These days, a business meeting could consist of five different people in five different rooms, in five different countries. Remote conferences are a ubiquitous part of modern business practices, and with the COVID-19 pandemic is has become a mainstream staple of many of our professional lives. But even though the tech that makes them possible is extremely advanced, the process itself can still be a little bit…awkward.
It is definitely possible to lead a successful remote conference. It just takes work. With many platforms available, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GotoMeeting, Webex, and more; it can become daunting to keep up on best practices.
That in mind, read on for a few tips on how to run a remote conference meeting like a pro!
Follow an Itinerary
An itinerary can be helpful for any meeting, but this is especially true when communicating with remote workers. If people know what the agenda is they will have an easier time following along and making contributions.
Master Your Video Settings
Sometimes speakerphone might be necessary when running a remote meeting. However, a phone call ultimately is never going to be as personal as being able to look someone in the eye. The value of going this route is pretty simple. Everyone in the meeting will have an enhanced awareness of the people they are collaborating with. The video element will also just make the communication feel more personal: an element that is often missing in in remote communication.
Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page
Literally. You want to make sure that everyone is seeing the information that they need. Programs like Google Hangouts have screen sharing features that allow you to share what you’re doing on your computer with other people in the meeting.
Screen sharing technology is affordable, accessible, and key to making sure everyone is on the same page.
Try to Use Names as Much as Possible
Little personal touches will add up. Try to address everyone in your meeting by name when you can. It will help everyone have a clear of who is talking. It will also just help your team get to know one another better if they weren’t already familiar.
Make Room for the Personal Touches
Technology can make long distance communication extremely immediate, but all too often this comes at the price of human interaction. Two people on opposite ends of the planet can work together as effectively as a team in the same office, but chances are they won’t get to know one another as well. It’s beneficial for remote workers to feel connected with their team on a personal level. For that reason, you may find it helpful to allocate time in your meetings for chit-chat.
If you give people the chance to get to know one another, it will improve their ability to collaborate, and increase their overall satisfaction with their job. Of course, chit chat shouldn’t come at the price of structure. Just a few minutes at the start of the meeting will be enough to give everyone a morale boost before you get down to business.