Maximize Your Virtual Meetings

“The first thing to understand when conducting a “virtual meeting” is that it is not really a virtual meeting at all.  The meeting is real, the business conducted at it is real, and the importance of the results is real. This is a real meeting that happens to be taking place in a virtual environment.”             -Unknown

If you are the lead:

  • Send an invitation to attendee(s) with a meeting link
    • Include a concise agenda with objectives, roles, time allocation for agenda, and desired outcomes
    • List out attendees, their roles and locations
  • If you want to record the call, inform participants
  • Use this app to check ‘best’ times for a multi country/time zone meeting
  • Send concise and relevant material 24 hours before, don’t overload 
  • Number pages within documents for easy reference 
  • Solicit questions prior to the meeting/event (if relevant)
  • Schedule a test run with tech support, a friend or a colleague if necessary
  • Have phone numbers for dial in as back up and email materials to attendees who cannot see 
  • If documents are shared via, etc. encourage people to make sure they can access the shared platform ahead of time, and not 5 mins before the call starts

If you are an attendee:

  • RSVP to the invitation so the lead knows whether or not to expect you
  • Change RSVP if your attendance status changes
  • Prep! Review materials sent and capture any questions on your mind
  • Get your workspace ready – be mindful what will appear as your backdrop when on camera

If you are the lead:

  • Log on five minutes before to be the first one on the call
  • Click to record if this is what has been agreed
  • Check who is on the line against your attendee list
  • Thank those who dialed in from a timezone and are up super early/late
  • Make any necessary introductions
  • Speak loudly, clearly, and do not rush
  • Refer to the specific TITLE and PAGE NUMBERS of documents sent
  • Share a visual agenda if possible and refer to it throughout the meeting
  • Set guiding principles up front. Some ideas might include: 
    • When and how to ask questions. (e.g. type into chat box, raise ‘hand’, shout out)
    • One person speaks at a time. (Overlap in conversation is rarely productive)
    • Place yourself on mute to avoid background noise until you want to speak
    • Use a camera (if available and appropriate) 
    • Limit those who dominate the time to give everyone a voice

If you are an attendee:

  • Take your own notes and actions in your own way to capture what is relevant to you 
  • Listen without interruption
  • Speak loudly and clearly and state your name and location when speaking
  • If you are on video, remember that others can see you

If you are the lead:

  • Explain the system you will use for conveying urgency between calls 
  • Share a summary on a shared platform so those who attended can add and build on the notes or ask any questions
  • Share specific actions agreed with the ‘owner’ and a completion date
  • Support others as needed to complete their action items

If you are an attendee:

  • Complete your action by the agreed completion date
  • Assist others as needed to move all actions/tasks forward
  • Hold one another accountable for completion of action items