How to Effectively Prepare for a Virtual Meeting

Thursday 4th of June 2020

Whether you are hosting a video conference or simply attending one, you have to be prepared. Just as you would for a meeting in person, you have to be properly equipped for a virtual meeting. Being prepared for a virtual meeting helps to ensure a professional environment is maintained through a computer screen.

Where to meet?

The biggest difference between a meeting in person and one online is, of course, technology. That is why the first step, above anything else, is choosing the right platform. If you are hosting a virtual conference you need to find the platform that best suits you.

You have to find out which platform lets you best communicate with your clients and colleagues. You have to pick out the right technological tool that will ultimately help you to create a professional work environment through a camera. Here at Be More Social we use to conduct meetings with both our staff and clients.

Time and a place

Once you have found your ideal platform to host your meeting, you can then begin to put the prep in for it.

The first thing to do is set a time and date. Email the timings and where the meeting will be taking place to those involved so that they know when and where to go. Make sure you send out the date with enough time for people to be able to respond with their availability. Also, put it into your own diary to make sure that you don't double book yourself. Once you have confirmation, you can set up text or email reminders for those participating. This feels like an obvious thing to state and we don't mean to patronise but it is a vital part of preparing for a meeting. We say this because life can get hectic, putting your plans into writing ensures that they happen and that you remember they're happening. Setting a time and date not only gives you time to prepare for the meeting, but it gives those invited time to accommodate it into their own working schedules.

What's on the agenda?

Now that you've established the time and date, you have to plan your meeting's agenda. First, think about what it is that you want to say. What are the talking points of your meeting and what kind of discussion do you want to create? Once you have laid down your ideas, you need to organise them into a cohesive format.

Plan the structure. Plan what you want to say at certain points. Organising your ideas into a clear structure helps you to eloquently get your point across. A strong structure also helps to create a sense of leadership as it shows that you are direct and clear in what you have to say.

Plan the structure. Plan what you want to say at certain points.

Visual aids

Providing visual aids to go along with your meeting's agenda can be a useful resource for those participating in the meeting. You can create documents that outline the agenda and send them out beforehand so everyone is aware of what will be discussed during the meeting.

A slideshow presentation is another useful tool. Make use of the share screen function so that you can provide a visual to go along with your words.

On the day

When it comes to the day of the actual meeting you need to be prepared with the technical aspect of it. Test out the link and make sure that it works. Also, email it to the participants at least 5 minutes before the actual meeting time. This ensures that you are the first one on the call and are already there waiting for others. It also means that people already have the link; if they don't receive it, it gives you time to send another one whilst ensuring that the meeting still starts on time.

It's the little touches that can make a difference. Not only will they help to create a positive lasting impression of you, but they will help you to feel more confident. Sometimes online meetings, especially when carried out with people you haven't met in real life yet, can be awkward and slightly overwhelming. Preparing for them helps you to be in control of what is happening.