28 Tips to Help Conduct Your Remote Meetings
By Jennifer Herrity
Updated August 18, 2021 | Published May 21, 2020
Updated August 18, 2021
Published May 21, 2020
Jennifer Herrity is a seasoned career services professional with 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting and leadership roles with the purpose of helping others to find their best-fit jobs. She helps people navigate the job search process through one-on-one career coaching, webinars, workshops, articles and career advice videos on Indeed's YouTube channel.
Related: Speak Up in Meetings: 3 Strategies for the Virtual Workplace
This video aims to help you to learn how to elevate your presence in virtual meetings to contribute confidently and communicate effectively.
Meetings are a great time for employees to collaborate and exchange ideas. Many employees work in different locations, causing in-person meetings to transition to remote meetings. Encourage constant communication and use reliable technology to effectively accomplish all your meeting goals. In this article, we discuss what a remote meeting is and share remote meeting tips to stay efficient and productive during each remote session.
What is a remote meeting?
A remote meeting is a professional business meeting between employees who are at separate remote locations, rather than all together in an office. Employees can conduct remote meetings using technical software like video or phone conferencing tools to better communicate with employees. Employees can complete remote meetings with other team members, supervisors and clients.
28 remote meeting tips
When conducting remote meetings, employees should use reliable technology and follow proper meeting etiquette. Here are tips to follow when leading and attending a remote business meeting:
Research online meeting tools
Practice using the technology
Set up the meeting five minutes before start time
Prepare backup meeting tools
Plan meetings around time zones
Send an agenda beforehand
Establish meeting guidelines
Introduce each attendee
Conduct small meetings
Participate in casual conversations
Assign a meeting facilitator
Share your screen
Keep the cameras on
Identify team members before speaking
Distribute responsibilities among employees
Clarify the meeting's goals
Keep your microphones on
Record the meeting
Create engaging visuals
Keep electronics on silent
Meet in a quiet area
Allow time to share input
Send notes after adjourning
Conduct one-on-one meetings
Make anonymous surveys
Assign action items
Check on team members' progress
Engage with employees outside of meetings
1. Research online meeting tools
Before you can successfully implement a remote meeting, analyze the meeting software your team needs to be productive. Consider your overall budget for remote meetings and research tools that both fit your budget and increases collaboration between team members. Carefully compare your options and ask for feedback from employees or leadership. They may have their own preferences for efficient and simple conferencing software.
2. Practice using the technology
To keep the meeting running smoothly, download the meeting software and tools ahead of time to practice conducting the meeting with them. Practice using every feature you plan to operate during the meeting to prevent any unexpected occurrences or technical difficulties. Practicing your presentation beforehand can also help you remain confident and well prepared during the meeting.
3. Set up the meeting five minutes before start time
Arrive at the meeting at least five minutes before it begins to ensure you correctly sent the virtual meeting invitations and to make sure everything else is operating properly. Starting early also encourages others to join a few minutes before it begins, allowing you to start on time and stay on track with your meeting agenda.
4. Prepare backup meeting tools
Before the meeting, find a backup software or communication tool your team can use in case the current software has issues functioning properly. You can quickly and easily instruct attendees to switch to this tool for the remainder of the meeting. This keeps you from losing a significant amount of time in your meeting.
5. Plan meetings around time zones
If you have employees in an array of locations attending your meeting, consider their location before scheduling the meeting. You can download time zone applications that tell you the time in each employees' location to help you schedule these meetings at a convenient time for everyone.
Plan your meeting several weeks in advance if possible to give remote employees enough time to adjust their schedule around the meeting. Try to reach out to remote employees beforehand and ask what time of day is best to help them remain productive before and after the meeting.
6. Send an agenda beforehand
To accomplish several tasks and remain productive, build an agenda of all the items you hope to complete during the meeting. It can be a specific and tight schedule that details every talking point and the time it'll take to discuss it, or you can have a more flexible agenda that covers general topics to discuss. This allows you time to freely discuss agenda items without feeling rushed.
7. Establish meeting guidelines
If you're the meeting leader, the way your meeting operates can largely depend on what you allow. For example, you could be encouraging employees to speak when they please, or you might be assigning time periods for specific people to talk. Send meeting guidelines beforehand to let everyone know how it will flow and what you expect from them during it.
8. Introduce each attendee
If any of your employees are fully remote, they may not be familiar with other team members. To keep everyone comfortable with each other, introduce each person in the meeting before starting. When attendees know who is in the meeting, they may be more willing to confidently voice their opinions if they're aware of who they're talking to.
9. Conduct small meetings
Scheduling meetings with approximately five to 10 attendees can make it easier to accomplish more tasks. Fewer attendees allow other employees more time to talk and develop stronger ideas that each person can contribute to. Smaller meetings help employees comfortably speak and get to know another with little to no distractions that a larger meeting may cause.
