6 Ways to improve your video meetings

6 Ways to improve your video meetings

Video meetings are great for bringing together people who are far apart. Be they remote workers or third-party partners in another country, they can do brainstorming sessions, training seminars, company town halls, what have you. Distance is no longer a reason for not being able to discuss strategies or collaborate on projects in real time.

However, just like with face-to-face meetings, not all video conferences are productive. How do you ensure that everyone's time is well spent in your video meetings? Implement these tips in your next online assembly.

1. Don't video chat everyone all at once

Unless you need to involve everyone in your team (e.g., during brainstorming sessions or important organizational announcements), then you must only have the most relevant participants in the call. If you’re thinking that having the entire team in the meeting will keep everyone on the same page, there are more time-efficient ways to do this. For example, you can send email updates regarding what was discussed and update your online Kanban boards accordingly. This helps you avoid wasting the time of people who don't have a role to play in the discussion.

2. Teach people to be prepared for video calls

One of the top ways time is wasted in online meetings is waiting on everyone to arrive. To start on time and keep the meeting running smoothly, teach your staff to do the following:

  • Log in early – It’s better to learn of technical issues like a wonky internet connection before the meeting starts. Staff must also give themselves time to check their equipment and web conferencing applications.
  • Plug into a power source – Laptop batteries can drain quickly during conference calls, so it’s best to be plugged in, or at least have a portable charger at the ready so you won’t have to excuse yourself and plug your laptop to a wall socket.
  • Find a secluded area – People working from home must inform everyone else in the residence not to disturb you while you’re on a call. To limit outside disturbances, advise staff to use noise-canceling headphones instead of relying on their computer’s built-in speakers and microphones.
  • Allocate internet bandwidth for the call – Tell your staff to pause their downloads, temporarily disconnect their smart devices, and stop all internet streaming activities. Additionally, if staff members are in the same room, have them join the meeting together (i.e., use just one video camera) instead of making them join individually.

3. Make video conferencing a priority in your meeting schedule

If you're going to have video meetings, they need to occur at the same time as when everyone else can log on. If there's anyone who isn't available during that window of opportunity for whatever reason, reschedule it so nobody feels pressured or inconvenienced to attend. However, if no common schedule could be found, then the next best thing is to hold a meeting when the most people could attend. Record the meeting so that those who are unable to attend could watch it in their own time.

4. Plan the video meeting schedule in advance

Block out specific times and dates for video calls and send out invites so that people can add these events to their calendars. It's also ideal to limit meetings to one hour at the most because people have their own tasks to attend to. If there's a lot of ground to cover, set up two or three sessions throughout the week instead of cramming everything into one day.

5. Choose video conferencing software that's easy to use and understand

There are plenty of video meeting apps out there, but many people don't know how they work. Make sure everyone knows the basics: how to dial into a video call, turn on their video feed and mute themselves when needed. You can save time by sending out video meeting cheat sheets or video conferencing tutorials, so participants know what to expect.

6. Wrap up the video conference with a quick Q&A session

Before sending people off, invite them to ask questions and provide feedback on the video meeting. This way, nobody walks away feeling confused about the next steps or wondering what they missed during that video conference.

Finish off by sending a recap email to everyone who attended and include some key takeaways from the meeting for record keeping purposes. That way, there's no need to recreate the wheel and you can focus on the next video meeting without worrying about forgetting anything.

Video conferencing is great for bringing people together who are far apart, but only if it's done right. Implement these tips in your video meetings and everyone will be happy with how productive their video calls turn out to be.

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