Covid-19 has impacted businesses across the globe. The need for communicating with your team and customers, however, has not become obsolete. A significant change observed amidst this pandemic has been the move to meeting in an online environment.
According to our recent survey earlier this month, it seems many of our clients enjoy the use of these online platforms for internal meetings and catch-ups, but struggle to use them when interacting with someone outside of their organisation. Remaining productive and ensuring successful meetings via these channels has also come with a new set of challenges.
Here are a few tips to really ensure a great online interaction.
Pick your platform
- Just because we have all these virtual meeting platforms available at our disposal and that we’ve become pretty much accustomed to them, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are always the best way to go. Make sure you carefully select your form of communication to get the most out of every interaction, whether it be with a colleague, a client or a supplier.
- Compile and share a meeting agenda well in advance and stick to it during the meeting. This will assist in ensuring your meeting remains on time and covers each point raised. Test your presentation, mic and sound with a colleague beforehand – struggling with equipment or applications looks unprofessional, wastes time, will probably get you frazzled and starts your meeting off on a poor note.
Break the ice
- People dislike being put on the spot or disclosing personal information, especially to strangers. Schedule some time for breaking the ice but give participants a heads-up about what you’d like them to do by mentioning this in the agenda.
- A great option is to ask participants to bring an interesting fact, themed if you like, to share in the meeting after introducing themselves. This could become a fun tradition for your team.
Engage with all participants (especially in smaller groups)
- Take note of how many participants are in the meeting and make sure to address each one, and engage with each person for feedback, input or just in a casual discussion. This ensures everyone feels ‘seen’ and valued.
- If you are distracted; checking emails, your phone or you continue to work on other tasks while in a meeting, it is less obvious than when in person, but other participants will notice. This could cause offense and a deterioration of the relationship between you and the participant presenting or speaking at the time.
- Allocate one person to take meeting minutes in order to record all topics discussed and actions agreed on. This will prevent any miscommunication when it comes to delegated tasks. Ensure clear instructions are given to those needing to complete any tasks and include the date and time for the next meeting.
Keeping to these simple, yet effective, guidelines could make your meetings a lot more productive, successful and enjoyable for all.