In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we suppose “Virtual Meeting” is no longer a foreign word to many. With safe distancing and mask-wearing measures in place, virtual meetings are now a new norm for work discussions, webinars, webcast and even leisure chats.
While having a virtual meeting, participants can easily join via a few clicks to engage and communicate with one another. He or she can see and talk over their mobile devices or PC/Mac (audio or audio-visual), anytime and anywhere. And of course with wired or wireless connection!
Virtual meeting allows you to share information in real-time without a physical gathering. Some commonly-used software or platforms include Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Team, Zoom etc. In this coronavirus era in this rapidly-digitalised world, we have to quickly learn to adapt and get used to this new way of meeting people.
If you are completely new to this way of meeting, what do you need to start? Here are some useful tips for you and your company to help you get started on effective virtual meetings.
Since most companies do not develop their own virtual meeting software, choosing a suitable and secured third-party application or platform to conduct your meetings is the first key step. Since there are many free options on the internet now, feel free to explore! Pick, choose and try them out before deciding on one. Some may require you to download, some may be browser-based; some may be user-friendly, while others require technical knowledge to operate. So, think what you need before settling on one.
Well, a virtual meeting actually works like a physical one, just that it minimises physical contact. The coordinator has to schedule the meeting and send the invites, agenda or the meeting themes to all participants before the virtual meeting. This allows everyone to prepare for a fruitful discussion and brainstorming. When too many participants want to speak at the same time, the coordinator or the chairperson of the meeting has to ensure that everybody has a chance to speak. It is also beneficial to minute the meeting, so that everyone knows and can refers to it thereafter.
Make sure that you’re familiar with your virtual meeting software! The in-built functions can help you express your ideas and opinions during a meeting. When you are having a presentation or webinars, you can share your screen anytime or use a whiteboard function to convey your key messages. You can also showcase your website or YouTube videos to enhance the overall experience of the session.
Participants are not bystanders, so you need to make sure that they each have a chance to speak, hear and see throughout the meeting. This is especially so during work discussions as there may be distractions around him or her which you can’t see. It is recommended to keep the virtual meetings brief and concise, so that everybody stay engaged and focused during the virtual meeting. As the chairperson or coordinator of the meeting, you can have a Q&A session to facilitate the meeting and make sure the session is fulfilling and effective.
It is important to identify the nature of the meetings. Is it a formal meeting with clients or your boss? Or is it merely an internal discussion within you team? The nature can affect your dressing, tone of speech, environment and so on. If you’re having a formal meeting, it is nice to dress up formally and ensure a quiet surrounding so as to avoid any interruptions. When it comes to internal discussions, try to pay attention and not multitask or browse unrelated websites.
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