Video meetings are an important tool in the modern business world. As more companies are incorporating technology into their day to day operations, the ability to connect team members across a range of locations and time zones can make a huge difference in the success of that team and the job they are able to do. Video meetings can happen almost anywhere thanks to mobile connectivity around the world and available hardware such as tablets and smart phones that link people directly back to their home offices. They allow for face-to-face interaction and collaboration in a way that used to require long flights and huge travel budgets to accommodate, all with the click of a mouse or push of a key. From planning to executing to follow through, here are five vital tips to make your next video meeting a success.
1. Plan Your Detailed Agenda
As with any business meeting, having a well-planned agenda is the first step in having a successful video meeting. Your team members’ time is valuable, and to ensure the best use of it, creating a detailed agenda can help you determine the purpose of the meeting and exactly what needs to be covered. Collect the information you need and map out how the meeting can go, including every aspect that needs to be covered. This will give you a good idea of how long participants can expect the meeting to take so that they can block the time in their schedule. It is also vital that everyone needed to make decisions is able to attend. Because of the ability of a video meeting to take place regardless of time differences, it is easier to schedule than a traditional face-to-face meeting, but participants still need time to add it to their calendars.
2. Test Your Equipment Beforehand
To ensure that your meeting goes smoothly, be sure to allow an extra thirty minutes or so before the meeting to test all of your equipment. Whether you are using a video conference room or simply chatting over tablets or computer browsers, making sure that everyone will be able to see and hear one another is key to the success of the meeting. Starting the meeting and then finding that someone’s connection isn’t working properly or that the conference room monitor is down will waste time and appear unprofessional at best, or it could disrupt the meeting so much that it doesn’t happen at worst. Having a Blue Jeans Meeting with scalable, multi-platform enabled video conferencing program means that a wider variety of equipment can be easily incorporated into the video conference with smoother integration.
3. Practice Good Communication Skills
With the nature of face-to-face meetings shifting to video conferencing, good communication skills are still necessary and important for all members of your team to practice. All of your team members should have an opportunity to introduce themselves at the start of the meeting if they are not already familiar with one another. Active listening is also still key, so looking into the camera in order to maintain the appearance of eye contact is important. Give each member a chance to speak when it is his or her turn and listen without interruption. With conference calls, it is easy for participants to become distracted by their computers or phones, but with video meetings, being on camera helps people to stay focused on the point at hand. Video meetings are more efficient than conference calls because they allow clearer communication by mimicking the advantages of face-to-face interaction.
4. Establish a Leader to Stay on Schedule and Encourage Collaboration
The meeting needs to have a clear leader to keep the agenda moving and to ensure that things don’t stray off topic. One of the benefits of video conferencing is that it allows for remote team members to be connected and to participate in collaborative aspects of the business and the team. Having a good team leader to facilitate the meeting can make all the difference in keeping things running smoothly and on time so that your meeting is efficient and that all voices are heard. The team leader can also field any concerns or complaints that need to be shared so that they are either addressed at the time or scheduled for the next meeting if they need further research.
5. Follow-up with Participants
The last key to a successful video is to follow up with participants afterward. This ensures that all vital information has been received and provides a way to handle any additional questions or concerns that may have come up after the meeting. This also allows you the opportunity to find out what can be improved for the next meeting. Surveys or summaries can be sent to all of the attending team members, and anything that needs particular emphases can be repeated. Follow-up also gives you the ability to share with anyone who couldn’t attend the meeting or who needs to know what was covered for information sharing purposes.