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Most companies have been depending on video conferences to maintain their usual working environment during the coronavirus pandemic. Effective video meetings are now an essential part of business.  In an ideal situation, video conferences can increase your productivity and cut down on your travel time. As a result, it’s imperative to make sure you are maximizing productivity by using the most effective strategies you can. 

Here are seven best practices and guidelines that you can use to ensure that you’re making the most out of your video sessions on any platform.

effective video meetings

Have a Well-Communicated and Clear Agenda

You should never conduct a virtual conference without a clear-cut agenda. In fact, a session without a purpose is likely to waste time and create confusion. To ensure things are easy for every participant, create a detailed agenda containing all the important matters you want to discuss during the session and then arrange them according to your organization’s requirements. An agenda really helps encourage effective video meetings.

However, just creating an agenda isn’t enough. You also need to make your expectations clear to every single person involved in the session. Distribute your schedule at least one day before the meeting and make sure that it has been received, read, and understood by everyone. You can also establish automated session reminders via Google calendar. 

Ensure You Have a Strong Internet Connection

This may seem obvous, but a reliable internet connection is the backbone of any video meeting. If your wireless connection is slow, it will often detract from the purpose of your meeting with inconsistent audio and visual disruptions. If you’re using your laptop or desktop computer, make sure you access the internet via the Ethernet cable to guarantee strong internet connectivity.

Also, if your surroundings allow, try to use a secure internet connection and personal password protection. If your only choice is a connection via wireless, try using advanced encryption to keep your data safe.

If your connection isn’t strong, sometimes disabling video and using only audio can help maintain quality.

Assign a Session Moderator

A session without a moderator may go off track and waste a lot of valuable time. By assigning a session moderator, you give that specific individual authority to control the course of the meeting. No participant can speak without permission from the moderator. As a result, contributions are much more likely to be relevant, thoughtful, and helpful.

This is vital in virtual sessions because there’s a high opportunity for miscommunication triggered by video and audio quality issues and internet connectivity. With a trusted moderator, you can combat these issues and make sure everyone is on the same page, ensuring effective video meetings.

Prepare Your Device Before the Meeting

Technology can be tricky. It’s generally a good idea to ask everyone involved in the meeting to reboot their computers at least 30 minutes before the session begins. Also, make sure that all your microphone and camera are working. Check to make sure the software you’re using to conduct meetings can support numerous participants. In one-on-one online sessions, you can use a specific video calling service such as Skype. However,  if your meeting has multiple members, you’ll need to find a specialized software that will allow you to include everyone.

Establish Time Limits

Time-capping your sessions can help you get more out of the limited time you already have. It can also increase your total productivity. If you want to stick to a tight schedule, you can set the session duration to 40 minutes and allocate ten minutes to every agenda point. With this framing in place, members will concentrate better on the task at hand, and the session will not go off track. 

Also, ensure you choose a time that favors every participant involved. You must keep time zones in mind, especially when sending calendar invites.

Get Rid of Interruptions

Before the session begins, make sure nothing is obstructing your camera. Ensure there are no distractions in your environment that could disrupt the people watching. Also, make sure that your mobile device is in silent mode during the session. Interruptions during a virtual session can easily impede productivity and promote miscommunications. To avoid these setbacks, you need to ensure all your members are seated in a well-illuminated and closed room with a transparent background. 

Furthermore, it’s a good idea to use a collar microphone and business headsets as an alternative for your laptop’s microphone to make sure there’s clear communication.

Finalize with Clear Action Items

Most meetings end with vague assurances and promises from members—promises that may or may not be fulfilled. It’s your moderator’s role to provide action items for the group and ensure the cooperation of all members. The most critical part of a video meeting is finding out an action item, allocating it to one person, and deciding on a time limit. If you don’t do this before the end of every session, you can’t track action items efficiently.

At this point in time, most organizations are using video meetings to conduct most of their business;  you need to be ready to host these types of sessions yourself. Keep these 7 tips in mind to make sure your subsequent video meeting is successful and effective.

Video meetings are here to stay, even as people get back to the office. Learn more about our vision for preparing for the future of work, and download our free white paper.

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