It comes as no surprise that the popularity of virtual meetings within organizations and between business leaders is growing. Aside from saving travel costs and other expenses, these meetings are easier to plan and execute. Technology surges forward making leaps and bounds in communication. Still, utilizing new technology doesn’t eliminate all the old challenges. If anything, some aspects of work meetings are complicated by the lack of “face to face” time. Keeping an audience engaged in person is challenging enough. So how does one bring a virtual meeting to life? Every situation is unique, and in order to make the best of teleconferences, presenters would be wise to ask themselves the questions below.
- Are you taking the time, prior to the presentation to be so well versed in the content that you are able to just focus on the audience?
- Are you allowing room for inter-audience interaction and networking if applicable?
- If using a webcam, are you making eye contact as frequently as possible with the webcam?
- Are you first considering your content before deciding on a presentation platform in order to prevent boxing yourself in?
- Did you test run your platform in advance? There is no quicker way to disengage viewers than wasting time resolving technical problems.
- Do you take the time to market a webinar that is meant for business growth?
- Have you considered ways to keep the listeners engaged by prompting them to take notes or highlight certain content?
- Would you consider what platforms and methods the team members are most often utilizing so navigating online meetings is easier on their ends?
- Is investing time to create strong graphics, video, music and sound clips to produce engaging presentations part of your repertoire for planning?
- When beginning your meeting, do you “lift off” with your most engaging content to set the mood?
- Do you utilize the opportunity to incorporate the meeting within a face to face event if possible? For example, if you’re running a large meeting across many branches of your organization, is the meeting scheduled as part of an event including snacks and interaction?
- Are you regularly reminding guest speakers to engage the audience with questions and eye contact?
- Have you tried creating pre-meeting excitement through methods like requesting Instagram photos from attendees ahead of time to be incorporated into the presentation?
- Are you incorporating time at the end of your presentation for live chat feedback, questions and conversation?
- Do you offer follow-up emails to attendees and those who missed with video and audio recording or upon request to further engage the audience?
Removing the in-person element of meetings does present its challenges. However, if you remember to have a considerate approach, you will succeed. This involves remembering that you are asking for valuable time from attendees, so tailoring meetings to their needs will result in a win-win situation.