Online meetings are becoming increasingly popular. They save money on travel and they can be called at short notice.
They are simple to run if you have the right tools, the right systems and have a suitable quiet room. They do have their limitations so take care.
They work best if attendees are in the same time zone.
Five of the best tips to improve your next online meeting
* Before the meeting
State the purpose of the meeting and state what you would like the outcome to be.
Decide who should attend, (The fewer the better).
Check the time zones, (People are not at their best at 2am).
There should be a convener at each site. The convener should introduce all attendees, coordinate and keep site control.
Always plug in early to make sure all systems are working well before the meeting is due to start.
Set a simple well planned agenda. The fewer the items on the agenda the greater the chance of a successful online meeting.
Background notes should be distributed early and read by all attendees.
All items should be specific; “For a decision; For your information; For action by ….”
* Negotiate dates
Public holidays, religious and political holidays should be a consideration, (Often unexpected events, such as a funeral can upset meetings).
* Timing is important
Start on time and finish on time. Be mindful of people working hours. Transport home also is a consideration, especially in large cities.
* When taking a vote
Don’t say all in favour “Aye”. Instead , ask “Who disagrees with the proposition?”
* Getting good results
Names of the people responsible for the tasks agreed should be included in the minutes. Be specific, give commitments, dates and times tasks are to be completed.
The minutes should be simple and distributed as soon as possible. Often they can be done online at the end of the meeting if you have a skilled recorder.
Plan well in advance, keep strictly to a simple agenda and don’t be too ambitious with your expectations.
“You can only judge a meeting by the results you achieve.”
Source: “Persuasive Ways. ‘Tricks of the trade’ to get your ideas across”. First published by Moss Associates Ltd., New Zealand and in Chinese by the Shanghai People’s Publishing House, the Singapore Institute of Management, Kogan Page Ltd, U.K and in Hungarian by Bagolyvar Konyvkiado. Also published as the “Secrets of Persuasion” by Cengage Learning Asia and as an e-book and sold by Amazon.com.