Three Steps to Have More Productive Virtual Meetings


It’s important to know how to handle meetings since we are spending more time in them while working remotely. There are obvious ways to improve your meeting etiquette as an attendee, such as muting your mic, dressing appropriately, and showing up on time. However, when you’re the host or leader of a meeting, you can follow additional guidelines to make your meetings more successful. Learn how to have effective and engaging virtual meetings when you host a meeting by integrating these three tips.

Have an agenda

Having an agenda will help the attendees know what is going to be covered during the meeting. Agendas help all parties ensure that the right players are in the room. We have all been in meetings where partway through, it is discovered that one of the topics being addressed doesn’t match who is in the room, so items have to be tabled or taken away for additional meetings. Those additional meetings aren’t a good use of anyone’s time and could have been avoided if the agenda was shared in advance of the meeting. Agendas also let everyone know the amount of information that is expected to be covered. It helps speed along or slow down conversations to match the amount of information on the agenda.

Set expectations

Let attendees know the formality of the meeting and how you expect the meeting to be conducted. This is helpful to include with the agenda and to distribute in advance. You should cover things like whether you expect all attendees to use a web conference line to see a presentation, if cameras should be on and whether you are looking for a high degree of audience participation. If you expect attendees to come prepared with something, like answers to particular questions or research topics in advance, this is also helpful to share in the guidelines you distribute. Once participants join the meeting, remind them of the guidelines shared to set the tone at the beginning of the meeting.

Practice your presentation

Practicing your presentation in advance of a meeting should be standard practice, but it is especially true if you’re using new or different technology. Don’t expect that all video conferencing platforms work the same. A video clip that works well on Zoom might not translate correctly to Google Meet. If you have multiple speakers, a practice run will help smooth out transitions between parties. It is also helpful to send out an email to presenters in advance of the meeting, reminding them which slides they’re accountable for and reiterating the main points that are trying to be communicated on each slide.