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What does it take to host a good online meeting? I’ve been running into some issues when using Zoom as a host, people getting distracted, lack of motivation, lack of participation etc, and looking for ways to prevent them. What kinds of issues have you been running into, especially as a host of a meeting or a workshop, and how have you been dealing with those situations?
We are currently using Skype, but we are very much looking forward to a new release from WorkTime time tracking software, since in the new version they will also have the function of online meetings.
"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all its pupils."
We ask people to switch on their cameras. We think it helps people feel more of a team. It’s essential to set a clear objective for each meeting. I have attended meetings during lockdown where I had no idea what discussion was going to take place. This approach is never a good way to start and is unlikely to engage people if they have had no time to prepare or get their thoughts together.
Virtual meetings are discussed in an edition of the Think Fast, Talk Smart podcast. According to what I recall:
- Include clear guidelines and an agenda when sending out invitations (this is the most crucial component, in my opinion). When people know what to expect, they are less likely to lose attention.)
- If the meeting is large, ask presenters to introduce themselves and their department first.
- Instead of stating, "I'll open the floor for questions," as you might in a face-to-face meeting, stick to a single topic. "I'll now answer queries about the project's financing," for example.
- Look into the camera, be aware of reflections, keep the camera at eye level, stand if required, excellent lighting, and good audio are all important.
- Maintain proper microphone etiquette.