If you haven’t been holding virtual meetings, you probably will soon. Virtual meetings have increased more than 80% in the last 5 years as technology has improved and made meeting with clients and colleagues possible no matter your location.
Being able to meet with people that can’t be there in person is a huge benefit for business owners and entrepreneurs – and having a video component makes this method much more effective and helpful than phone calls alone.
Virtual meetings will only continue to grow in popularity. If you want to host better virtual meetings, use the following 5 tips and watch how your meetings improve!
Host Better Virtual Meetings with These 5 Tips
Consider time zones
Each person involved in a virtual meeting may be in a different time zone, so it’s important to get that information before scheduling the meeting. For example, as a Central time zone resident, when I held virtual meetings with my California clients, I made sure to consider the time zone difference when scheduling a time for the meeting.
8:00AM Central time is 6:00AM Pacific time – too early for a video meeting in most cases! Being considerate of the other person’s time zone and adjusting your meeting time to that can help get your meeting off to a great start.
Select an area with adequate lighting
As a veteran of hundreds of virtual meetings, this is one tip I can unequivocally back up – select an area with the right lighting. There are few things more frustrating than watching a grainy, dark screen where a blurry figure comes in and out of focus.
This is what happens when you hold a virtual meeting somewhere with too-low lighting. Move into a bright (clean!) room that fully illuminates your face. It will help the other person see you clearly, which builds trust and makes the meeting run more smoothly.
Share your screen
Screen sharing is a must for hosting better virtual meetings. Sometimes, showing is just better than telling (isn’t that the whole idea behind virtual meetings, anyway?).
Check out Join.Me for a great screen sharing tool that will enable you to show the other person in your virtual meeting exactly what you’re working on, to give step by step instructions or how-tos, or to get help with a problem or task you don’t know how to put into words. Screen sharing helps visual learners pick up information more quickly and retain it better, too.
Set a time limit for each meeting
If you want to host better virtual meetings, you don’t want your meetings to drone on and on. While chatting with the other person is always a good way to build a better relationship with them, small talk can eat up valuable meeting minutes and cause the other person to fall behind on their work.
To side-step this problem, set a general time limit for each meeting and let the other person know the increment of time you expect the meeting to take – whether that’s 15, 30, or 45 minutes.
Create a general plan for the meeting
Finally, create an agenda or general plan for the meeting and share it with everyone who will be attending. This gives everyone an “itinerary” of the meeting so they’ll know what to expect. It also gives them the benefit of being able to plan their responses, brainstorm topics, or come up with a few solutions or ideas for a listed issue before the meeting even starts.
That’s a time saver and reduces meeting anxiety for everyone involved in the meeting. Make sure to send the agenda to everyone at least an hour or two before the meeting.