and applicable pictures.

Practice Before the Performance

Prior to your event, allow time for one or two practice “runs” with a co-worker or a family member. This helps you become familiar with the tool and build confidence in using the technology so you can seamlessly facilitate the actual meeting while keeping the interest and focus of your audience.

You may need to secure management approval for personal use if conducting a test run, but remember, preparation builds confidence in delivery and, in turn, strengthens the message.

Provide Necessary Information

Via email, distribute all call-in information, start time and duration, and any necessary instructions.
Make certain your conference line number is correct and accessible for all participants. Test the number with plenty of time to trouble shoot should something fail to work properly. If using a conference line, be sure the line is free during the duration of your call and no other team members have scheduled events conflicting with your time.

Prepare an agenda

Preparing an agenda detailing the information you will discuss will help you and your participants maintain focus, avoid rambling, and keep track of time.

The agenda should specify the list of talking points related to project status updates and allocated times anticipated per topic so participants can easily follow.

If appropriate, email the agenda to each participant prior to the event. Allow time to solicit feedback, invite recommendations, and encourage preparation by all attendees.

Please note, there will be times when feedback and recommendations are not appropriate based on the purpose of the meeting.

Create a Plan for Monitoring Discussion

At the conclusion of your meeting webinar or video conference, you might consider allowing time for discussion and questions. However, with an online platform, this can easily get out of control.

Create a structure for accepting questions (whether via an instant messenger option or a virtual raised hand that allows a participant to unmute to ask question). Follow a similar process for discussion so multiple perspectives can be heard.
We hope these tips are helpful in your preparation for an online meeting or webinar.

Depending on the size of the meeting, you may want to consider having an assistant to help manage discussion and feedback on questions and comments

We hope these tips are helpful in your preparation for an online meeting or webinar.  Join us for part two of this series and visit our website for additional QuickCourses.

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