5 Things You Need to Know About Hosting a Remote Meeting
To host a successful remote meeting requires a different approach than hosting an in-person meeting. Here’s what you need to know.
Here comes a crazy statistic. Virtual meetings are up 1000% since COVID. Yes, that’s a thousand percent, not a hundred. While it may sound crazy, it’s probably not surprising.
With so many people engaging in virtual meetings, they’re going to run the gamut from show-stopping, to mediocre, to downright awful. But, if you’re about to host a remote meeting, why not step above all the noise and do it right?
Below, we’ve outlined five things you need to know about hosting a remote meeting. We want you to see things from every angle so people can walk away from their time with you and feel like you added value to their day.
1. Your Presence Matters
With remote work at an all-time high (like everything else in life), we can get lazy about the details over time. If you have weekly staff meetings, everyone might have combed their hair, put on a little makeup, and turned on their webcams the first time around.
Then, as the weeks went by, they started to stay in their pajamas, leave their hair tousled, and turn off their webcams. Now, all we see is their profile picture (if they even have one) and who knows if they’re even present anymore.
So, when you’re going to host a meeting, make it known in the invitation that all webcams need to be turned on so everyone present can engage. You can set the stage right by being present, well-attired, and ready to interact with each attendee.
2. The Team’s Preparation Matters
In order to get everyone on to engage, give them some time to prepare their involvement. So, in your virtual meeting invitation, you’ll mention everyone’s camera needs to be turned on so they can engage.
But, take it a step farther and ask them to do something specific. Even if everyone’s camera is on, you’re still going to have your wallflowers who won’t say much beyond, “Hello,” and, “Have a nice week.”
Now that they know they can’t conduct the meeting from their car, give them a reason to be present and “on the ball.” If this is a first-time meeting with new people, mention that you’re going to do a roll call, asking everyone to introduce themselves.
If this is a regular company meeting and the upcoming week’s agenda will center upon a new product or service, then let it be known that you’re going to go round-robin and ask everyone to share one experience with the old product.
3. Your Backdrop Matters
Recently, we watched an old video of the Queen’s Christmas message. (Talk about going down a rabbit hole on YouTube.) But, in the end, we realized we didn’t hear a single word she said.
We were looking at the grand piano behind her, the gold-gilded walls, the picture frames on her desk. Our eyes were darting all over the room to “snoop” and her voice was nothing more than the ol’ school teacher on Charlie Brown. “Wah wah, wah wah.”
If you’re going to host a productive meeting, remember your backdrop matters. Consider putting up a video wall or some other digital effect that will remove the clutter and institute something less distracting.
4. Your Sound Effects Matter
Here comes another YouTube rant. We were also watching one of our favorite YouTubers last night. She’s an expert in her field who sits on her couch and waxes philosophically while hundreds of thousands of people tune in.
She doesn’t need a lot of props because she is the prop; her knowledge is the prop. However, she (or her assistant) dropped the ball one week and didn’t bother to start over when they realized the error in their ways.
Every few minutes, we heard the ding from her email or the bong from her cell phone. It was utterly distracting.
And guess what human nature calls us to do whenever we hear a ding or a bong? Our eyes dart to that screen. So, as she was talking, things were bonging and eyes were darting.
It was, unfortunately, quite distracting and we didn’t learn as much from her that day.
Take a moment before your meeting and turn off all your notifications. That includes your cell phone, iMessage on your MacBook, interoffice communication apps like Slack, email, and whatever else you can think of.
If your home environment itself is quite noisy (and there’s no mute button for the people around you), then consider placing a sound wall around you whenever you’re logging on. It can absorb the sounds around you, block them out, and even mask them with something more soothing.
5. Your Run-Throughs Matter
How many times have you entered a virtual meeting where the host is talking but no one can hear him or her? Or, they’re trying to share their screen and it’s not working?
Minutes and minutes tick by as they ask, “Can you hear me?” or they fumble with their trackpad to get a screenshare to work. The number of times you run through your meeting indicates how dedicated you are to meeting productivity.
Log in a few times before the big day. Make sure the virtual meeting room is working. Turn on your camera. See how your lighting and backdrop appear. Test your microphone. Practice sharing your screen.
A Remote Meeting Done Right
In the end, your presence and your prep work are the key elements to a successful remote meeting. Invitees will immediately see you’ve gone a step above when they log onto your call.
If it matters to you that things are done right, then give us a call today. Here at Pro Media, we deliver custom audiovisual and HD conferencing technology that will fit your business needs.
With high-definition video conferencing solutions, digital signage, sound masking, and more, we’ll help you put together the most professional meeting you’ve ever hosted.
We look forward to taking some of the prep work out of your hands and helping you deliver quality presentations time and again.
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