Whether you are new to web meetings or a seasoned professional, you have undoubtedly encountered and read many tips that are supposed to up your web conferencing game. Some of these tips you might have already implemented while possibly disregarding the rest. Yet, there are some vital aspects that need to be considered within a web meeting or conference that are relevant to all meetings. These can be implemented right away. There are a selection of mistakes that we at Drum believe are made too frequently by new and experienced users that significantly diminish the overall standard of the meetings. Here are 5 rookie mistakes that are often committed as well as our personal advice on how to improve them.
Mistake #1: Winging it
One of the most overused statements regarding video conferencing involves underestimating the complexity involved in a meeting with real human subjects. Or even overestimating your abilities in successfully communicating with these people, leading to an ineffective meeting. In this instance, one cannot just ‘wing it’ in a meeting. A meeting involves a range of complex aspects that need to be thoroughly pre-planned in order for your meeting to become productive to your company and everyone involved. Thus, we cannot stress the importance of a good meeting agenda. A good meeting agenda can single-handedly elevate an ineffective web meeting into an incredibly productive one. A meeting agenda guarantees that all relevant aspects in a web meeting are covered and the meeting itself finishes at an appropriate time. Follow our agenda setting template and say ‘I’m winging it’ no more.
Mistake #2: Starting Late
Meetings should start at the exact scheduled time and not a minute later or earlier. No excuses can be made and nothing can justify starting late. This is not only highly unprofessional but also unfair to attendees who have turned up on time. The very same meeting attendee will have to wait for you to get organised to start. Starting late will generate feelings of annoyance from the attendees which might result in them not turning up on time or not showing up at all during the next meeting. As a host, you should set high expectations for everyone involved and also strictly comply with them yourself. Setting an example of an appropriate behaviour when attending a meeting. Doing so establishes behavioural standards that everyone else will similarly follow, making your meeting more productive now and in the future.
Mistake #3: Not using technology appropriately
We are living in the 21st century- an age when every successful business needs to have implemented and mastered the skill of web conferencing. Knowing and understanding how to use the web meeting technology is no longer a bonus but a prerequisite to conducting any meeting. That is why you should know that in order to have a successful meeting, you should understand how to use the technology functions appropriately. For example, when someone is talking in a meeting, you should use the mute function to mute everyone else in order to avoid any background noise. Similarly, you should unmute people in accordance with who is presenting and talking in your meeting.
Mistake #4: More meeting attendees is better
There is a common myth circulating around that the more people that attend your meeting, the more successful it will be (Sounds pretty reasonable right?). However, there is only so many people you can have in your web meeting before it becomes unproductive. That is one of those mistakes that can easily be avoided. Only invite people that are relevant to the specific meeting and do not extend this invitation to everyone in your company. It is more productive to have a selection of smaller meetings with relevant people about particular topics involved. Excessive meetings increase the probability of your meeting becoming ineffective and long, and chances are, nothing will be achieved.
Mistake #5: Wrong people dominate the meeting
We are getting there, with the final rookie mistake that tends to happen to even the best of us. This is when a meeting starts and meeting attendees come to the forefront and dominate the meeting. They might be people whose expertise lies elsewhere yet being more extroverted, they are trying to contribute to every aspect that is discussed in the meeting. This is where a meeting facilitator comes in handy. The role of a meeting facilitator is to to be able to tactfully steer the conversation in a direction that focuses on the right people. This will give everyone the chance to express themselves and comment on issues at hand.
There is so much you can be doing within your web meetings and conferences that are at your disposal. Yet, it becomes easy to forget the most important aspects and make rookie mistakes. Just like your virtual meeting, use every tool at your disposal and don’t forget these tips we provided above. You may be hindering your meeting experience if you choose not to follow this guide.