Remote Meetings need to be effective and the material for your meeting needs to be spot-on to get maximum output. A large part of what makes a meeting successful occurs in the preparation phase. Meetings, especially remote ones require a lot of upfront preparation. Preparation can make or break your important meeting.
This post is #3 in a series I am writing on “Tips for successful remote meetings”, brought to you by Rate My Meeting. Earlier we discussed 5 key benefits of having a clear meeting agenda and 5 essential steps to improve time management. Let’s have a look at the 3rd element Rate My Meeting uses to improve remote meetings: Materials were properly prepared. We make sure that required material for the meeting is prepared beforehand and the prerequisites for the meeting are made available to every attendee in advance.
For managers, here are 5 ideas to keep in mind while preparing material for online meetings.
1) Prior Preparation: Share Agenda and Expectations
Being prepared with the agenda and content matter is as important for online meetings as it is for face-to-face meetings. All participants need to know the agenda and goals beforehand to understand their role in the meeting. Send the agenda at least 24 hours before and you can also create visuals to attract your team’s attention.
2) Remember to send login information
Make sure you send log-in details (access codes and URL) well in advance so that participants can test meeting software and arrange for any missing equipment. Also ask participants to log in at least 10 minutes before to test connectivity
3) Circulate supporting information in advance
Make sure that you provide the supporting materials to participants well in advance. This includes pre-reads, forms or templates to work with during the meeting. Remember to include enough information so that everyone arrives with a general familiarity about the meeting.
4) Plan for your online meeting to be structured and flexible at the same time
Long online meetings can get tiring very fast. It is important to keep online meetings short so they are effective and interesting. Plan what information should be sent to participants before the meeting and what issues need to be discussed together and also what points can be discussed after the meeting. If your meeting is likely to get stretched, then give people time to relax in between.
5) Arrange for recorder
You can assign for someone to takes notes on paper or laptop. Meeting notes should be distributed to the attendees after the meeting gets over. You can store previous meeting notes and agendas together in one place where they will act as a reference for your team.
How do you check if provided material was sufficient or not?
Effective virtual meetings start with effective preparation. If everyone is well prepared, your meetings can become a powerful tool for coming up with innovative ideas and accomplishing your goals. However, if any one feels that the material was inadequate or not prepared properly, Rate My Meeting gives them an opportunity to submit completely anonymous feedback right after the meeting. If your team is unable to achieve its goals during meetings you can work on your weaknesses accordingly and this facilitates room for improvement in your meeting skills. If online meetings are starting to feel boring, inefficient or tiring we brainstorm new ways to make your meetings effective and fruitful.
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