How do you make the most of a virtual meeting, especially if you aren’t running it?
Here are 8 strategies to try for your next meeting.
Read materials in advance. If documents were circulated before the meeting, read them before the meeting. Jot down comments or questions that you want to address in the meeting.
Define what you want to accomplish. Make sure you know why you’re there. If you don’t, get clarity or don’t participate. Have 1 or 2 goals for what you want to get out of it or what you want to see happen as result.
Arrive 5 minutes early. Jumping on early allows you to greet people as they arrive and establish rapport through small talk. It’s a courtesy to your colleagues. And it signals that you’re organized in managing your time.
Turn on your webcam. Take advantage of technology by using the video feature. Establish eye contact and better connection with your colleagues. This will also keep you focused on the meeting, rather than on multi-tasking.
Establish rapport by asking about colleagues. If you’ve joined early and the meeting hasn’t officially begun, ask people how their day is going, what the weather’s like in their city or how another big project is progressing.
Project your voice with a smile. Even when speaking on the phone without video, I smile while I’m talking. Why? It makes your voice sound warmer, more knowledgable and more sincere.
Be one of the first people to jump in with a question or comment. Speaking up early establishes your presence in the meeting from the beginning. Colleagues will then look to you for your thoughts.
Be clear on next steps as the meeting wraps up. If the meeting leader doesn’t summarize next steps, offer up the next steps you will be taking. This often prompts the leader and others to do the same.
And when you’re in the driver’s seat, here’s what everyone should know about running virtual meetings. There are great strategies in Paul Axtell‘s post this month in Harvard Business Review.
What are your best virtual meeting strategies?