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Improve Your Online Meeting Performance

image credit: © Mongkol Chuewong |

Are you Zoomed-Out? Tired of Teams? Skypeless? Welcome to the world of WFH (Working from Home) and endless online meetings. BC (Before Covid), meetings were usually held in workplaces and had a purpose. If you wanted to see an individual team member to discuss something you could waylay them at the water cooler or drop by their desk.

Unfortunately this is no longer an option and many people are suffering from an overload of online meetings. Things have got more casual and many online meetings can seem to be just filling time. Here are some suggestions to improve performance. According to a recent report, 46% of employees reported their online meetings were seldom or never effective. Here are ways to fix that:


1. Define clear objectives

For many people, scheduling and attending online meetings is often done without a detailed objective and purpose. Just having meetings to “review progress” or “connect” can simply waste time and reduce productivity. The meeting should have a clear purpose and a “Desired Outcome Statement” so people attend, contribute and leave having achieved results


2. Only invite the right people

Only invite personnel who actually need to be at the meeting and have something to contribute. During and at the end of the meeting have “Action Points” for participants to take on board so they are expected to accomplish something after the meeting.


3. Clarify roles

Meetings usually need a Meeting Leader or Chair; it is really good to have a Secretary – that is someone who books the online time-slot, sends out an agenda in advance, and most importantly, keeps notes or minutes, which can be circulated afterwards, so everyone is clear on what was said and agreed. Meetings obviously need participants – it is important to be self-disciplined in online meetings and not close down the other delegates, which is much easier when you are not face-to-face. Supporting roles include questions facilitators – for example if someone is giving a presentation, they can't be expected to keep track of questions coming in via email, chat box or text message – someone needs to be on top of that, and perhaps edit duplicate or off-topic questions. Another supporting role is technician – particularly if the meeting is going to have video, shared visuals, recorded sound or other multi-media input. Having someone ready with these cues can take the pressure off the chairperson.


4. Meetings should facilitate action

It is important that agreed actions should be featured onscreen, given out as Action Points to individuals for further work, and written down and circulated so the meeting is a prompt to move forward and achieve goals and not just a time suck.


In summary, online meetings will continue to be a major component of how employees connect, deliberate, plan projects, and push forward accountability. Encouraging a proficient meeting culture where staff communicate clear meeting objectives, roles, and capture key ideas and decisions helps to propel initiatives—and companies—to achieving mission objectives.

Julian Jackson's picture
Thank Julian for the Post!
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