Let attendees know the purpose of the meeting and if there’s anything they need to prepare beforehand.
If you can, make sure every attendee has a calendar invitation (we use Outlook for this) and everyone is on the same page about when the meeting is taking place.
You may need to consider time-zones here if you’re meeting with oversees clients.
Create a solid agenda
Creating a clear agenda will mean the meeting has structure. Without one, it’s easy for a meeting to become disorganised and conversations to go off on a tangent.
Assemble a plan of what needs to be covered during the online meeting – and stick to it.
If your schedule is packed, perhaps even allocate a set amount of time to each topic.
It may be beneficial to send attendees the agenda beforehand. This way, they’ll know what to expect and will have some time to prepare if they need to.
Give your attendees different roles and responsibilities to help your meeting flow smoothly.
Delegate jobs like time-keeping and note-taking. It’s also a good idea to assign someone as the chair/moderator for the meeting to ensure discussions stay relevant, productive and on-track.
Communicate this beforehand so attendees are aware of their responsibilities and come to the meeting prepared and ready to go.
Set clear expectations
Before the online meeting, it’s a good idea to communicate general etiquette and expectations so that everyone is on the same page. This could include things like:
Muting microphones to avoid people speaking over each other
Reading the agenda beforehand
Sitting in a quiet environment
Giving full attention during the meeting and not working on other tasks
Having phones on silent
Giving everyone a chance to contribute
Having video switched on so everyone can see each other
By clarifying this beforehand, your team will come along knowing exactly what’s expected of them.
Interact and engage
It’s a nice idea to have a few minutes of casual chit-chat before the meeting officially starts.
Whether you all know each other well or you’ve just started working together, a fun, friendly conversation can engage your team and get the meeting off to a great start.
As the meeting gets into full swing, check in with your team and ask for their opinions on topics being discussed. It’s important everyone feels valued, especially for the introverts who may not be so confident speaking up.
Making sure everyone is engaged is key to a productive and successful online meeting.
Any meeting can be a bit of a whirlwind of ideas, so it’s important to follow it up with a summary.
This could include what was discussed, a list of key actions, responsibilities and deadlines.
Packaging this all into an email means that nothing is missed and reminds the team of key discussions and ideas.
Running an online meeting can be a daunting prospect, but if you take some time to prepare and communicate beforehand, it can work like a dream.
Follow our 8 top-tips and you're all set for a successful, enjoyable and productive meeting.