Online meetings have been a very important tool in the corporate world over the last 8 – 10 years, bringing the global workplace to new levels of interconnectedness. However, the COVID pandemic took the importance of online meetings to new heights. Online meetings have become the most fundamental tool to collaborate and engage with your team members. The need to make every meeting more impactful and engaging is vital to a team’s day-to-day activities.
BlueJeans Meetings provides an outstanding set of features and tools to make online meetings be more productive and impactful.
There are 3 aspects of hosting an impactful online meeting – scheduling your meeting, running it efficiently, and closing it effectively. Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these aspects and review strategic ways to make your online meetings more impactful.
Tips for Effectively Scheduling Online Meetings
It’s critical that you prepare and plan ahead for the meeting. As a moderator of a meeting, spend time planning your meeting agenda to ensure that the meeting is not merely an information sharing event, but something that will help the team move work forward and allow stakeholders to make key decisions.
#1 – Establish an agenda, type of meeting, required attendees and time duration.
Empower your team members to help you successfully execute the meeting goals. Establishing and sharing a clear agenda for the meeting ahead of time helps attendees come prepared and stay engaged in the conversation. It is also important to choose the appropriate meeting access option.
If you are scheduling your meeting from your BlueJeans Account, you have the option to either limit meeting access to “invitees only” to ensure security or you have the flexibility to share the meeting link with a larger audience, all in one click. Lastly, ensure that you have key decision makers invited to your meeting to achieve meeting objectives.
#2 Select the most appropriate settings for your meeting
Customize your meeting settings to maximize the time you have with everyone in the meeting. BlueJeans Meetings’ Advanced Settings options help you set the stage for an effective meeting.
A few ways to customize the meetings include:
- Enable auto-recording – capture every detail of the meeting by automatically starting recording as soon as the first participant joins the meeting.
- Prevent screen share takeover – Enable this feature to disable screen share takeover by a participant when an existing screen share is in progress.
- Meeting Highlights – Transform your meeting experience into a collaboration powerhouse. BlueJeans Smart Meetings enables users to capture key moments during a meeting. These captured moments are generally key milestones in the meeting that may have specific tasks tied to them.
- Silent participant entry mode – This is an extremely useful feature to enable beforehand to ensure attendees don’t get distracted by latecomers.
- Live Meeting Controls – For larger meetings, BlueJeans Command Center lets designated meeting moderators monitor the meeting behind the scenes, while the presenter is focused on their audience. Moderators are able to manage the audio, video and security of the meeting.
Tips on Effectively Running the Show
The stage is set. You put in the work ahead of time for your meeting by providing a clear agenda to the team. Here are some tips to making the most of your meeting.
#3 Punctuality pays. As a meeting host, you want to make sure you start the meeting on time. One of the worst things you can do as a host with a wide audience is to join the meeting late. Don’t be that ‘person’. Start the online meeting on time. For anyone who joined the call late, don’t stop to repeat what’s already been covered. Spend time with them after the meeting to catch them up.
#4 Follow the agenda. Stick to the game plan. It’s always helpful to start the meeting by reviewing the agenda and if necessary, remind participants to hold side discussions for the end of the meeting. Break the meeting into various sections allowing multiple people to lead and present. Switching presenters keeps the attendees engaged. Breakout Sessions is great feature to divide the meeting into smaller groups led by subject matter experts.
#5 Share the content. There’s no way to tell a story better but to add some pictures to it. The exciting world of online meetings is truly engaging when the presenter shares the content. As humans we are wired to follow visual aids faster than just a bunch of words. Use charts, videos, pictures, and graphics to create an engaging experience for your participants. This is also a great way to keep all the attendees on the same page and it provides a platform for different participants to take turns and showcase their work.
#6 Encourage participants to contribute. A two-way communication is key to making effective and impactful decisions in meetings. Asking team members about their opinion for each topic of discussion empowers them to take ownership. This is also an opportunity to pull the meeting back to the game plan. Ask specific questions to either close the current topic on the agenda or something that leads to the next topic.
#7 Screen Annotation and Whiteboard. When was the last time you were in meeting when the host kept moving their cursor saying “I’m talking about this one. No no not that, I mean this”, like you were magically supposed to figure out where the cursor is moving on the screen. Enable on-screen annotation or Whiteboard to effectively highlight and overlay your beautiful artwork over the screen content.
#8 Reduce Distractions. This may be hard to do but avoid-multitasking. If you can, turn off notifications on your computer. Last thing you want is a reminder to pop up on the screen while you are sharing your screen and presenting. Leverage the meeting time to build and strengthen your connections while contributing towards meeting goals.
Tips on Wrapping Up a Meeting Effectively
As you approach the end of the meeting, take a few minutes to effectively wrap up the meeting discussion. This is the time to review decisions made, task list, parking lot items, and what’s next. Effective meetings end with a clearly defined roadmap for what’s next. Even if the outcome of the meeting is to meet again, every attendee should walk out of the meeting with a clear objective.
#9 Share the meetings notes with attendees and action item list. As the host of the meeting, the onus is on you to follow up with the attendees and make sure everyone is aware of their assigned tasks. As a best practice send the meeting notes as soon as you can after the meetings with an expected completion date for each item.
#10 Follow-up. A consistent follow-up is key to any project’s success. There were tons of great ideas that were discussed in your meeting. Make sure nothing is lost because of lack of follow-up. If needed, schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss.
A well-structured online meeting provides an extremely effective platform for teams to come together, collaborate, and make decisions. Use the platform to drive effective outcomes by communicating the agenda in advance, following-up with consistency, and using meeting features to run the show like an online meeting pro!