Nowadays, remote meetings are commonplace, but hosting them can sometimes be difficult. After all, how do you effectively communicate with people who are all hundreds if not thousands of miles apart?
Well let us just say, it can be done. Sure, remote meetings may require a little extra work, but with these seven tips, they can actually be just as effective as their in-person counterparts. Take a look!
1. Choose the right meeting tool for your needs
Perhaps the most important part of running a remote meeting is the tool you use to run it. There are a myriad of options out there, but some of the most popular ones are:
- GoToMeeting – GoToMeeting is an online meeting, desktop sharing, and video conferencing software. It allows you to meet with other computer users via the Internet in real time.
- Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts is a particularly good option if you’re already using Google+, Gmail, and/or Google Calendar. It allows you to initiate and participate in text, voice, and video chats either one-on-one or in a group.
- Join.me – Join.me is another viable option. It’s great for those quick and easy meetings that require you to share your screen.
- Skype – Last but not least, there’s Skype. Skype is a service that allows you to video chat, screen share, and instant message other computer users via the Internet.
2. Be mindful of time zones
If you’re the one scheduling a meeting, be sure to select a time that works well for everyone. 9 a.m. EST might sound great to you, but that’s 6 a.m. Pacific Time – not exactly an ideal meeting hour.
If you need help comparing time zones, World Time Buddy is a great (and free!) tool to use.
3. Share the agenda in advance
It’s easy to get sidetracked during meetings, but especially during remote meetings when everyone seems to be in their own little world. To help everyone stay on track, share the meeting agenda a day or two in advance.
4. Join the meeting a few minutes early
When it comes to technology, anything that can go wrong will, so set yourself up for success by joining the meeting a few minutes early. The last thing you want is to spend valuable meeting time troubleshooting an unforeseen issue.
5. Introduce everyone at the beginning
Depending on the type of meeting software you use, your attendees may not be able to see each other. Because of that, it’s important to introduce everyone at the beginning of the meeting. That way, everyone knows exactly who’s in attendance.
6. Mute your microphone when you’re not talking
We’ve all been on those conference calls where there are co-workers chatting, dogs barking, and cars honking in the background. Eliminate those distractions by putting yourself on mute. This will also help reduce those unwanted voice echoes.
7. Ask for feedback throughout the meeting
For some people, remote meetings are an opportunity to tune out. To prevent that from happening, ask for feedback throughout the meeting. This will encourage everyone to participate and voice their questions, comments, and concerns.
Now these tips really apply more to those internal, remote meetings, but if you’re concerned about meetings with your members, check out our post, 5 Ways to Get Your Members Excited About Meetings.