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How To Run An Online Meeting

To run an online meeting effectively, one should set a clear agenda, choose the right technology, ensure all participants are familiar with the tools, manage participants’ input, keep the meeting focused and engage members through skillful communication and moderation.

An online meeting, also known as a virtual meeting or web conference, is a real-time interactive gathering of individuals that takes place over the internet. Participants can connect from any location using various devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones. The central platform typically allows users to share data, visuals, and presentations, communicate via audio or video, and even engage in discussions or collaborative activities. This digital format is utilized widely in businesses, education, and other sectors for remote work, learning, webinars, or social gatherings, especially in situations where physical presence is restricted or inconvenient.

What is the purpose of a Online Meeting?

The purpose of running an online meeting as a leader is to effectively communicate with team members, discuss goals and progress, make informed decisions, and foster collaboration. It allows for remote participation, saving time and resources while ensuring everyone stays connected and engaged in the discussion.

How To Run An Online Meeting: Step-By-Step

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Step 1: Schedule the Meeting

In this crucial step, your task is to select an optimum date and time fitting everyone’s schedules. Consider using a tech-savvy tool like an online calendar or meeting scheduler which can support multiple time zones if needed. It simplifies coordination, ensures easy availability for all participants, encourages attendance, and reduces logistical issues, making the meeting process more straightforward and efficient.

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Step 2: Choose an Online Meeting Platform

Choose the most suitable online meeting platform—be it Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams—according to your specific needs. It’s crucial to guarantee that all participants have access to the chosen platform and are familiar with its functionality for a smooth, effective meeting.

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Step 3: Send Out Invitations

In order to organize an efficient meeting, invite all participants by sending them either an email or a notification directly from your chosen meeting platform. This invitation should contain critical information such as the date, time, meeting link, and relevant password. Additionally, a brief overview of the meeting’s agenda or objectives can help participants prepare in advance, ensuring the meeting is productive and time-efficient.

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Step 4: Prepare the Meeting Agenda

Determine the crucial topics or specific objectives to be addressed during the meeting, providing a clear focus and direction. Develop an agenda outlining these points and distribute it to all participants ahead of time. This will enable attendees to prepare, ensuring a productive discussion.

Our app, ZipDo, imports all meetings from your calendar and creates a collaborative workspace for each appointment. Here, you and your team can compile a shared meeting agenda, where all team members can add their topics. This ensures that meetings are much better prepared by everyone in your team, making your meetings more efficient. It also simplifies the preparation and follow-up of meetings.

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Step 5: Setup Your Equipment

Before your online meeting, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough test of your microphone, webcam, and internet connection for ideal operational conditions. This ensures smooth communication without technical interruptions. Additionally, select a quiet place with minimum background noise for your meeting, which will effectively reduce potential distractions and promote clear audio quality. Furthermore, a stable and strong internet connection will support seamless video and audio transmission during the meeting.

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Step 6: Conduct the Meeting

It’s crucial to begin the meeting promptly at the prearranged time to strike a tone of respect for all attendees’ time commitments. Foster an inclusive environment by ensuring each participant has an opportunity to express their views, and diligently stick to the set agenda to maintain focus. Employ tools such as screen sharing or virtual whiteboards for visual presentations or collaborative work, promoting effective communication and comprehension.

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Step 7: Encourage Participation

It’s crucial to ensure that every participant’s voice is heard during a meeting. This not only encourages engagement but also breeds a collaborative atmosphere. Urge every attendee to ask questions, present their thoughts, seek clarifications, and deliver constructive feedback. This way, all viewpoints can be taken into consideration, promoting comprehensive discussions.

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Step 8: Record the Meeting

If your chosen platform has a recording feature, ensure to utilize it by recording the entire meeting. This serves as an invaluable resource for those team members who are unable to attend due to various reasons or for anyone who might need to reference important discussion points in the future.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. What is our objective for this online meeting?
– This question ensures that everyone is aligned on the purpose and desired outcome of the meeting, enabling focused discussions and decision-making.

2. Who is responsible for each agenda item?
– By assigning ownership, this question promotes accountability and ensures that the relevant individuals are prepared to lead discussions and provide necessary information.

