In hosting virtual meetings, keeping them on track is critical for success. In order to do this, consider going back to the basics:
- What’s the purpose of the meeting? Is it to inform? Create something together? Check in and share information? Be clear on what the purpose is. Use this to create an agenda.
- What preparation is needed? Be explicit about what people need to do BEFORE the call. Is there something they need to read? Review? Prepare and send?
- How long is the meeting for? Start and end on time. Thinking that everyone needs to be there before you start is likely a waste of precious time.
- What’s on the agenda? See #1 – Be sure to stick with the agenda and learn from past experience in terms of how much time is needed.
- What are next steps? Be explicit about what’s been agreed to and who is responsible. You may have one person tasked with noting these next steps as you go so they can summarize at the end of the meeting. Provide people 30-60 seconds (or more) during the call to write it down and schedule it in.
- What follow up is required? Once again, be clear about next step – WHO, WHEN, HOW….
- What learning can you apply to your next meeting? With business pressures today, no one has time for ineffective meetings. Note things that are working, note things that aren’t and stop doing them! As more people become familiar and confident with these tech tools, it will be easier to iterate and share best practices.
I explore more meeting tips in Chapter 9 of Effective Virtual Conversations. What are your next steps around meetings this week?
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