Do you feel like you are speaking to a robot during your online meetings – speaking to a series of letters? Have meetings become mundane and disengaged? Let’s bring back the engagement into meetings using a range of online technology
It should be standard virtual meeting etiquette, that everyone on the meeting switches on their video and mutes their sound unless they are speaking. Spend the first few minutes to introduce each other by greeting each other via the chatbox or using live voice. Encourage the use of emoticons – like ‘hand raises’ or a ‘thumbs up’ to encourage engagement. Get comfortable with screen-sharing content such as slides, documents and spreadsheets. Record the meeting. Distribute to your participants a pre-reading or an assignment to complete before the meeting, so that the actual time is spent more constructively on feedback, suggestions and actions.
MS Teams and Zoom
These applications have the functionality of break-out rooms. This can be used to encourage discussion, learning and connection among teams. The whiteboarding function is very useful to graphically illustrate your point of view. You could also consider connecting your iPad or tablet to your computer and via the use of an app and a stylus you use your tablet as a whiteboard to project onto your laptop as you screen share. ‘Together Mode’ is a cool feature on MS Teams to create a team feeling – virtually. The custom backgrounds in both these applications are useful – and overused. Consider having your own custom background for your meetings like a pull-up banner with your company logo or other catchy design printed.
Microsoft Forms builder – is an easy-to-use tool with multiple functions. Create an attendance register. Create a quick quiz or poll to be completed before the meeting and discuss results at the meeting. Build a post-meeting feedback form. Once the form is created, send out the link via the meeting invite or share the link via the chat box during your meeting. You can also create a scan code link to the form that you created.
Add more excitement to your meetings by making them fun and engaging. Nearpod allows the facilitator to engage with their audience remotely – upload your slides and share them with your audience. Use their blackboard function to allow participants to write on your blackboard. Use emaze.com to bring your content to life and create engaging slides that educate, entertain and excite. If you want engagement and discussion before a meeting, Flipgrid allows you to start a discussion and once you share that link, participants can upload quick video content to share their viewpoint. If you love mind-mapping to illustrate your thinking, you will love Coggle! This allows you to create collaborative mind maps and flowcharts for sharing and illustration of difficult concepts. Using Kahoot, you can quickly create an interactive game that you share with your audience for them to complete a fun quiz to make your meetings more impactful. Alternatively, you can use Survey Monkey to create quick polls and feedback.
- Become curious to try something new at your next meeting.
- Be a leader in the use of technology and not just a consumer of it.
- Push the boundaries of what you think is possible using technology that is available now.
Dineshrie Pillay CA(SA)
Business Owner and Public Speaking Trainer