As we continue with online work and meetings that take place on Zoom, Cisco Webex or Microsoft Teams, many of us experience ‘Zoom fatigue’. To help combat the dread of yet another online meeting, here are the ‘Top 5 Tips’ that Century Audio Visual employs to improve online meeting delivery.
1. Keep it Short
Keep engagement high by creating an agenda with a timeline. Assign a host or co-host for your meeting. Your host can act as a facilitator to keep the discussion on point and on time. Another option is to designate a timekeeper. Agree on a protocol to alert speakers as they approach the end of their speaking segment.
2. Take Breaks
One rule of thumb is to keep meetings no longer than one hour. If you must exceed that timeline, take a five-minute break for every hour you meet with the same group.
3. Keep it Active
For longer than usual meetings or for educational settings, try a five-minute energy booster. Change the perspective and introduce movement of any kind to help participants feel refreshed and refocused.
4. Minimize Interruptions
Some interruptions are unavoidable, like the three-year-old in need of immediate moral support because he can’t find his favourite stuffie. For all other types of foreseeable interruptions, let people know at the beginning of the meeting, how you will handle questions. Utilize the chat function or Zoom Q&A. Your host or co-host can address any queries, live. The flow of your meeting will remain consistent as you answer any inquiries via text.
5. See What Your Co-Workers See
Your host or co-host must remain alert to situations of which participants may not be aware. People often work from home all day, in online meetings. They may be oblivious to things like wardrobe malfunctions, personal items (or people) in the viewer’s periphery or the fact that they are speaking too loudly or too softly. If you meet regularly with a group, it may be wise to pose the question, “do you want to see what your co-workers see?” Agree on a list of common ‘faux-pas’. To keep the meeting flow, use notes or cue cards for everyday situations like “press your mute button”, “you are frozen” or, the increasingly popular, “you forgot your pants.”
Quite simply, these are crazy times! Perhaps the best tip of all is to keep your sense of humour.
Everyone will benefit!