Quadra

Connecting Technology and Business.

Six tips to a better engaged online meeting

15 percent of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings, as reported by the Harvard Business Review. But as technologies change, workloads increase and attention spans shorten, truly reaching your audience can be a challenge. Making use of tools like Skype for Business (SfB) for such meetings can not only reduce the challenges of distance and travel but also give the participants an added luxury of attending the meeting from wherever they are – not necessarily at their office meeting rooms. Result? More attendance. More savings in travel costs.

But there is a flipside to this.

A major hurdle is addressing the audience across multiple locations. Attendees might join from a conference room at office or might connect from various enterprise or home connections. Involving the audience and making them feel that their efforts are appreciated will go a long way in making the meeting successful. But, this might be an unsurmountable challenge.

Here are six tips to make your SfB meetings and webinars more interesting and fruitful:

Send a meeting request in advance – Use your Outlook calendar to open a new meeting and choose a suitable date and time. You can make use of the Scheduling Assistant for this purpose. Include all the names of the invitees to the event one below the other. (Include also names of people who you want to just inform of this meeting – though they might not participate – and mark them as optional attendees). Then choose the date and the time slot in which all required attendees are available. Optionally, add a room if you want, to book it for your convenience. (This must be enabled already in your enterprise). Set a reminder for the meeting depending upon the preparation time required for the meeting.

Make joining hazel-free—Click the “Skype meeting” option to include the auto generated hyperlink Join Skype Meeting appear in the body of the meeting invitation. Also, include any audio bridge numbers, participant PINs, document attachments (Optionally, include a Meeting Notes OneNote notebook page) in the invitation. Add reusable parts of documents – if any - that have been already shared among the users internally by clicking on the Document Item feature. Once the invitation is received at the participants’ end, all that he/she needs to do to join the meeting is the one-click on the Join Skype Meeting link.

Take control of your meeting - Make use of the Meeting Options feature to choose who all should wait in the lobby or join the meeting without waiting. You can also nominate / manage presenters for and during the meeting. This will provide an uninterrupted flow to keep everyone’s attention on the content being presented. You can also set some limitations – disabling IM, mute attendees, block attendees’ video – only presenters can always share audio and video.

Show, don’t just tell, important information—Effective visual communication is key to employee engagement in meetings. Show videos, presentations, websites, pictures and presenters themselves—instead of a static image that’s easy to ignore. On-site employees shouldn’t get a different meeting experience or information from people joining the meeting from other locations.

Allow for feedback, comments and engagement—If employees feel that they can’t ask questions or get involved in a meeting, they’re likely to pay little or no attention to the proceedings. Keep watch on the IM window for comments or suggestions flowing in. Appoint a person (moderator?) to attend to questions from the audience so that queries can be addressed promptly. Conduct polls at intervals to receive feedback from the participants, to gauge the interest of the participants on the topic being handled, whether they are following your line of thought and also to make sure you are driving home your point.

Mind the anywhere any time any device access - Since the meeting attendees are given the freedom to choose which devices they use to join the meeting, it is also more likely that you will hold their engagement through the duration of your meeting. (It gives everyone the freedom to participate whatever works best for them: on-the-go, at their desk or from anywhere their devices are connected to the internet). Keep this distributed audience in mind when you are speaking and keep addressing them - if possible, by individual names - so that they feel engaged well.

Follow these and your next meeting might be the most productive ever.

Loading