How to hold an effective web meeting

With web meetings being a cost (and time) effective way to stay connected with people outside your office, they’re becoming increasingly popular amongst working professionals. But are you getting the most out of your web meeting? Here are our tips on how to hold an effective web meeting.

  • Before the meeting
    It all starts here. Once you’ve set a time and date for your web meeting, you and your participants will need to make sure you’re ready and prepped in advance.

    It’s important that all the participants are aware about what needs to be achieved. This is where including an agenda in the calendar invite can be useful. Setting timelines will also help you to focus on the relevant topics and stay on track.

    Before sending the invitation, double check that the URL, PIN and dial-in numbers are correct. This is a step overlooked by many, so to avoid causing any confusion and delays to your meeting, make sure that you double check your details and everyone knows how the system works.

    Designating a host can also help you to run an effective web meeting. This will be the person who will act as a moderator, set the tone of the conversation, and make sure everything is covered in the agenda.

  • During the meeting
    Once you’ve joined your web meeting, now you need to keep your audience engaged. Add video if possible, as keeping eye contact is always an effective way to keep your audience focused. For the content of your web meeting itself, favour short videos and screen share your slides, but make sure you’re not just reading off the slides or you’ll quickly lose your audience’s interest.

    Avoid multitasking. Although it can be tempting to finish a report you’re working on when your colleagues are speaking, if you don’t focus on the topics being discussed, then you’ll be wasting both of your time.

    Don’t lose track of time. It’s important to keep to the timelines you set in the agenda, the last thing you want is a meeting running overtime that makes you late for your next appointment. This is where the moderator can be useful in keeping a time check and making sure all items are ticked off of the agenda.

    Engage attendees by assigning talking points. If each participant is given a point to explain during the web meeting they will feel more involved and naturally prepare for the meeting if they know they have to speak.

  • After the meeting
    You just finished your call and all objectives are ticked off the checklist… but are you really done there? Not quite.

    You should always send a follow-up email to all attendees, also including those who couldn’t attend. The email should summarise the key takeaways and any pending tasks so there is a clear direction of where to go from there. If some follow-up actions are to be done you need to clearly assign them to each participant with the deadline against it.

    Finally, save your work: all notes, chats, whiteboard… you don’t want to lose your precious data and the thinking behind it. It’s therefore important when you are selecting a web meeting provider to ensure it offers you a recording option to keep a trace of your work.

    So in your next web meeting, make sure it’s effective by doing your due diligence before, during and after your meeting!

    Presenting to a larger audience? To learn the difference between a web meeting and a webinar, click here.