Are the online meetings you chair interesting and productive, or boring and dull?

Be someone who runs a great meeting!

As an online meeting organiser or chair, your job is all about timing, tone and tempo. It doesn’t matter how formal or serious the subject matter might be, we all look forward to a meeting where the tone is amenable and pleasant; we dread a meeting that is stiff or stilted, or which rambles all over the place.

Here is a useful “to do” list for running a great online meeting:

  1. Tell people what time the meeting will finish, as well as what time it will start
  2. Make sure everyone has access to the platform chosen
  3. Issue an agenda, along with the link,  and if that sounds too formal, a few items that are to be covered
  4. Make sure attendees know what is expected of them by way of contribution to each item. Discussion? Decision? Brain storm? Report?
  5. Position yourself well in your screen, light yourself well, and unclutter your background.
  6. Start on time, a bit of catch-up chat for a minute or two is pleasant, if appropriate
  7. Outline a framework, what is going to happen, what are the outcomes hoped for, how people should contribute. Welcome any late arrivals as they pop in.
  8. Declare the meeting open and get underway
  9. Introduce the first item
  10. Call people in to speak, and look out for hands raised
  11. Watch your screen gallery and note how engaged people are
  12. Refer to people by name from time to time to keep them focused
  13. Sum up each item, thanking the contributor and repeating the decision made or the way forward
  14. Keep it interesting and move on smoothly from one item to the next
  15. Five minutes before the end begin to wrap up, finish on time, thank participants, and agree on next meeting.

From Speak Now: Communicate Well in the Workplace

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