Whether it is with a single client, a large internal team or external stakeholders, holding successful, engaging meetings is an art form.
It takes skill to know how to simultaneously capture attention, inform, engage and leave a lasting impression – it’s not really an easy feat.
The prospect of holding a meeting can become more stressful when meeting online. Since new meetings enter the virtual world, there is no roadmap for organizing a successful meeting.
However, the roadmap is not always the key to success. Sometimes, the key can be learning from people with experience hosting virtual meetings and understanding what they think makes them successful. In this post, we will discuss common virtual meeting errors and get insights from experienced HubSpotters on how to avoid them.
1. Don’t admit mistakes.
Nobody is perfect.
While many know that, a moment too common in virtual meetings is pushing mistakes under the rug and acting as if they didn’t. Unfortunately, when people are looking at their screens, most people notice mistakes, and ignoring them can be awkward.
During these times, it’s important to remember that a virtual world is becoming more and more new to everyone. We all know that adapting to new processes can be difficult, so of course there will be undesirable problems.
Jon Dick, HubSpot’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, agrees and his advice is relatively simple: “As the old saying goes, ‘If you can’t hide it, highlight it!’ Slides not shared? Children burst into the room? Not muted? Don’t stress – just laugh, relax and admit it. “
2. No backup plan for faulty technology.
A disordered PowerPoint or microphone won’t derail your face-to-face meeting, but it effectively closes a virtual meeting. With this, Ashley LaddHubSpot, Diverse, Inclusive & Belonging Team Management, says not having a tech backup plan for your virtual meeting is a mistake.
“Our internet connection is always stable until we need it, so having a backup plan ensures the perfect execution of your events and less worry about your connection,” says Ladd. meeting was interrupted.
She says your Plan B could include things like a co-host, teammate or friend assigned to take over if something goes wrong or while you fix any issues: “What Worst of all is when you have to spend time fiddling with your connection and it interrupts the flow of your meeting. “
3. Lack of discussion and cooperation.
One of the greatest aspects of the meeting is collaboration and discussion derived from audience participation. Virtual meetings make this noticeably more difficult, and they are often marked by the opposite.
Stamps BeccaThe one common mistake is not creating space for conversation, says Senior Global Learning and Development Specialist at HubSpot. Her solution is to make a special effort to encourage it: “It’s important to give everyone space to mute and contribute throughout the session. Participants can add a lot of value, both through discussion and chat. “
Jill Noonan, The Senior Instructor at HubSpot, takes this tip down and says: “Create interactions whenever possible. Live or virtual, listening to a speaker without any interaction or conversation can exhaust those listeners. If you are presenting in a virtual environment and someone asks a question, open it up for group discussion ”.
4. Leave inclusion and accessibility in a side-by-side way.
Whether your meeting is live or virtual, it’s important to be mindful of and prioritize inclusion and accessibility.
Choose Use software to add annotations For voice transcription, write a graphic alternative descriptive text for screen readers and take note of the different experiences attendees may have.
Ben Perreira, Says HubSpot’s Diversity, Inclusion and Attribution Program Manager, that an easy way to show your interest in DI&B is to encourage attendees to put pronouns in their profile names. He said, “Add pronouns to your Zoom name as a display to include in virtual meetings and encourage your teammates to do the same.”
5. Trying to multitask.
Joining a meeting has never been easier, and it’s never been easier to lose focus in a meeting.
If you’re on a personal computer, it can be especially difficult to focus because everything you like is right in front of your eyes. A quick check of email can inadvertently turn into ten minutes distracting from the content of the meeting.
That’s why a common mistake is, or at least trying to multitask in meetings. “Multitasking in your meetings is a sure-fire way for you to feel uninformed and incomplete at the end of the day,” Dick said. His solution? Easy – “Hide notifications and close emails.”
6. Discourage speakers and hosts.
Don’t assume someone can be more comfortable in a virtual meeting because they are not in person. It can still be stressful when faced with a screen full of faces like staring into a room full of people.
However, the support people receive from attendees in face-to-face meetings, such as clapping hands, can encourage and make the host feel more at ease. Unfortunately, this support is often lacking in virtual meetings.
Even if you can’t clap your hands, Dick says it’s essential to show encouragement mostly because you can feel weird presenting without any human reaction. He said, “Let’s jump into the chat window to cheer people up and encourage them while they’re presenting. It encourages and helps people feel like you are listening. “
7. Don’t leave space for the network.
When the virtual meeting takes place on a digital device, the attendees have no interaction with their co-workers when they finish. Stamp said that forgetting the chatty side of meetings can be detrimental, as this time often gives people the chance to connect, make connections, and ease the pressure.
She said of HubSpot employee referrals, “We have seen incredible value to spend another five to ten minutes on Zoom at the end of each session. It creates a lobby environment of live sessions and these chats help us build more community between groups. “
You can feel pressure to show off your more polished side in virtual meetings. In some cases, like when business executives talk to their team, it makes sense and is expected that the experience will be more corporate and clear.
However, being too polished can sometimes take away your humanity, which affects the correlation between you and your audience.
The robot meeting environment can also get boring and out of interest, which is the opposite of what you want. Noonan’s trick is to show humanity through personalization. She said, “Humanity is of the utmost importance. Knowing when and where to use personal examples or show security holes builds trust and shows that we are all on the same page.
9. Don’t use the mute button for everything it’s worth.
Nobody wants to inadvertently leave their microphone on so everyone can hear them yell to their roommates or ask the pet to stop making noises. This is not a big fake bug, but there are easy ways to avoid this short but too common mistake of not using the mute button for all that is worth it.
“When you’re not talking, mute yourself,” Perreira said. Mute / unmute can also act as a signal that you are ready to contribute and serve [sic] a helpful way for team members to ensure that those who are talking have a chance to be heard. “
10. No fun.
Although archiving can be stressful, Ladd and Stamp say it’s essential to have fun.
Ladd remembers once registering for the BLACKhub community, where attendees played a game called One or That. She said, “We made a Black History Month version, so our game has Black leaders in sports, cinema, business, etc.We’ve got about eight pages. Presentation differs and it’s a fun, quick, and easy way to get people to interact and engage ”.
Stamp also creates space for these moments during introductory meetings: “Schedule an optional coffee, lunch or afternoon session to help attendees connect with each other. This gives our new tenants space to get to know each other in a more authentic and personal way. “
Virtual meetings can still be successful, engaging, and satisfying
While there are quite a few mistakes on this list, they exactly are – mistakes. They are not the end of the world, and no one will punish you for them.
Consider advice from experienced HubSpotters, and you may find yourself hosting engaging virtual meetings as impacting as the face-to-face meetings you might meet.