We get it, everyone hosts meetings in their own style and, of course, there are many different ways to approach a web meeting. Certain features suit certain styles of host best, whether that’s managing meeting attendees or using particular features to prepare for the meeting.
So we’ve put together four different types of web meeting host, each with their own methods and benefits. Which one do you relate to most? Which one would you like to be hosting your meetings? Loading What type of meeting host are you?
The early bird
You get to the meeting really early – you’re there a good 30 minutes before the scheduled start time without fail. You expect unrealistic deadlines from your meeting attendees. If anything, starting on time is considered starting late. You make sure your documents are uploaded and you are more than ready to begin. However, you often end up spending 10-15 minutes staring at an empty meeting before killing time with any attendees who also joined early. Small talk usually includes the weather and how everyone’s day/week is going. But at least you’re there nice and early.
Common features used: lock meeting, waiting room
Usual outcome: Everyone enters the meeting and it runs according to plan. However, attendees can feel rushed into the meeting knowing the host is already ready and waiting.
Every document is prepared well in advance. You know you have the latest versions of all the files, you even have older drafts to hand, just in case. The preparer ensures everyone is able to enter the web meeting and has every possible piece of information they may need to be able to contribute. Attendees usually receive the meeting invite at least a month in advance along with details of any subsequent meetings the preparer is hosting.
Common features used: file upload, whiteboard, and yet more file upload
Usual outcome: Everyone has access to the most recent file. Everyone knows where to go and how to get there. However, meeting attendees take little responsibility for their own preparation and can become overly reliant on the host.
The laid-back one
You arrive a couple of minutes before the meeting start time. You aren’t overly concerned about being there early and you usually prefer to be spending time replying to emails or finalising large documents. You can upload your files then and there and just hope you can find the right version in a timely manner. Usually, a substantial amount of time is spent locating said files. The laid-back one also allows everyone in the meeting to openly talk about their projects and issues. There is no ‘passing the baton’ for people to talk at specific points, it’s more of a free-for-all.
Common features used: usually just sticks to the audio with some document sharing
Usual outcome: Everyone feels comfortable in the meeting. The meeting host doesn’t place too much pressure on attendees to be overly engaged. But web meetings become less effective and inevitably have to be prolonged to achieve results.
You believe in ‘passing the baton’ only when you have finished presenting your document. Then and only then. Your documents are uploaded and become the cornerstone of the meeting. The dominator encourages attendees to listen in and save their questions for the final five minutes. Usually, though, the time runs out before any questions can be asked.
Common features used: lecture mode, mute, promote/demote presenter, and sometimes, kick!
Usual outcome: The results are predetermined by the meeting host. The outcome is likely to only be one thing, and that is whatever outcome the meeting host desires. It will be a stream of information going in one direction only, from the meeting host to the meeting attendees.
All of the above approaches can be effective – the important thing is to choose the right one for your situation or environment. When you’re hosting, we always recommend that you use a variety of approaches and tailor the meeting to audience requirements and expectations. Meeting hosts help set the scene and provide structure, so if the wrong approach is used, the effectiveness of a meeting can be compromised. So make sure you know your audience!