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Question – How can you save £26k* a year?
Answer – By investing time and effort in virtual meetings AND doing them properly.
If there’s one thing that elicits more dread than the thought of sitting for hours in an office meeting room, it’s spending the same time on a Skype call! But as the world moves towards more global working and companies embrace flexibility, we’ll be doing a whole lot more of our meetings virtually in the future. There’s plenty that you can do as the meeting organiser, and plenty you can do as a participant, to make them run more smoothly. Here are some of our top tips:
1. Have you personally got a real clear purpose for the meeting?
(Why should people give up their valuable time to you? Ask yourself; The problem I am trying to solve is? By the end of the meeting I will have accomplished..?)
2. Have you set the start time 5 mins early?
(To give people the time to get their **** together? And for small talk)
3. Have you sent out the etiquette of the call with the invite?
(Remove all distractions, close outlook, go to the loo, remove phone from eyeline, put microphone on mute)
4. Is your preferred choice of technology available and working for all participants?
Out with Skype and in with Zoom? Using Go To Meeting or Slack call for this one? Make sure everyone is on the same software.
5. Have you been good and implemented 40-20-40 rule?
40% of your attention should be on preparation, 20% on the meeting itself and 40% on the follow-through. If you don’t make time for the preparation and follow through, meetings are long-winded and often pointless!
6. Do you know who is capturing the key actions and noting owner of the action and on which tool?
(OneNote and google docs tend to be more efficient and accessible).
7. How’s the sound?
On a virtual meeting, there’s nothing worse than bad sound quality. Don’t stand next to drilling or traffic. Spend a few pounds on a headset (which will almost certainly have a better microphone than your computer’s one). Don’t scrimp on making your voice heard with clarity.
8. Let’s Record it!
Most meeting software will give you the option of recording. That way, if you have someone who has missed the meeting, they can catch up (and even skip through the less relevant conversations to save time!)
9. Follow up with actions.
Speaking of which, make sure each action is clear. Specificity of language is key. Give every action one single owner (even if multiple people are involved – who is the person held to account?). Ban the word “ongoing” – it just leads to vagueness. Quantify success. In the words of Peter Drucker, “what gets measured gets managed”.
If you implement any of our top tips to improve your Virtual Meetings, we would love to hear about it, so drop us a tweet or an email. Or if you need to Supercharge Your Virtual Meetings, we can help with that too!
Nb: If the title of this blog had you wanting to sing the classic 80s song “Let’s get physical” then you are probably of the same generation of the writer, which we make no apology for! #workisfun
Written by Graham Allcott, our Founder and author of the best-selling “How to be a Productivity Ninja”. He also has a podcast, Beyond Busy, which interviews people about productivity and work-life balance.
*Based on saving 1 hour a week, with average earnings of £25k a year for 4 team members