How To Maximize Your Hybrid Meetings – Premeeting Tips
Are you feeling that most of your time is taken up by meetings? Even worse, unproductive, redundant meetings that message gets lost in? If so, you are one of many. Joseph Allen Ph.D. is a meeting scientist whose study shows that 75% of pre-pandemic workdays were spent preparing, organizing and attending meetings – yet half of meetings are rated as poor quality then. Now, we additionally face the pains of remote workers and clients who are unfamiliar with virtual meetings paired with technology that isn’t user-friendly or compatible with all required platforms.
Where to start?
We are going to assume that you already have the conference room technology needed for a well ran virtual meeting. What should you start with when planning a productive meeting?
Seems simple and basic but taking the time to set aside what exactly you want this meeting to do, will make a big difference in the long run. What do you want this meeting to accomplish? How will you know this meeting was successful? What takeaways do you want your attendees to have?
Next, ask yourself these important questions:
- Is my meeting’s purpose & goals clear?
- Is collaboration and open discussion going to achieve / improve my goal?
- Is the meeting goal complex or sensitive in topic?
If you are answering yes to 2 out of 3 questions, a meeting is likely the best format for your needs. If you found that you answered no, you may need to consider using a well written email, messaging the individual/s or a quick phone call instead.
Who is Attending?
When thinking of your list of attendees, recall how many meetings have you been a part that you just didn’t need to be. Determine who needs and is part of your meeting’s goal and messaging first. Then make a second list of those who would benefit from the virtual meeting. You can then narrow this new list down by who will be able to engage with the topic. If the purpose is collaboration, try sticking to five to seven attendees.
Now, you may have a third list of those who you originally thought should attend but didn’t make it through list two. These individual/s may get a follow-up email or message with the notes from the meeting along with the recording.
Structuring your virtual meeting will provide a more comprehensive experience for your attendees. After determining your goals, premeeting questions and your attendee list, next up is your agenda.
Keeping conversations on track will make any meeting more productive. Prepare your agenda and send it to your attendee list; this will allow them to formulate their own thoughts as well as be up to speed on the topic and goal of the meeting.
Planning Your Time Accordingly
Having work from anywhere (homes, offices, airports and coffee shops) doesn’t change how much time we all spend in meetings. It is important to balance your time with these things in mind:
- How much time do I need to cover each point of my agenda?
- How much time does my attendees have to participate in this meeting?
- Will this meeting be engaging for longer than 15-45 minutes?
Staying connected with coworkers, customers and prospects – regardless of location, is more crucial now than ever before. Mastering the art of collaboration will improve your own schedule, your colleagues takeaway from meeting and your customers satisfaction.