Living in online meetings can become cumbersome and as we keep doing them, getting the most of each Google Meet, Zoom or Cisco Webex call is becoming more and more important. Here are a few tips that can help your online video meetings on Zoom, Google Meet or any other platform be more productive and enjoyable.
1. Minimize Distractions
Grab that cup of coffee 10 minutes before the start of your meeting. Make sure you put your phone’s ringer on silent. Turn off the music. Put the dog in a different room, if you can.
2. Restart Your Computer in Advance
This is something that can really help Windows computers. It’s pretty common for people using a Windows computer to have various technical issues with their video and audio as they join a browser based meeting like Google Meet or even a native app like Zoom. It’s helpful for Windows users to consider rebooting their computers ten to thirty minutes before an important online video meeting. It can help people using older Apple Mac computers too so don’t feel shy about restarting your computer.
3. Have a Clearly Communicated Agenda
We’ve all heard this one before but here’s a gentle reminder to clearly define the agenda for a meeting. Having a meeting to discuss whether to have a meeting happens all the time. However, even those video calls can be more productive by simply setting an agenda in advance. Define the reason for the meeting right up front so that people joining the online meeting know exactly why they should be there.
4. Appoint a Meeting Moderator
For meetings of more than three people, it’s a good idea to appoint one person as the moderator. The moderator should make sure the agenda is being followed and all of the attendees get the necessary time to speak. The moderator should also communicate how they will be moderating and how much time will be spent on the various aspects of the agenda as well as how the time allocated will be split amongst the various speakers/attendees. If other participants on the Zoom call would like to speak, they can use Zoom’s “Raise Hand” feature to ask the moderator to speak.
5. Set Time Limits
Having open-ended meetings is one of the biggest productivity sinks ever. Avoid them. Set clear time limits for your meeting. If it’s a 45 minute meeting, let everyone know in the agenda, how much time will be allocated to each of the points.
6. Assign Pre-Meeting Work
In some cases, getting people motivated and vested in a particular meeting can happen by assigning work for the online video call, in advance. For example, if the meeting is about discussing a marketing plan, it may be helpful to assign each member of the meeting to share two ideas or two questions about the marketing plan before the meeting. The moderator can share the ideas and questions with the various speakers for addressing during the Google Meet call. Another piece of pre-meeting work could be researching other participants in the meeting in advance – something that Workomo can help with.
7. Ask Everyone to Turn on Their Video!
It can be tough get all dressed up before a 9am Zoom call when you’re doing it from home. However, letting all of the participants know in advance that turning video on will be required gives them a reason to get into “work-mode” and it also gives everyone a chance to see each other, especially if they haven’t seen each other in a while.
8. Breakout Rooms
If you have a large online meeting, sometimes having smaller breakout sessions can be helpful in cracking a large agenda with smaller, cross-functional groups for discussion and to come up with next steps. Smaller breakout sessions can also help with team building when you’re doing all of your work over Google Meet or Zoom and not in-person.
9. Conclude the Google Meet or Zoom Call with Clear Action Items
As you’re wrapping up the Google Meet or Zoom call, make sure the moderator is identifying clear action items coming out of the agenda and who is taking on the various action items.
10. Share Meeting Notes
Ask the moderator to share notes of the meeting with all of the participants including action items coming out of the meeting.
11. Bonus: Ask the Moderator or Another Participant to Take Meeting Notes
Someone’s got to take notes if you want to share notes. After asking for volunteers, communicate who will be the meeting scribe when you send out the agenda.