As businesses have navigated the impact of COVID-19, events and meetings all over the world have been replaced by virtual meeting apps. Once the cancellations and the work from home measures were implemented, virtual alternatives quickly took their place with many businesses having to really reconsider their business processes.
The speakers all log on to a meeting app with audio and video capabilities, and each speaker in turn addresses the other delegates. This solves the immediate requirement to replace a physical event with an online one.
But there are two easy to do tips that you can implement today to make your online meetings more engaging.
Think beyond the PowerPoint presentation
There’s one thing that many of the best TED and TEDx talks have in common: they don’t use slides. It’s understandable that not all of us have honed our presentation skills to TED worthy levels, but we can learn a lot from watching some of these engaging speakers. Even those who do use slides tend to use very few, and the slides are consistently uncomplicated.
Regardless of whether a meeting is in-person or virtual, be careful of PowerPoint overload. Consider keeping PowerPoint to a minimum and get people’s faces on video when running presentations.
There’s also opportunity here to do product demonstrations, to host virtual remote panels, and use technology to support features such as video chat for questions. Technology can also support a truly active event environment, with the right software to support networking and breakouts, and even features such as chat boxes, hand raising, emoticons, question polls, whiteboards and note-taking.
Plan the agenda carefully and share it in advance
Many of us are in uncharted territory when it comes to running virtual events, but it helps to think of them in similar terms to in-person scenarios. You wouldn’t plan a conference without an agenda, and most of us have agendas in place for weekly calls.
However, with virtual meetings, this agenda may need more context. The purpose and theme of the call may need to be more defined, and re-iterated throughout to keep attendees engaged and on track. If there are multiple speakers, it’s important to ensure that they are keeping with this purpose and theme.
As you plan out the agenda, it’s also important to test your technology to make sure the meeting will run as planned. For larger scale events, this may involve doing a complete rehearsal.
A last point on administration. It’s worth sending a meeting round-up or notes to all attendees, with actions custom designed to them.
At Wolters Kluwer, we are facing the same situation; we are committed to be our customers’ partner and persevere together in the days and time ahead. Some of our team members, would like to share their thoughts on how to make a success of remote working, as an individual or as a team leader. Click here to read the full article.