How To Make Online Meetings Effective

Alex Tarasenko
Alex Tarasenko

Establishing good communication within teams has always been among the main factors of success for businesses of any shape and form, and it has become an even more important task and a greater challenge now that we are in the all-remote era. 

Contact restrictions have affected a wide range of our work activities, and daily meetings are among the brightest examples to think of. Luckily, there is a ton of video conference software of any taste and flavor to choose from right now. The trick is to find the best solution for your setup and make the most out of it. 

So, how to preserve the effectiveness of regular meetings held online? And how does the distance affect mutual understanding? 

Let’s explore. 

Basics

When it comes to maintaining the effectiveness of web-hosted business meetings, it is crucial to follow the basics. That is why we’ve compiled an easy-to-follow list of the 7 main principles to check with that’ll help to make your online calls purposeful, relevant, and ultimately – successful. 

And since we’re talking efficiency, let’s not waste any more of your time and jump right to the rules: 

Choose The Right Software

One of the first things to get clear with on your way to perfecting online meetings is to choose the platform where they are going to be held. 

There is already enough of the human factor involved when it comes to video calls, so you don’t want the software to slow the process down even more. 

As has been mentioned, there is a wide variety of video conference tools available on the market, from good old Skype to more recent solutions like Zoom or Google Meets. Most of them have a free version for you to try out the app and offer advanced functionalities per pay. 

The price plans and feature sets also differ, so you’ll have to look at the options and find the best one for your setup and needs. By the way, here’s a list of the most popular video conference tools right now: https://www.g2.com/categories/video-conferencing 

Tools – check. 

Predefine The Subject

Another important thing to do when establishing a call online is to define the topic and goals for the meeting and share it with the participants. 

Having this information will not only allow your colleagues to think through their point of view on the subject and come up with potential suggestions beforehand but will also help the team tune into the conversation and tackle the task a lot better. 

Preparation is crucial in any activity, especially one like business meetings and discussion. So make sure the team is always on track about the subject.   

Moving on. 

Determine The Timeframe

Another important point to consider when preparing for an online meeting is determining its timeframe. 

Effectiveness is about fulfilling a particular task with an adequate amount of resources, time being the main one. So wasting none of it is essential when we talk about effective meetings. 

More so, there is substantial evidence supporting the theory that a task takes as much time as is allocated for it. Like that, cutting down the estimated timeframe may speed up the working process, too. And visa versa, the more vivid those time limits are the more likely the resolution is to be postponed. 

Set up a timeframe for your meeting, whether it’s a regular weekly update or a team brainstorm, and set up an alarm to know when it’s time to wrap up.  

Remember that time is money in the business world and wasting any of it can be drastic. 

Keep It Intimate

Having too many people at the table may drop the discussion effectiveness even in traditional meetings. And when it comes to online chats – the problem magnifies tenfold. 

Most online conference software will transmit only one of the participants’ voices at a time in order not to mix everyone’s speech into inaudible noise. Therefore, having multiple people speak will often cause issues during online meetings. 

If there’s an announcement to make – you may surely add as many participants as the software you’re using allows. But if there is a heated discussion in the plan – it is better to keep the number of participants down. Or, you can divide the meeting into several consecutive ones when discussing an important topic online.

Just like you would when throwing a party at your parents’ house back in high school –  don’t over-invite.     

Record The Meeting

Unlike traditional in-person conferences, online calls provide a bright opportunity to easily record the entire chat. 

This way you can keep track of everything discussed and revise the meeting if needed, without having to distract from the conversation to make notes on the go.

Whether you need to write down ideas and key takeaways during the discussion or not – is entirely up to you. That said, recording and revising calls is among the main ways of improving the effectiveness of meetings online.  

Call Up Frequently

Just like any activity, consistency is extremely important for boosting the effectiveness of remote meetings. 

On one hand, calling up frequently creates a habit that adds structure to the routine and reduces the subjective stress from participating in high-engagement activities like daily meetings. Believe it, you can easily stress online, too.

On the other hand, it will inevitably make your meetings go more smoothly and to the point, which is another important factor for boosting their effectiveness. 

Practice makes perfect, as they say. 

Get Feedback

Last but not least, improving any process requires collecting feedback and implementing the changes accordingly. 

Every team’s setup is unique. So, beyond the basic rules laid out in this article, it’s up to you to find “the recipe” that’ll match your goals and needs the best. 

Look at what went well and what didn’t in the past several online calls, and ask your colleagues for suggestions to improve the communication. Remember that flexibility is the way to go when looking for the most effective approach to remote calls.    


Final Word

There you have it – our top 7 tips to make your online meetings more effective, carefully selected to help you improve communication and boost productivity.  

Make sure you hit each one of them and let us know if there is anything our team can assist you with along your business development journey!