10. Participate in casual conversations
To create a comfortable and positive atmosphere, factor in time for casual conversations and small talk. Employees can relax and become familiar with one another by casually discussing their day or personal stories. This can make brainstorming sessions more productive as employees may feel more comfortable contributing ideas to people they're more familiar with.
11. Assign a meeting facilitator
To stay on task, ask an employee to be the meeting facilitator. They can receive the meeting agenda beforehand and make sure it's carefully followed by ensuring attendees present and discuss for the allotted amount of time before moving to the next item. You can assign one meeting facilitator for all meetings or randomly select a new one for each meeting.
12. Share your screen
Share your screen with team members so they can follow along and easily understand your talking points and ideas. Virtually sharing your computer screen with attendees makes it easy to switch presenters to allow a different employee to easily explain a new subject.
13. Keep the cameras on
Since some or all of your employees are working remotely, they may receive little to no human interaction. This interaction is important when building relationships with other employees. Make it feel like an in-person meeting by encouraging all of your employees to turn their cameras on. This face-to-face interaction can make employees more comfortable communicating with one another.
14. Identify team members before speaking
Tell each attendee to say their name before speaking. This makes it easier to address that person when responding to them, and it saves time from employees asking who is speaking. Instruct team members to say something like, "Hi, this is Taylor speaking," before they talk to inform other attendees of who they are.
15. Distribute responsibilities among employees
Since employees are in their own locations, it can be easier to become distracted by work-related items or other objects in their environment. Keep them engaged by giving every attendee an important task to complete during the meeting. This can include taking minutes, timekeeping or presenting. This encourages them to interact and makes them feel more motivated to contribute their valuable ideas.
16. Clarify the meeting's goals
During the meeting, remind your team of what the goals of the meeting are. Your goals are what you're aiming to accomplish by the end. This can be to brainstorm new ideas, build a schedule for an upcoming campaign or to discuss an important business decision. Identifying and presenting this goal helps attendees remain determined to accomplish this goal by the end of the meeting.
17. Keep your microphones on
To make sure everyone feels encouraged to engage, tell your team members to stay unmuted as much as possible. When employees are collaborating, encourage them all to keep their microphones on and voice their ideas to build strong rapport and develop effective ideas.
18. Record the meeting
Make sure you're recording the entire meeting for other employees to reference later on. There may be effective ideas and strategies shared during the session that team members may want to revisit when completing a project assigned to them in the meeting. You can also record and send the video or audio to employees who could not attend to keep them up to date on what occurred in the meeting.
19. Create engaging visuals
To make ideas or data easier to understand, you can use graphs, charts or related images. This keeps employees more interested in your talking points and allows you to more easily explain statistics or facts.
20. Keep electronics on silent
When listening to others present in the meeting, you should be professional and respectful by silencing all phones or other electronic devices. Even if you mute your microphone, silence all electronics to abstain from distracting both the presenter and yourself.
21. Meet in a quiet area
For proper audio and minor distractions, conduct or participate in the meeting in a quiet area. If you're presenting, find a private workspace where attendees can easily hear your voice. If you're an attendee who isn't speaking during the meeting, it's still best to find a quiet area where you can hear the speaker to keep you from missing any important details.
22, Allow time to share input
Try to schedule no more than five talking points to cover per meeting. This gives everyone enough time to voice all their opinions on each item without feeling rushed. Have the attendees notify the meeting leader if they desire more time to talk about a specific topic. Your team can also schedule another meeting to elaborate on that point further.
23. Send notes after adjourning
Right after the meeting, have the employee who took notes send them to attendees to refresh their memory on what took place during the meeting. It also reminds employees of any projects or tasks assigned to them. Be sure to send deadlines in the follow-up for the employees' reference.
24. Conduct one-on-one meetings
As a meeting leader, it's important to gain constructive feedback on what to improve during meetings. To encourage employees to share their thoughts with you, create a comfortable environment by meeting one-on-one to learn what you can improve. Be open to all forms of feedback and express your appreciation for their ideas.
25. Make anonymous surveys
Another way to receive effective feedback is by crafting quick and simple surveys for employees to fill out. They can ask employees what they enjoy about these meetings and what to improve. Allow employees to feel more comfortable expressing their opinions by making the survey anonymous.
26. Assign action items
After completing your goal for the meeting, start implementing the plan or decision you made by assigning action items for employees to work on before the next meeting. Clearly establish deadlines when assigning a project. At the next meeting, team members can share their status to keep everyone aware of their progress.
27. Check on team members' progress
As a supervisor or team leader, check in on your employees to learn what their progress on these action items is. Ask if they need any guidance or resources to help them effectively complete these items by the deadline. This helps them feel more confident and motivated to complete the assigned tasks.
28. Engage with employees outside of meetings
To continue building strong and collaborative relationships, encourage employees to talk outside of meetings using messaging software. This makes everyone more comfortable around each other and allows them to get to know one another to build effective connections and develop more as a team.
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