9 Surefire Ways to Jumpstart Participation in Virtual Meetings

Last week, I listed 10 things your team really does on a web conference call. Keeping your team from being distracted is one thing, but getting them to fully engage in a virtual meeting is quite another.

Here are 9 ways to get your team invested in your online meeting:

  1. Do your prep work + ask your team for some, too. Here’s some good advice for what to do before, during, and after your online meeting to encourage participation. Send each team member a meeting agenda and 2-3 specific tasks or review items.
  2. Keep an eye on them. If you don’t want your team on autopilot, video conferencing is the way to go. With a camera pointed at them, your team won’t sneak off to make a sandwich or bathe the dog.
  3. Make it brief. We’re long past having a meeting simply for meeting’s sake. If all you need is a 5-minute conversation with two employees, don’t involve everyone. Limit your online meetings to 30 minutes or less.
  4. Tell your team what’s in it for them. In your meeting invitation, identify clear meeting objectives and expected outcomes. Beyond that, identify how the meeting enhances your team’s performance or makes their lives easier.
  5. Include one meeting-specific piece of information. Do you remember that professor in college who always included one essay question not covered in the textbook or supplemental reading? It’s like that.
  6. Discourage multitasking. Ask unexpected questions. One HR expert even suggests asking everyone to leave mute buttons off during the web conference.
  7. Provide a memorable experience. With an online meeting, you can create a virtual experience that’s every bit as memorable as one in real life. Here are some great tips to get attention in virtual meetings.
  8. Ask questions. When you’re fishing for comments or ideas, ask very specific questions. Don’t be afraid to point those questions to specific people, either.
  9. Reward participation. This isn’t unique to online meetings, of course. If you want your team to share ideas, reward them for doing so. Even if an idea makes you cringe, wait until a later time to shut it down completely.

Online meetings create unique challenges when it comes to participation. Use these tricks, and you’ll dramatically increase participation.

How does your company jumpstart virtual meetings?

All of these tips originally appeared on the PGi Learning Space. Check out the site for more.



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