3. What are the potential obstacles or challenges we may face during this project?
– Anticipating potential roadblocks allows the team to develop strategies to overcome them and reduces the risk of surprises or delays later on.

4. How are we progressing towards our goals and milestones?
– Regularly reviewing progress helps the team stay on track, identify any gaps, and make necessary adjustments to ensure timely completion of deliverables.

5. Do we have the necessary resources and support to achieve our objectives?
– Addressing resource needs early on ensures that key requirements, personnel, or tools are in place, preventing delays or derailments later in the project.

6. Are there any risks or concerns that need to be addressed?
– This question encourages team members to raise any issues or potential risks that may impact the project’s success, allowing for proactive planning and risk mitigation.

7. Are there any new ideas or innovative approaches that could enhance our project?
– Encouraging creativity fosters a culture of innovation and may lead to breakthrough solutions or improvements in current processes.

8. How are team members feeling about their workload or any challenges they may be facing?
– Checking on the well-being and workload of team members promotes a supportive and productive environment, ensuring their concerns are addressed, and preventing burnout.

9. What lessons have we learned from previous projects or experiences that we can apply here?
– Leveraging past learnings helps the team avoid making the same mistakes, capitalize on successful strategies, and continuously improve their performance.

10. How can we improve our communication and collaboration as a team?
– Encouraging open discussions on team dynamics and communications fosters a collaborative culture, identifying areas for improvement and enhancing overall effectiveness.

As a leader preparing for an online meeting, it is crucial to have a well-organized agenda. Start by outlining the main topics to be discussed, allotting time for each item. Include relevant documents or materials for participants to review beforehand. Clear communication and structuring the agenda in a logical sequence will help ensure a productive and efficient meeting.

How To Prepare For A Online Meeting
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During an online meeting, it is essential to discuss topics that require immediate attention, such as project updates, task assignments, and problem-solving. Additionally, it is crucial to discuss upcoming deadlines, new initiatives, and any challenges faced by the team. Open communication is key to ensuring everyone stays informed and on track towards achieving the goals.

See Our Online Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a Online Meeting

Software plays a crucial role in facilitating online meetings, enabling leaders to effectively run them. With features like video conferencing, screen sharing, and interactive tools, software allows for seamless communication and collaboration. It provides a structured platform for leaders to manage discussions, assign tasks, and track progress. Ultimately, software streamlines the entire online meeting process, helping leaders to efficiently lead and engage their teams.

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Conclusion

Running a successful online meeting is a blend of art and science. It demands meticulous preparation, intelligent use of technology, active engagement, clear communication, and an understanding of the digital etiquette. As we continue to adapt to an increasingly remote world, possessing these skills becomes more crucial. Remember, just like conventional, in-person meetings, online meetings can be just as productive and efficient, or even more so, if properly managed. Stick to the guidelines we have laid out in this blog post, and you are sure to become a master at conducting online meetings in no time.

Jannik Lindner

I'm Jannik and I write on MeetingFever about the experiences from my career as a founder and team lead.

If you have any questions, please contact me via LinkedIn.

Popular Questions

What types of meetings work best for online formats?

The types of meetings that work best for online formats typically include weekly team check-ins, one-on-one meetings, training sessions, webinars, and client meetings.

What is the most effective way to conduct an online meeting?

The most effective way to conduct an online meeting is by setting a clear agenda, ensuring everyone is familiar with the technology being used, encouraging participation, and keeping the meeting concise and to the point.

How can we ensure that everyone can participate equally in an online meeting?

To ensure equal participation in an online meeting, it is recommended to use a platform that allows for simultaneous speaking, if needed. Encourage all participants to use their video, if possible, to foster better engagement. For larger meetings, having a facilitator can help give everyone an opportunity to speak.

How can technical glitches during an online meeting be prevented?

Although not all technical glitches can be predicted or prevented, many can be avoided by testing the meeting software in advance, using a reliable internet connection, closing unnecessary applications to ensure the computer runs smoothly, and asking participants to connect in a location with minimal background noise.

How can online meetings be made more interactive and engaging?

Online meetings can be made more interactive and engaging by using various tools and features like real-time polls, breakout rooms for smaller group discussions, interactive whiteboards for brainstorming, and encouraging the use of video and reactions. Always make sure to leave some time for casual conversation to build rapport among team members.

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