Technology has changed the way that modern businesses run forever. At one time, meetings were scheduled weeks in advance, and preparations for hosting a meeting were very detailed. Today, with Skype and other video calling tools, meetings can be called more quickly as transportation doesn’t have to be arranged – they are held virtually from the comfort of wherever participants want to join in.

But just because a meeting can be arranged quickly when it is a virtual meeting, certain things can be done to make a video conference call run more efficiently. Following are tips to help your meeting proceed more efficiently and effectively.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Online Meetings

Today, many employees in a vast array of companies in nearly every industry work remotely, and the number of these workers will likely grow. With that growth, there will be continued growth in the online meeting phenomenon. Following are tips that will help make for fruitful meetings in the Ethernet.

Communicate  the Agenda – and Stick to it

All scheduled meeting participants should get a final copy of the agenda at least one full business day before the virtual meeting takes place. Make certain that the meeting agenda is clear, not vague. For a standing meeting of a committee or other group, solicit items the members want to discuss to help make the meeting agenda. For meetings with a specific purpose, make sure to state it in the agenda introduction that you have written.

Prepare Your System Before the Meeting Time

Preparation means making sure that camera and microphones are connected and working correctly. Be sure your software can handle a meeting with many participants. If you suffer a preventable fail from your system, you will be embarrassed, waste your time and the time of others; plus, if it’s a sales meeting, your company could lose the order.

When you set the meeting agenda, invite only those people necessary for discussions and/or decisions to the meeting. Having Joe Maintenance, Maintenance Director, attend a meeting on “How to Close a Sale” may be enjoyable and educational for Joe, but he has nothing to contribute – and any knowledge he gains is likely useless to him. On the other hand, if there is to be a discussion of next year’s budget, Joe’s attendance is vital since equipment and building maintenance are large cost items.

Minimize Meeting Interruptions

Interruptions can cause online meeting miscommunication. They can come from personal distractions, such as reading materials or checking your email while the meeting goes on, or a system issue such as poor audio quality from some participants. If some of the distracted participants are on an assignment at another location, it is not possible to control their behavior – but a suggestion that meeting participants pay close attention to the meeting without distractions can go far to mitigate this kind of problem. When the problem is an audio system fail, have an assistant contact the service while the meeting is taking place; affected members should be asked to submit their questions and comments via email.

These four solutions make for meaningful meetings, but should there be a meeting at all?

Is virtual meeting a right option?

Even online meetings can be a colossal waste of time. Some things may be complex enough to be discussed in person, and some may require a simple email or text chain of messages. Hold a virtual meeting when:

  1. The meeting is intended for making a decision;
  2. The meeting is scheduled for sharing and discussing new or educational information; and
  3. The meeting is scheduled for a brainstorming session.

 

What is considered a best Video Conferencing software today?

For one-on-one meetings, use a free video call service such as Skype; as an option, you can sign up for a Skype for  Business account. Zoom Video Conferencing has been coming into favor in the recent years. For large group meetings, consider programs such as Citrix’s GoToMeeting.

Additionally, you may want to take a look is the list of the companies a PC magazine review of top 10 professional video conferencing software in 2018 :

  • RingCentral Office (for Business)
  • Vonage Business Cloud
  • Intermedia Unite
  • ClickMeeting
  • Adobe Connect
  • Zoho Meeting
  • Cisco WebEx Meetings
  • eVoice
  • CyberLink U Meeting
  • Digium Switchvox

 

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