Good Leadership Through Good Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings are inescapable.
As organizations become increasingly mobile, global, and networked, the most feasible way to get people together is through technology.
The catch is that successful technology-based meetings require a different sort of planning and conducting skill set than the traditional in-person-gather-around-the-conference-table meeting.
Your leadership will be strengthened when you run good virtual meetings. This is especially important as today’s interactions with subordinates, superiors, peers, and clients may be predominantly virtual. This may be the only — or primary — vehicle for your image!
Use the following tips to plan and keep your virtual meeting running smoothly, and to keep your “virtual presence” a positive one.
Before the Meeting
1. Arrive early to check video and audio equipment each and every time. Yes, I know this is tedious, but if you can prevent embarrassment, then you should.
2. The happy path isn’t always happy. Technology is glitchy and you need show both foresight and grace under pressure. Establish a backup form of communication with remote site(s) such as email, chat, IM, text, etc.
3. Balance Lighting. Harsh or uneven sunlight from the back or side will make you & room hard to see. Check for glare off polished surfaces. The amount of indirect light found in a typical office environment is generally sufficient.
4. Consider what you are wearing and how you will appear on-screen. That red suit jacket might send a powerful, confident message in-person, but reds often become distorted and distracting when viewed on-screen. This is also true for many vibrant colors, plaids, and other patterns. As much as you might dislike neutrals, consider them when professional visibility is high.
5. Be mindful of careful inclusion of virtual participants. Ensure they are being addressed by name, provide them with specific points in documentation, slides, etc, so conversation is easy to follow. Nip side conversations in the bud, and let them know what’s going on off-camera to keep them in the loop. Allow for silence necessary to compensate for the “lag” of virtual communications.
What are your top Virtual Meeting tips?