Get, Set, Zoom: Seven tips for conducting better virtual meetings

Since we're in for the long haul, why not make the most out of it?
Using co-ordination apps can boost productivity for your meetings.
Using co-ordination apps can boost productivity for your meetings.The Bridge Chronicle

Team meetings are an essential part of any organisation, and it is crucial to conduct them every now and then to ensure fluid communication between team members. That said, at this point in the pandemic — we're all a little worn out with constant exposure to the screen. After all, we're hearing about how "Zoom Fatigue" is an actual phenomenon faced by people everywhere in the world. Sure, we'd all wish for normalcy to return to us, but there's not a lot we can do to avoid this phase in our lives. Taking regular breaks and evading the screen after you're through with the day may help, but it doesn't make the idea of conferencing bearable.

However, there's always a way to make it slightly better organised in order to make it endurable. If you unluckily have the task of scheduling meetings bestowed upon you, these are a few tips that can help smooth out the process for you. We have a list of suggestions you can implement for yourself to make sure you have a great session with your team. Scroll to find out what they are:

Request for a meeting feedback

What otherwise seems like a prosaic addition to this list is actually quite vital. Make it a point and ask your team members to provide feedback from time to time. Ask them what needs to be improved and how each session can be a little more interesting if required. If you have too many participants in your group, try to break it into two sessions for clarity — you can even enable breakout rooms for your session. Remember, the smaller the group, the easier it is for them to communicate openly with you.

Have a waiting room available for participants

Instead of having everyone join at any given time, make your meetings a little more disciplined by having a waiting room for your participants. Several reports of Zoom Bombing plagued the internet in 2020, and the only way to avoid it is by enabling a waiting room for your meeting. As a host, this gives you an opportunity to verify every person on your list. And as a participant, you also feel answerable for joining a meeting late. You can also dismiss people who are being a nuisance into the waiting room — so the chances of encountering disruptive elements are considerably reduced.

Appoint a moderator

Having a moderator for your meeting is essential to keep them streamlined. Have a mod who can help you set guidelines for the call and have the authority to control the proceedings. Moderators are helpful in larger groups, and they can mediate the sessions by allowing only certain people to speak, present or share their screens. If that's not all, moderators can help ease the miscommunication in the group if there's an internet glitch or technical issues.

Set time limits

Sounds helpful — doesn't it? Are you wondering why you never thought about it before? Several platforms automatically end the meeting in 45 minutes, but there's a good chance that they don't. In order to not get carried away, it is essential to have an upper limit set for your meetings. Time-capping your calls can boost productivity amongst group members, and you can make the most knowing that you only have an hour at your disposal. It is also easier for group members to schedule or take up other meetings coming their way.

Make meetings fun & enjoyable

Not every meeting can be 'fun' and 'enjoyable', but it doesn't mean you can't try! Introducing online games and brain-teasers during your session can aid productivity during the meeting. In fact, encouraging group members to participate in activities can also help them open up to the rest of the group later during discussions. Set aside a meeting for fun elements such as open-ended movie discussions and quizzes. Since there's no scope for a physical group activity, find ways to provide mental stimulation during your meetings — this, in turn, will aid creativity within their performance.

Use scheduling apps for better co-ordination

Google calendar is unmistakably great — but several other apps in the market can help boost co-ordination for you. Apps like Rallly and Calendly are your best friends when it comes to getting your schedule organised. Get your team onboard these apps, which will help them keep track of their upcoming meetings and engagements. These apps make the process effortless and also help the conference be more time-efficient. Take your time and choose wisely, as multiple different apps help promote distinctive aspects of your organisation. Sounds like something we could get used to!

Make use of Google resources & apps

Google has a vast library of apps that can be used to make your life easier. Whether it is Slack for effortless communication or Google Docs for documenting your online files — or even Google Keep that stays true to its name and keeps your crucial information safe. Even if you're an iOS user, there's a good chance you're using Gmail as your primary inbox. Taking help from Google Drive and other platforms that will make your online experience smoother is never a bad idea. If you're using Google Meet, these online apps also help keep everything in one place.

Using co-ordination apps can boost productivity for your meetings.
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Online meetings can be stressful -- but only a handful of steps can change this for the better. While we're not promising that you will fall in love with video conferencing, we can vouch for the fact that you might find them bearable. Until this phase passes us by, there's no harm in using some of these tips as virtual support during the pandemic. After all, technology is the future of our workplaces. So, we're hoping some of these steps make it easy for us to transition into the new age with nothing but ease.

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