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5 effective tips on how to hold a virtual meeting

A woman meets with her team on her computer.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

As many organizations continue to provide remote work models, virtual meetings are a key tool for effective communication.

The transition from in-person presentations to sharing PowerPoints with faces on a screen has drastically changed the way meetings are conducted. Keeping attendees engaged and informed is crucial to a effective virtual meeting.

Here are five tips that will provide some best practices on how to hold a virtual meeting:

5 virtual meeting tips for presenters

1. Set an agenda and stick to it.

People need to know why the meeting was scheduled and precisely what is expected of them before and during the meeting. Write an agenda and share it via email before the meeting.

The meeting agenda should include:

  • Expected outcomes of the meeting.
  • What needs to be accomplished during the meeting.
  • Documents that should be reviewed before the meeting.

It’s also essential to let attendees know their role will be in the meeting. That way everyone comes prepared. 

2. Open with a social moment or two.

Working remotely can be difficult, especially among established teams, because it can be more challenging to build connections and have spontaneous interactions with co-workers. Give people a few minutes to “catch up” and reconnect as a team. This will gently bring people into the meeting and pull them together as a group.

This time should be less than five minutes, but it will make the rest of the meeting even more productive.

Keep in mind this tactic works best for more casual meetings, such as weekly team meetings. Formal meetings that include a lot of people who don’t work together on a regular basis likely won’t need time to socialize beforehand.

3. Minimize the length of the presentation.

Meetings should be discussions with background information provided beforehand. If someone needs to present during the meeting, use screen sharing to guide the conversation.

While presentations are on screen, steer the conversation so people stay engaged and attendee contributions are relevant. The only thing worse than a long presentation in person is a long presentation during a virtual meeting.

4. Call on people.

Getting everyone to participate without talking over each other can be a challenge in a virtual meeting. The best way to do this is by calling on individuals to speak and go around the virtual table when decisions need to be made.

This is how you show people their input is vital. It also sets you up to have active participants in future meetings.

When people know they will be asked to contribute, they will pay greater attention to the topics you are covering. No one wants to appear disinterested or unprepared.

5. Don't just end your meeting; close it.

Avoid the urge to simply click the “leave” button and bounce. Close your team’s conversation with purpose and control:

  • Ask if anyone has more thoughts.
  • Summarize key points.
  • Review next steps.

Most importantly, follow up with an email that contains:

  • Captured notes from the meeting.
  • Next steps discussed during the meeting.
  • What each team member is responsible for completing.

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About the author
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Becka has been with Schneider since 2013 and has held multiple roles within Schneider Transportation Management (STM), including Broker, Senior Broker and Dallas STM Recruiter. In her current role, Corporate Recruiting Manager, she oversees a team of corporate recruiters. Becka’s favorite part of her day is when she gets to connect quality candidates to positions that will allow for success both personally and professionally.

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