How to fix your virtual business meetings – Part 1

If you had a chance to read our last week’s article A tale of a failed project meeting, you are probably excited to hear the right answer to the number of failures presented in the story. Especially if you recently took part in a similar online conference call as our story’s hero Bill was. Bill’s project meetings must have been one of the worst in history. However, by learning from the worst, you can be the best. There are several mistakes a meeting host and the attendees can make during virtual business meetings which result in an unproductive, inefficient meeting. We will present some of them below.

How to fix your virtual business meetings - part 1
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A tale of a failed project meeting

A man is frustrated after a failed project meeting

Once upon a time on a dull and tired Monday morning, Bill arrived at work at his desk when his phone buzzed. “Google Calendar notification: Project meeting within Drum at 9:15”. Damn, Bill thought. He hadn’t prepared anything for the project meeting. He had been taking care of his sick grandma the whole weekend. Or so everyone in his office thought. When really he had been conducting a real-life experiment on how many drinks a 15 stone marketing manager can down before the dance floor unexpectedly turns upside down.

As there was only 15 minutes before the meeting was scheduled to start, Bill decided to make himself a cup of strong coffee and scroll his Facebook feed until the meeting host (his boss who was in Manchester on a business trip) emailed him the meeting URL. There was no point trying to prepare anything at this stage, so he decided to conjure a little speech if he’s asked to present something. He wasn’t even sure what the meeting was about. Preparing at this point would have been pointless. He joined the meeting by clicking the link. And so the meeting began.

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Today is the day when you can finally stop dreading the conference call

Last week we talked about how online meeting and browser-based web conferencing tools can make your working life better with enhanced collaboration. Holding meetings and conference calls online or within the browser can increase connectedness, productivity, flexibility and most importantly, save you money. But not all conference calls bring you these incredible results. Why? One great example of a failed conference call can be seen in the video below.

You don't need to be dreaded about web conference calls anymore!
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Breaking down barriers with browser-based collaboration – step into 2017

How is it that some companies like Drum seem to master collaboration? Well, the answer is simple: they collaborate on the web. Whether you are an SME or a large corporation, you want your teams to collaborate efficiently and without major challenges. The only real way to achieve this in the 21st century is on the wonderful world-wide-web. Yes, you are using email and you might even use messaging apps like Slack. That’s great. But have you tried hosting a meeting on the web, more precisely on your browser? You can’t really find a more efficient way to collaborate than that!

browser-based collaboration
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Game of Thrones – or Game of Meetings? Do you possess the right collaboration skills to rule the North?

Are your team collaboration skills straight from a Game of Thrones meeting

Anyone who has hosted or attended an online meeting will know the potential struggles of having to conduct web-based collaboration with different types of people (who might even seem reluctant to collaborate). Everyone has experienced a wonderful cooperation with someone on the other side of the world with whom communicating happens almost automatically. Like you have known them your whole life. With the new digital technologies you can collaborate on the web pretty much with anyone from anywhere in the world. This also means that there are tons of different characters you have to deal with who are used to their own kinds of team collaboration skills. There are some great and not-so-great characters in every meeting, just like in Game of Thrones. But which one are you?

Since GoT (Game of Thrones as all the fans should know!) can be seen, heard, pretty much even smelled everywhere you go whether you like it or not. We wanted to try and find inspiration on the different characters represented in the show. Every character has their own way of putting their team collaboration skills into practice. Whether you are an experienced meeting guru or in the beginning of your career. After reading this article you will most likely reconsider the way you act during a meeting. If you are the meeting host, good luck having a Game of Thrones meeting with these characters…

Ned Stark is one of the meeting characters with poor team collaboration skills
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Are you holding an important meeting?

Whenever talking about meetings or teleconferences, whether it is with a friend or a family member, you often hear these words: “We had a pointless meeting again today with..”. Hearing this so often got me thinking: Is there a difference between a pointless meeting and an important meeting? Or is it all subjective; someone might consider a meeting more important than others? Could be. But, there are characteristics that only describe an important meeting. If all your meetings tick at least one of the boxes below: great! If not, it might be time to look into the reasons you keep holding pointless meetings and start working towards to being every employee’s dream company to work for. With ZERO pointless meetings and purely important ones! (Like we have it here at Drum)

Important meeting defined by Drum
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5 reasons why a virtual meeting room is the best thing in the world (of meetings)

Virtual Meeting Room (VMR) is not like your traditional conference room: it’s much better! Not only does it facilitate collaboration due to variety of tools. It also enables collaboration anywhere, anytime, with any device. Below we have presented 5 issues that you will never experience in a virtual meeting room that might happen to you in a conference room.

Why is virtual meeting room better than traditional conference room? Drum will tell you
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How to avoid being interrupted in a meeting

How to prevent from being interrupted in a meeting

You have just opened your mouth and started to make an excellent point in a meeting. However, somebody immediately shuts you down by talking over you with an opinion. It was actually exactly the same point you were trying to make. You would have just needed a bit more time to say it. So irritating, am I right? Some companies like Drum are lucky to have a culture of listening to others, but in the global business environment you most likely will end up in a meeting with either a client or business partner who shamelessly keeps interrupting you.

If you encounter an interrupter, before going all Charlotte (Sex and the City fans know) and ‘curse the day they were born’ or sending icy looks to their way. Try our tips on how to prevent from being interrupted in the first place. If you do however get interrupted, remember to “keep it cool” and keep your professional image intact. Thus, do not sink to the same level as the interrupter.

The below tips work for both traditional and online meetings. Some of them are more relevant for face-to-face meetings or video conferences, some work wonders during online meetings. If you want to develop your communication skills even further, you can adapt these tips to your everyday business situations. You can also try them the next time you are giving a presentation. They are extremely simple, yet effective, and we at Drum love to practice them every day!

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5 questions you should ask after a meeting

You have just finished the most interesting and efficient online meeting you have hosted so far. You feel extremely confident and positive about the outcome after the meeting. The preparation was on point. Everyone was pitching ideas and asking questions. Documents were shared and meeting management tools were used (we love them here at Drum). The attendees even laughed at your start-of-the-meeting joke (miracles do happen). It felt like the meeting ran on its own and everyone was on the same page. What could go wrong after all this excellence?

If you have ever experienced the above situation and feeling of invincibility, you might have also experienced the possible falling from the clouds to the hard concrete. What went wrong? Everyone had such a great feeling after the meeting but none of your goals were actually met. This is because you disregarded one of the three key areas of a meeting: before, during and after. The meeting doesn’t actually finish the moment you finish it. There are a number of questions every meeting host should ask after each meeting (why, how, who, what and when). We have listed examples of them below.

5 after meeting questions
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Everyone in a startup is naturally an entrepreneur and not just a worker

You stroll into the office full of Startpreneurs (we will explain later). A small team. Everyone buzzing around their desk. Your headphones on, heads down and tapping on the keyboard. Moments where open discussions fill the room. Problem solving and problem creating. A start up is a fast moving and economical vehicle. Think of Tesla as an analogy. Elon Musk has delivered a vehicle which is capable of moving at significant speeds using the ‘LUDICROUS MODE’ but is super efficient with electricity.

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