If you are used to directing meetings and like to use many visual aids when conducting in-person meetings, the prospect of conducting an online meeting may have you concerned about your effectiveness. Keep your audience engaged throughout the meeting by using some preparation aids and communication strategies.
Everything Within Reach
If you usually rely upon an assistant to retrieve visual aids that will be used during various parts of a meeting, you will not have this help during a meeting that is being held from your home office and will need to compile everything beforehand. Set up your office so that it will remain functional throughout the meeting. Use a long table that is out of view of the camera to store pie charts, large posters, or any other materials that you will be presenting.
Prepare a written copy of what you will be going over during your meeting. It may not seem natural to read from papers, but if you study the information beforehand, you may only need to glance at it on occasion. The overview will help you remain your composure and will ensure that you do not miss any details that are pertinent to the success of the meeting. As you conduct the meeting, mark off information that has been presented in order to avoid speaking about the same things more than once. Use a highlighter or a marker to aid in this process.
Professional Attire And No Distractions
Choose the clothing that you will wear and the lighting that will be turned on during the virtual meeting. Experiment with different fabric color and lighting options and perform an online video chat to ensure that the recipient can see you clearly. Sit behind an empty desk for the length of the meeting and turn off your mobile phone and any electrical equipment that could make disruptive noise.
Come up with a list of questions that you will ask your viewers. Contact everyone who will be included in the meeting plans and let them know the date and time that you would like them to be ready to tune in. Let each person know that you would like them to take notes during the discussion and that there will be a question and answer session near the end of the meeting. This information will prompt your employees and colleagues to pay attention to you while you are presenting information.