Entering the matrix


The world of business is changing rapidly with more and more companies

  • Cutting back on travel
  • Manager’s having ‘virtual teams’
  • Training  conducted by webinar or YouTube style training video
  • The rise of teleconference and video conferencing

All of this makes sense in the tough economic times we live in; however, how often are people receiving training not only on the technical side but the behavioural side of using virtual meeting technologies?

Being competent in using the software isn’t enough e.g. PowerPoint was launched in 1990… nearly 22 years ago, how often do you see really good presentations using PowerPoint?

Running an effective meeting face to face is a skill and requires real leadership to keep people engaged, feel comfortable to speak up and share ideas, ultimately reach the objectives of the meeting and leave motivated.

So I thought I would share some tips for virtual meetings

  • Start with a small team in the company and give them the support and development to become really effective at using the software and the identifying the behavioural aspects that really work; then let it go viral in your workplace
  • Have short, concise objectives for the meeting and display these throughout so that the attendees know what’s next and how much progress you have made. Send these out before hand to allow time for preparation
  • People’s attention will waiver after slide 3 on a webinar so make it interactive with polls, questions, whiteboard etc.
  • The chairperson should be there 15 minutes before the start and know how to mute and unmute
  • Facilitate discussion by using open questions followed by people’s names
  • Be aware when some delegates are one room together and the rest are virtual e.g. the whispered side chat in the room is distracting and can create them and us mentality. If there is silence in the room full of people narrate what is going on
  • Set expectations or ground rules if its the first time everyone has got together using this medium e.g. everyone gets a chance to speak, participation,use your name when joining the discussion (webinar / teleconference)
  • Be aware of background noise
  • Stay out of emails and turn mobiles of, unless you would normally do this in a normal face to face meeting?

These are only a selection of tips, please feel free to add any amusing anecdotes, pet peeves or tips in the comment section