How To: Prep A Remote Meeting
Remote meetings are becoming more and more common. Whether it’s because partners, clients or team members work remotely to spend more time with their families, escape the coronavirus or simply live on the other side of the world – more and more teams are extending their collaboration beyond the physical walls of the office. If you’re new to this, don’t worry: we’ve collected the best tips for a successful remote meeting.
- This is part 1 of a 3 part series about remote meetings.
When you search the internet, you will notice that there is an abundance of software tools on the market to help you set up and run your virtual office space as smoothly as its brick-and-mortar counterpart. Yet one of the biggest questions that keeps on resurfacing regarding remote work is how to make the most of online meetings.
How do you communicate effectively from the comfort of your living room table or when your team member is not physically present? And how do you make remote meetings more engaging? Below we have collected some of the best tips & tricks shared by Slack to make both your virtual internal and external meetings as successful as offline ones.
How to prepare your remote meeting
You wouldn’t walk into a meeting without a clear schedule in mind, would you? Online meetings aren’t any different. If you want your remote meeting to be efficient and successful, you need to set up an agenda and establish clear guidelines.
Set your online meeting agenda
If you ask someone to pop online next Thursday at 3pm without a clear plan in mind, you’ll probably find yourselves spending a lot of time on preparations that could (and should) have been done before the meeting.
That’s why we highly recommend you set up an online meeting agenda, which includes:
- Structure: when will you meet, for how long, and how much time will you spend on each topic? Account for time zones when working with international team members.
- Key Talking Points: what do you want to discuss?
- Attendees: who really needs to be present? Avoid inviting everyone to the meeting.
- Responsibilities: what does each attendee have to prepare for the meeting?
- Content: any relevant documents, files, or research that needs?
- Prep: do you expect any prep work from the attendees like reading certain documents?
Establish online meeting guidelines
The meeting guidelines are all about expectations of how the people in the meeting are to contribute to the virtual meeting. Here are 3 questions that will help you set up your meeting playbook.
- Depending on the type of meeting, decide whether everyone can speak freely or a Moderator calls on someone when it’s that person’s turn to contribute.
Tip – for groups larger than 6 people, give someone the role of Moderator and Scribe so that the meeting is more organised. We’ll dive a bit deeping into these roles later.
- Does everyone need to have their camera on at all times?
Tip – in case multiple participants are required to contribute during the call, make sure everyone has their camera on. Remember, 55% of communication is done through body language.
- Should people mute their microphones while others are speaking?
Tip – ask people to find a quiet space. If that's not possible, ask them to only turn on their microphone while speaking. But try to avoid this situation. By not allowing your participants to mute their microphone, you’ll make sure that people have to stay fully focused on the call.
Once you have established the remote agenda and guidelines, send them to the meeting attendees at least 24 hours in advance. This way everyone is on the same page before the virtual meeting takes place.
Also read: How To Run Remote Meetings Effectively