How to run effective virtual meetings

How to run effective virtual meetings

By Brie DeLisi

There is a call to practice Social Distancing in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, and many organizations have responded accordingly. Companies are shifting to an entirely remote workforce, where possible, and with this significant shift in the physical nature of the workplace, comes a new workforce dynamic. Meetings that were previously held in person are now shifting to a virtual conference call – and that can exacerbate pre-existing issues around participant engagement. In order to better prepare you and your team for this new meeting setting, we’ve compiled a number of recommendations to run effective virtual meetings:

  • Pick the appropriate tool for collaboration – do you need video capability? Screen sharing? Recording?
  • Video chat is highly recommended, as it is more engaging because the participants can see one another, their expressions, and their attention to the conversation.
  • Give plenty of notice – last minute meeting invites can result in a lack of attendance if the invitees are doing other work and not focus on their inbox.
  • Make the meetings short and to the point – the longer the call, the more likely you will lose focus and engagement.
  • Provide an agenda and assign responsibility to as many of the invitees as possible to elicit participation.
  • Pay attention to your email attachment size – most servers have a size limit 10 MB. Compress and convert to PDFs when possible or share on a cloud platform.
  • Set group ground rules for meeting etiquette. Examples include: no multi-tasking, interrupting others mid-sentence, hanging up early, remain cognizant of the noises around you that can be heard by others, etc.
  • Take attendance – don’t assume that everyone is on the call.
  • Ask open-ended questions to increase engagement levels, instead of asking simple “yes” or “no” response questions.
  • At the end of the meeting, provide a recap of what was discussed and align on next steps.
  • Send out an email to all attendees with meeting notes and next steps.

At Propulo, we understand the challenges that you are facing, and our team is here to help and support you with pro bono resources and guidance to help guide you. We have committed to not profit in any way from this crisis but recognize that our skills and resources can help guide others.


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