6 Tips for Conducting Better Business Video Conferences
It is all thanks to the latest and greatest advancements in technology that we can finally bridge the gap between countries and even continents. However, as much as these new platforms can allow us to hold meetings wherever we happen to be located, a lot of the same problems that plague face-to-face meetings still loom over conversations that occur over the realm of the internet. How do you address these issues? While there are a million things that can be improved in any one meeting, there are a few easy ways you can improve your video conferences. In this article, we will be discussing six methods you can use for your next virtual round-table discussion.
- Make Sure That Everybody Comes to the Meeting on Time
If you have to, set consequences for people who fail to come on time to encourage them to be right on the dot. Make sure that you end the meeting on time, too, since that will make people more likely to be willing to attend your online conferences. Try to make meetings no longer than an hour, according to an article by Neal Hartman on Forbes.
- Try to Ensure That Everybody Gets a Chance to Speak
It’s always a bit awkward to endure business video conferencing through products like BlueJeans where most people are silent rather than actively discussing solution to problems. There will always be a few people who are more outgoing and vocal than others, but that does not mean that you should let them run off with the conversation entirely. Invite the more quiet people to contribute their own thoughts, but do not make them feel pressured to speak up.
- Help Everybody Stay on Track as Much as Possible
It’s easy to get distracted, especially if everybody has some really great ideas about what the company can do. If there are other topics your participants want to discuss that aren’t on your agenda, you can suggest that they try to resolve it in a different way. For example, are there certain items on the list that you can resolve more easily via a quick e-mail or two to the people concerned? Can you just hop over to somebody’s desk and ask them about something really quickly? Can you hold a meeting with just one person instead of the whole team so that everybody else can focus on their tasks for the day?
- Encourage Your Participants to Take Down Notes
There is not much point to a meeting if there is nobody there to document the discussion as it goes on. Plus, it is incredibly easy to forget what exactly went on during a conversation, especially if a ton of ideas were pitched in a very short period of time. There is also still something to be said about keeping notes using pen and paper. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California and Princeton University, as cited in an article by Robert Lee Hotz on the Wall Street Journal, students who took their notes down by hand performed consistently better than those who recorded notes by typing onto a laptop computer.
- Create a Super Specific Agenda Before the Meeting
The last thing anybody wants to do is to come to a meeting that has no specific end goal in place. It is a waste of everybody’s time and effort, even if all they had to do was boot up a video platform on their computer, so make sure to make this meeting count. Before the meeting begins, list down all of the items you would like to discuss. Better yet, several days or hours before the meeting, send this list over to everybody who will be participating so that they can prepare whatever they would like to contribute to the discussion. Be as specific as you can be s so that you can really get at the heart of the problem. For instance: what do you need the money for? Where will you be getting the money? Who will be handling the project?
- Do Not Forget to Do a Quick Wrap-Up of the Meeting
You can’t just pack up your stuff right after everybody has had his or her say. You will have to give a brief once-over of everything that has been discussed during the meeting in order to ensure that everybody agrees on what has been said.
These are just a few tricks you can use the next time you have to conduct a meeting with your co-workers. Just remember to be brief, specific, and to the point in order to save time, but to allow opportunities to expand on ideas after the meeting is over. We wish you the best of luck on your next video business conference!