Online meetings are fast becoming a normal part of how we work, but making them efficient and engaging can be a bit of a head-scratcher. We’ve got some tips to help you make the most of your virtual meetings:

Choose the right tool for the job

Whether it’s Skype, Microsoft Teams or just audio, decide what the theme of the meeting is, and which platform is most suitable. Take a look at our working from home section.

Co-create your teams rules of virtual engagement!

These could include things like we will:

  • use the technology that most accessible to everyone on our team
  • test our technology before the meeting and resolve any technical issues
  • not multi-task (do other work) during the meeting
  • follow an organised line-up to make sure each person has a chance to respond
  • use the mute button at our site to prevent transmitting background noise
  • speak up to get attention if we have something to say
  • turn on our video whenever possible and be camera-ready

Do virtual ice-breaker or check ins

It's important to build in time for an icebreaker because it can:

  • create a positive group atmosphere
  • break down social barriers
  • motivate
  • help people think about the topic
  • get people to know and trust one another

Almost any icebreaker you do in a face-to-face meeting can also be done virtually.

Set an agenda

As you would for any face to face meeting, setting an agenda is important to keep the focus and manage the expectation for the meeting. It's important to allow time for everyone to introduce themselves and some time for casual conversation.

Remember your etiquette

When in doubt just practice common courtesy.

People want to be heard, seen, and respected during an online meeting, just like they do everywhere else. It’s important to keep everyone engaged during remote meetings, including the team members who might not be the most vocal or outspoken.

Online meeting follow-ups

For a meeting to be effective, end with clear objectives like:

  • deliverables and next steps
  • who’s responsible for following up on each item or task
  • when those deliverables are due
  • when the next meeting or check-in will be

If you were the host, don’t forget that an important part of meeting follow-up is checking in with attendees about how well the meeting went. Hearing from attendees may just give you ideas on how you can make future meetings even more inclusive and efficient for everyone involved.

Other useful resources for running remote meetings

Find other resources with good ideas for running remote meetings:

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