August 3rd, 2022

Avoid Bad Online Meetings: This Shouldn't Be An Email

Avoid Bad Online Meetings: This Shouldn't Be An Email

We’ve all been there, sat in a meeting where it seems like there’s one quick point to make, and now everyone is just chatting. Or even worse, there doesn’t seem to be much of a plan at all! Online meetings still run into this problem, and sure, you can just turn your camera off and zone out, but you know what would be even better? If the meetings you were in couldn’t just have been an email. Let’s discuss ways you can prepare, respect everyones time and have better online meetings.

Make An Agenda For Your Online Meeting

I can’t state enough that when it comes to online meetings or any meetings, the agenda is the backbone. Meetings without agendas are the sort that always spiral off into chatting about Better Call Saul or that one really great Mexican food spot on Jefferson St.; you know the one. The very first thing you should do before you even set the time for your meeting is type up the agenda.

You want to include all the points you will discuss and how much time you will dedicate to each point. For this, I recommend using the Google Workspace for your online meetings. This way, you can create a document that not only details who is going to discuss what, but you can tag the person concerned. This way, they have a notification letting them know that they will be expected to present X information. I’d advise giving a minimum of 24hrs notice for this, but ideally, you want to provide a few days. This lets everyone prepare what they’re going to present to the group.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Take Notes

Your agenda is a live document; by this, we mean you can now take meeting notes! Make sure one person in your group is dedicated to taking notes. This way, not only will you remember everything that is discussed, but you can set accountability.

At the end of your meeting, be sure to make a note of and discuss what action items each team member now has. From here, you can note these in the agenda and tag the relevant people again. Now, in your next meeting, you can discuss the points of responsibility and where everyone is the process.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Make Your Online Meeting Better

Now to the bulk of the meeting itself! Nobody enjoys asking, “can you see my screen?” then vanishing into the background. Or having to say, “Okay, can you all click the link? I’ve sent you a video.” Wouldn’t it be great if you could do all of that on one screen with just a few clicks? I imagine you know where this is going. That’s right; we’ve got something that can help! VideoCom Presenter lets you add your Powerpoint or Google slides and any media from images to videos and websites all into one presentation.

You can then add your webcam to the presentation, letting you be there to keep things engaging. You can also use tools like a live pointer to highlight the specific things you’re discussing. Everything is all in one place, making it easier for everyone to absorb and quicker for you to answer any questions about what people are seeing!

Keep Your Online Meeting On Time

This last point may seem like an obvious one, but we have all been in an online meeting, right? Someone will overrun, leaving you the option of having the entire meeting overrun or cutting down other people’s presentations. This is not only detrimental to the whole point of the meeting, but it is disrespectful of everyone's time.

The best way to combat this is, in the agenda we mentioned above, note down the timings for everything. If your meeting is an hour long, divide each section accordingly. Then, in the discussion, keep a timer handy. Ideally, the meeting chair will monitor this and move things along as needed. If something requires further discussion, a breakout session can be arranged.

These are just a few tips to improve online meetings, but I also have one final bonus tip for you. Use the Google Calendar to set the time for your online meeting, mainly because everything can then link together. You can put the agenda in the meeting invite, which will go directly into people’s calendars. You can also add video calling to the invite, so everything is in one place. When the notification says “your meeting is starting soon,” everyone will have a handy “click here to join the meeting” button. Oh, and VideoCom Presenter is fully supported, so you’ll have everything in one place!

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