Updated: Jul 4, 2021
The last decade things shifted major. Where 10 years ago, you were still a little "special" when meeting virtually. Today it’s totally normal. And recent developments show that knowing how to meet remote can become a life and business safer.
But only: If done effectively.
So this training check list is a complete overview of how to effectively and sustainably prepare and structure any virtual team meeting with grace and fun. It's the best of my clients appreciated most over the last years.
1. Keep it short
Live and online meetings are two different pairs of shoes. Being and moving in a room is not to be compared with bowing over a laptop. After 2 hours max (!!) we’re fried, our concentration is gone.
Check: Split your meeting in chunks of 1h, 1,5h, 2h max. Then have a break of at least half an hour. In that break, ask your team to leave the laptop, go for a walk, get fresh air, eat, and drink. Get a treat.
We know that over 70% of meetings fail because they don’t have an agenda or lack preparation.
Check: Know your goal and create a schedule with exact timings around it.
Not the other way around! Know why you meet and then decide how much time is really needed to achieve that goal. Otherwise, we waste this precious beautiful resource time.
Even though things shift all the time, and we need to stay flexible and adjust ad hoc, I recommend to have 15 min slots in place with concrete outcomes and takeaways. Find the structure that works best for you and your team.
3. Invite consciously
To make sure your team is naturally engaged, intrinsically motivated, and therefore driving the meeting forward only invite the people who are beneficial to your goal. Say bye bye to politics and how this was done in the past. You are now, your team is the future.
Check: Ask yourself who needs to be part of your meeting, so it is successful, and the goal can be achieved.
4. Invite cordially
The invitation is the first impression and will influence the attitude towards your meeting greatly.
Check: Send a personal mail or preferred medium and show the goals and takeaways of the meeting.
Communicate what they will need apart from the login, like materials (like paper and pens), nutrients to keep going strong (water and nuts maybe), and even inspire your team to create their physical space with special well-being props (like plants or inspiring quotes).
The worst thing that can happen in a virtual meeting is when there are two conversations at a time, focus is off, or confusion enters the virtual space. People get bored, wander off or shut off completely. Try to avoid that with all your heart and brainpower.
Check: Document everything so that people can follow: The current (and only) topic, the discussion, and the fantastic outcome you achieve.
Need more inspiration on that topic? Refer to the YouTube training:
6. Establish Rules
Be mindful of the fact that virtual meetings to some, even most of us, does not come naturally but needs a tiny bit of support.
Check: To help with guidance, establish some rules (like Listen to each other! Switch of other devices!) to follow.
Create them by yourself upfront (not more than 3) or for extra ownership, motivation, and engagement do so in the meeting with everyone. It should not take more than 5-10 minutes and has, I promise you, a great effect for a flow that matters.
Need more inspiration on that topic? Refer to the YouTube training: Virtual Teamwork - SIMPLE 2 STEP STRATEGY for SUCCESSFUL TEAMS Working Remote
7. Start Motivational
The beauty of check-ins (a small activity to jumpstart the session) at the beginning of meetings are: They create the virtual atmosphere.
Check: Whether you want some motivation and fun or building the team relationships and trust, there are multiple ways of boosting your meeting with a short yet meaningful start.
Need more inspiration on that topic? Refer to the YouTube trainings:
8. End Motivational
Leaving the virtual space and meeting quickly and without a proper goodbye comes easier than doing so in a live setting. It can almost happen unnoticed. Unfortunately, this affects the relationships and influences the way the virtual meeting is perceived in general: Like another dot on the agenda.
Check: Motivate your team to say something they liked about the meeting (1 Min) or give proper feedback to improve the virtual meeting experience continuously.
Need more inspiration on that topic? Refer to this YouTube training:
9. Embrace Variety
Modern video conferencing platforms have a variety of really great features: The chat for quick decision making or in-between feedback. Or the whiteboard for making complex content visible or to be able to interact.
Check: Make use of this offer, but don’t stress out about it. Keep it simple first, explore and master the game one step at a time.
10. Use off-screen modes
Sitting in front of a laptop, concentrated and for a longer period, is challenging.
Check: get your team of screen as much as possible. For example: Ask a question, let your team finish with pen and paper for a couple of minutes, and share the outcome virtually again.
Fantastic work everybody!
You have successfully completed your training to become a Virtual Team Meeting Hero.
All my best, for now,