I have a virtual meeting in ten minutes.

Or an interview for a remote job. Who no like better thing?

I mean, we all want to be productive. Whether anyone really is being productive or not is not up to this girl to decide, considering that faking it till you’ve made it is still a standard out there. Keep at it. Maybe, just check out these skills and add them to what you are already working with. Meaning that, in case you haven’t guessed, this post is going to highlight a few e-marketing/e-meeting skills to ensure proficiency.

Corona has been outside and that means that most of our activities have shifted inside and that in turn means that virtual meetings are the hottest kid in school this semester. Virtual pitch meetings, virtual brainstorming sessions, virtual that, virtual this. Somebody I know literally had a bit of the old in-out, in-out (three rounds, permit me to add), during a zoom meeting. Same breath. You should know better than to ask me to shed more light here 😏😏 I’m aware that experts like you have already honed your real-time meeting skills but how far your virtual meeting skills?

“This girl don carry come again now. What skills do I still need when I can activate and deactivate audio and video whenever I like?”

Why, thank you accurate moderator and fellow debaters..Lmfaooo. I’m kidding, I’m kiddingggg. Okay, let’s run through some of the real-time skills for starters. So, depending on your position in your organization, you could be spending between three and twenty-three hours on meetings per week. You want to set your agenda clearly so that you will fit in and flow well with the pace and content of your meetings. You also want to keep your diverse listeners (team members and anyone else in the room) interested- which could mean anything from actively listening to the words coming out of your mouth to engaging and participating. You get me? Additionally, you want to check that you are speaking the appropriate body language; that your gestures and tone of voice give off the vibe that you are confident and in control. And you’d want to have a plan for how you’d be answering questions and dealing with conflicting opinions and objections during the meeting.

However, online meetings seem like a waste of time to everyone. People don’t even turn on video except they have to and I personally feel like this singular act goes against the basic purpose for which video conferencing apps were made. While these basic etiquettes can save your skin, here’s more:

Choose the right tech.

By ‘tech’, I mean ‘platform’. What platform do you want to use? The hack is to choose the one that suits the agenda for that particular meeting. If the meeting is only a quick check-in, the right one for it might differ from the one you’d use for a brainstorming session, where decisions will be made. Another reason to check by agenda is because some features like web polling which make it easy to guage the opinions of attendees might cost a little extra. Whichever platform you decide to use, bear in mind that virtual meetings still have their benefits and their limitations.


Sharpen specific skills.

For a group of people who have never met before, there’ll most likely be need for ice breakers. This is because ice breakers can help people relax before diving in. A quick introduction is one of the commonest examples of an ice breaker. Let participants talk about themselves and what they do. You could also learn skills to help you be the meeting’s facilitator. This usually is the person that coordinates the meeting and ensures its success.

Take time to prepare, especially if you are the host.

So, virtual meetings can be more challenging because they are not face-to-face meetings. Apart from the fact that our service providers aren’t reliable in this part of the world, some people have not mastered the process properly. Familiarize yourself with the platform.

Prepare for conflicts during the meeting. One small difference in opinion could easily escalate, your key participant could be shut out due to technical issues, e.t.c.

Additionally, put some thought into preparing your agenda. Who will attend? What time will the meeting be starting? How long would it last for? What would be discussed? You don’t want to start later than scheduled or finish beyond the stipulated time of close.

Segmenting the meeting into sessions of 10–15 minutes each could also help with time management. Consider the different time-zones of the various participants.

Send out the correct links, login details, start and finish times, list of attendees, all of that.

Delegate!!! You cannot handle everything. You shouldn’t, even 🤡🌚

Especially for brainstorming sessions, you should limit the number of attendees as much as possible so that you can ensure everyone’s involvement.

Also, hey you, participant! What is your display name? ‘Donna the cougar’, like our friend in the image above?

You want to set some ground rules too.

Any community without rules is doomed to implode. You want to do your best to ensure that every participant is on their best behaviour (God help you o). You can let them know that they can’t interrupt the speaker with questions or whatever. You could also ask them to limit background noise.

Communicate accordingly.

Certain integral cues that are picked up in face-to-face meetings- such as tone of voice, facial expressions- can be missed during virtual meetings. For this reason, your communication skills have to be top-notch. You want to listen actively to the speaker so you’ll be able to summarize all they have said when they are done. You should speak clearly as well, using the right words and asking for clarification when you are not clear. Avoid open-ended questions too. Questions like “so, who will open the floor for us?” can alter the mood because most times, nobody would want to go first. Instead, you could appoint someone to start.

I don’t know how you want to do it, but make sure everyone is involved.

Let the same rules apply to everyone. Rules bordering around issues like turning video on/off. If you want to allow it, then everybody in attendance should have the freedom to turn off their video, if that’s what they feel like doing. Take pauses in between and ask attendees to make input, this will cause them to pay rapt attention.

Basically, be a man/woman of culture. Don’t disgrace us. Yea? Yea. Okay.


PS: this is a very very late post. But no knowledge is useless 😬



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