Amid all the fears of the raging contagion, one cannot doubt the benefits of virtual meetings. Completely taking away the need for in-person meetings without affecting productivity, virtual meetings are now the most effective means of conducting business.
Technology has ensured that everyone has easy and instant access to every part of the world, all without being heavy on the pockets. Armed with technology, here is how you can now run effective meetings with your virtual assistant.
1. Use Video Conferencing
The most blessed innovation of technology is making participants feel just as though they are sitting together in a physical conference room. You can hold effective and smooth meetings virtually using software like Zoom, Hangouts etc.
With every participant on board at the same time, conversations and discussions can flow just as smoothly and rapidly as in a physical meeting.
2. Test Technology
Before you begin the meeting, it is always necessary to work with your virtual assistant to test the foolproof functionality of the chosen software. Nothing kills momentum like a delay at the start of the meeting or when it is in progress.
You need to test the software with your virtual assistant and have a mock meeting to ensure the video and other functions are in proper order. Also, request the virtual assistant to coordinate with the rest of the participants of the meeting to test their technology and ensure they know how to operate the major features.
3. Work on Reducing the Presentation Length
We are all are aware of how boring and often torturous lengthy presentations can be in person. The effect is the same even in virtual meetings. You need to work with your virtual assistant to ensure the meeting focus primarily on discussions and brainstorming ideas for business strategies.
It is best to provide background information via email beforehand so everyone comes to the meeting briefed. If a participant has to present, use screen sharing so the rest can be on the same page too following the conversation.
4. Periodic Chance Of Speech
It can be virtually very challenging to make everyone participate in the virtual meeting without overpowering each other’s voice. To forestall this dilemma, you must enlist your virtual assistant’s help to periodically call on individuals to share their opinions and note who has and has not had a chance.
This will require going around the table virtually but it will ensure everyone receives an equal opportunity to contribute to the final decision. This way, you will reduce the risk of driving closure without accidentally excluding an introverted individual’s views.
5. Gather Real-Time Feedback
The absence of visual clues can make it difficult to gather and process qualitative input that flows in a virtual meeting. You can ask your virtual assistant to use a phone-based tool for surveying and collecting on-demand feedback from the participants.
The VA can use a tool like Poll Everywhere to process feedback on particular topics in real time. The VA can open the polling and keep it away from the video conferencing to minimize disruptions in the discussion. The only remaining thing would be to teach the attendees how to use the software and features but that is easy.
Virtual meetings along with your virtual assistant’s help can be just as productive and effective as in person meetings. You can follow general practices, such as having a clear objective, circulating the agenda, using an icebreaker, keeping the presentation to the point etc.
With the help of technology and tools like Zoom, Hangouts, Poll Everywhere etc, you can hold meetings as successfully as in physical offices.