5 Tips to conduct effective video meetings
Don’t let valuable time go to waste
It’s so easy to hold a video meeting these days, isn’t it?
In fact, for many of us, it’s now the default way of communicating. But is that best for everyone?
With the rise of remote work this past year, video meetings have swept office life.
In fact, on Microsoft Teams alone, daily active users jumped from 44 million in March 2020 to 115 million by October.
However, with all this time passed, there are now lessons we can learn in what constitutes an effective video meeting. And growing evidence suggests less is more.
Here’s how to reduce your reliance on video calls and claw back wasted time.
1. Make sure a meeting is necessary
First and foremost, don’t turn what could’ve been an email exchange or a Teams chat into a prolonged meeting.
Hours can go quickly and there is a point where excessive meetings cut into productivity, defeating the purpose of those meetings.
There’s also the factor of ‘Zoom fatigue’. According to a Stanford study, video chats can fatigue workers for reasons ranging from excessive amounts of close-up eye contact to reduced mobility.
Therefore, before calling a meeting, determine whether it’s crucial to video conference and if so, make it clear what the objective is.
Meetings should be about triggering action items, and should get to the point. Updates can easily be handled by email or a quick message on Teams.
2. Make an agenda
Any meeting is more effective when not only the host, but all participants are prepped ahead of time. That’s where an agenda comes in handy.
Drafting an agenda will ensure you don’t miss any key discussion points and will help keep the meeting on track.
Send the agenda well in advance of the meeting, so your participants can prepare any information or questions they may have.
Sticking to these talking points will keep your meetings more concise and let your team get to work faster.
3. Keep the groups small
In order to keep meetings shorter and trigger quick action items, it’s best to keep video meetings as small as possible. Make sure that everyone who is in the meeting really has to be there.
Keeping things smaller will keep your participants more engaged and avoid the confusion that comes with too many voices.
Calling a large group meeting will likely result in some participants tuning out, as they start feeling their presence doesn’t add any value to the meeting.
Bottom line? Only involve those who are necessary for a meeting. Any action item concerning others can simply be addressed in an email.
4. Assess the value of your meetings
You might have felt that weekly or daily recurring meetings brought value when you first started calling them.
Now that we’ve gone through several months of remote work, ask yourself, have these brought value? Is it just a matter of sharing updates that can be done through email, or are important action items assigned?
If you feel that the value is lost at a certain point, look into reducing those recurring meetings or cancel them altogether if the participants don’t gain any value from them.
5. Keep it short
This goes hand in hand with following the tips above. By only calling meetings when necessary, following an agenda and calling for fewer participants, you will shorten your meetings by design.
Sitting in several long meetings every week will ultimately lower productivity and mess with workflow.
The less time spent in meetings, the more employees can focus on bringing value to the company and let their creativity flow.
Video meetings will likely be here to stay, even after we’re able to resume a normal office life.
Remember that these platforms are a tool in your arsenal, but it doesn’t mean communication needs to revolve around them.
Always assess what the most effective form of communication is and go from there.
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