The Corona Reality: 5 top tips to successfully make your face to face meetings virtual
Our world has been turned upside down and the corona virus outbreak means that we will need to rethink how we plan and strategise together. Moving face to face meetings into the virtual space might become the new normal.
However there need to be certain rules and logistics in place to make virtual meetings successful. Here are my top 5 recommendations:
#1) Everyone needs to be visible. Everyone needs to have a reliable internet connection that ideally allows not only voice but also camera streaming. It is helpful to see each other's facial expressions as much as possible if we are not physically together. Research says that 55% of communication is body language, while another 38% is tone of voice.
#2) Meet shorter and more often. Our attention span online is shorter than face to face. We are easier tempted to try and multitask (e.g. writing emails while someone else is talking) rather than keeping our attention focused. So instead of having a 2 x 8h long meeting over 2 days, schedule shorter sessions that build on each other over a longer time frame.
#3) Ban multitasking. You would not answer your emails in a face to face meeting or start having side conversations. Science has proven that we cannot effectively multitask. So get the whole team to agree to just focus on the meeting at hand.
#4) Don’t let the tech limit you. Use a reliable meeting software that allows you to have break out groups and share screens. The best one I have found so far seems to be Zoom but there might be others out there. Investing into a good meeting software, will still work out cheaper than hiring a meeting room.
#5) Visualise your joint thinking. Work with shared documents such as Google Jamboard, Google drawing or simple google docs to think visually together when you brainstorm, slot down main agreements or report back from group work. These collaborations will also help keeping everyone engaged.
As in every other meeting, you need to be clear on the purpose of the meeting, the desired outcomes and outputs and what processes these will be feeding into before you design the agenda. Get some inspiration from my blog post on effective meetings.
I would be happy to co-create the right process with the right methodologies with you, so that your next virtual meeting will be a success.
Just contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.