Are they still there? Assessing if attendees are engaged

Meetings are part of daily life for most people at work, but with more and more people doing the 9 to 5 from various different locations, Web Meetings have become just as important as the face to face. Although Web Meetings are a great way to keep the lines of communication open for businesses with global offices or with a flexible workforce for example, there are still some limitations compared to an old-fashioned face to face meeting. One of the main problems with meetings over the web or phone is that it can be difficult to know whether people are actually engaged or whether they have you on mute whilst doing something completely different with the browser minimised. Sometimes, as a host, you can be talking for what feels like hours without anyone saying a word and talking to the abyss isn’t exactly what most people would call “a productive meeting”.

So how do you actually know people are listening? With that question in mind, here are 5 tips to ensure your guests stay engaged throughout your meeting:

1. Check that your guests are actually in the meeting and have connected their audio

This might sound obvious but problems can occur for guests when entering a meeting, including bad wifi connections, misunderstanding joining instructions etc. Therefore, as the host, it is always a good idea to do a sound and video check to ensure everyone can hear/see you well. This will save someone piping up mid-way through the meeting having missed the most important points.

2. Ask your guests to use the chat feature

By using the chat feature, your guests can ask questions without interrupting you, meaning that you can have a list of questions or points to discuss at the end. As the host, it is important to make sure your guests are aware of this feature, especially if they have not used the tool before.

3. Ask your guests to bookmark points they are interested in

With Powwownow’s Web Meeting tool, hosts and guests can bookmark important points in the meeting and even leave notes for the host to return to later. If you can see your guests are using this feature, you will know that they must be paying attention to the conversation. A bonus is that you can then follow up on these bookmarked points after the meeting has ended.

4. Ask your guests to give sentiment

The sentiment feature is a way for all attendees in the meeting to let you know how they feel at certain points in the meeting. Therefore, if someone is talking and you do not want to interrupt to agree or disagree with their point, you can use the emoticons to show them your thoughts.

5. Share a document or whiteboard

Sometimes simply talking about a point just isn’t enough to keep people engaged and you may need some visual support to explain exactly what you mean. With PowWowNow’s video call tool, both Hosts and Guests can share and annotate documents and whiteboards as much as they want, ensuring that nobody gets confused and drifts off. The annotation tools mean that everyone can get involved and stay engaged.