Make Your Virtual Meetings Work for You (and Your Team)
24 billion. Each year 24 billion hours are spent in virtual and IRL meetings that attendees rank as "unproductive". (Zippia Source)
We have all been there, stuck in a meeting irrelevant to our scope or where the host rambles on, and we catch ourselves lost in thought. Advanced meeting technology allows teams across the globe to meet virtually, but what about productivity? What can teams do to ensure they are having productive meetings?
To keep meetings short, productive, and focused, Mission Critical's team uses a simple technique called the Three P's: Prepare, Participate, and Purpose.
Tip 1 - Prepare
So, you have a meeting scheduled. Now what? Hosts and participants should set time aside to be prepared for the meeting.
Set clear, defined goals for the meeting.
Publish and share discussion topics prior to the meeting.
Review any materials provided before the meeting. This may include a meeting agenda, discussion points, or RFQ/RFP documents.
All attendees should:
Perform a technology check before the meeting. Consider checking your microphone, camera, connectivity, and ensure you have the latest updates installed from your hosting platform.
Tip 2 - Participate
If you are invited to a meeting, you have something to bring to the conversation. For a meeting to be productive, everyone must be an ACTIVE participant. But what does that look like?
Prepare Ahead: Review the agenda and any relevant materials provided by the host before the meeting. Be ready with prepared questions or points you'd like to discuss.
Engage Actively: Use features like hand-raise and chat, and emphasize your facial expressions or movements to show engagement. Ask questions, share insights, and participate in polls or interactive elements.
Communicate Effectively: Remember, there is a lot of "technology" between you and the other participants. Slow your speaking cadence and ask for feedback frequently.
Follow Etiquette: Respect the meeting's structure and others' speaking time. Be on time, mute when not speaking to avoid background noise, and remember to immediately (and politely) speak up when someone else starts talking while muted.
Tip 3 - Purpose
At the end of a meeting, the team should assess if the goals of the meeting were met. Here are a few tips on what that looks like.
Provide a quick recap of progress made during the meeting.
Assess – were the meeting goals met? If not, determine a path forward and identify who is involved before scheduling your next meet.
Share notes and assign Action Items to team members, along with due dates.
Set aside time to complete any assigned Action Items.
And that's a wrap!
Through the application of the Three P's - Prepare, Participate, and Purpose - meetings are more productive, making the most of the time you have. With thoughtful preparation, clear engagement, and achievable milestones, wasted hours are transformed into productive meetings.