Five tips for holding online business meetings

If you are new to online meetings here are some tips that can take the pressure off and make them less daunting. With 40% of the UK’s self-employed people being 50 and over business need to embrace the latest technology that makes video meetings easy.

Meetings are an essential element of business. A collaborative culture is dominating the business world and so meetings are vital to ensure success. This, combined with a more mobile workforce, means online meetings are increasingly seen as a time saving way to bring people together. And the latest technology now makes video meetings easy.

1. Prepare an agenda: As in conducting a face-to-face meeting, the meeting facilitator should prepare a meeting agenda, outlining the key aims and what will be covered. The agenda should be sent to the meeting participants in sufficient time to allow them to organise and prepare for the meeting. If possible, give at least a day’s notice so people can plan for the meeting. Afterwards make sure meeting notes and action points are distributed to all who took part in the meeting.

2. Assign a moderator: The meeting will need to be managed by a moderator to drive the meeting agenda, ensure you stick to the allocated time and give everybody the chance to contribute.   At the beginning of the meeting a few minutes of small talk is a good way at building relationships and helps everyone ease in before getting down to business.

3. Test and get familiar with the technology: Before you begin the meeting, check the features available to you. There is nothing worse than dropping out of a meeting when using unfamiliar tech. With employees now tending to bring their own device to work, some technical glitches can occur with compatibility issues. Problems can arise with participants not all having the latest software update. When it comes to sharing and uploading documents – test this out and upload the documents beforehand.

4. Be concise: Most people’s attention falters after 30 minutes so break down the meeting into manageable chunks of no more than 10 minutes and avoid multi-tasking. Although it might be tempting to catch up with e-mails, social media and other tasks during the meeting, avoid it and be fully engaged.

5. Get the location right: Choose carefully to avoid distractions such as noise or background activity. Find a quiet room or space where you feel comfortable and make sure you look presentable before initiating the call. It also helps if you have a well-lit space with minimum distraction. There’s nothing worse than having people moving or screaming kids behind you.

 

Video conferencing and online meetings, with the right technology, are now easy. This means, with preparation, following the above guidance and keeping things simple, they can be a great tool for boosting collaboration and, ultimately, productivity within your business.

 

By Alex Hunte, Co-founder, LyteSpark