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Make Remote Meetings Your Ally, Not Your Enemy

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Best Practices

A good meeting leader is worth their weight in gold, and you have the ability to dramatically improve the experience for your attendees:


Here are a few Meeting Leader DO's:

1. Share just what you need

When you share your whole screen, it can be distracting for attendees, and no one wants to be embarrassed by a notification at an inopportune moment. So, rather than sharing your whole screen, choose the application you'll need. Notice that you can also choose to Share computer sound for videos if you're using Zoom.
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2. Use chat to get lots of input quickly

If you need to take a pulse of the group, or get everyone's opinion quickly rather than going "around the room" just ask people to post a yes or no or quick thought to chat. It will let you (and the whole group) see the results quickly. You can then use it as a jumping off point for the next part of the discussion.

3. Ask people directly to avoid the "oh, sorry go ahead"

If you're on a virtual meeting with more than 4 people, it's inevitable that you'll interrupt or step on each other's toes. As a meeting leader, you can ask people directly to reduce this issue. For example:
"I'd love to know x. Maria would you like to start us off?"
"Thanks Maria. Matt, what are your thoughts?"
Note: You can also use chat as a place where people can say that they want to jump in next.

4. Start with remote people

Remote people often get the short end of the stick so we need to work a bit harder to fully include them. Before opening the conversation to people who are in the room with you, check in with the virtual folks first. For example:
"San Francisco, let's start with you. Any questions?"

5. Have someone monitor chat

Especially if you have a big meeting, have a buddy monitor that chat so they can let you know when questions come up, and when people need to speak.

6. Share your camera if you're presenting

I don't like seeing my face on screen either, but it makes such a difference. By seeing your facial expressions up close, it makes your presentation easier to follow. And, if you're using Zoom, you can use their sneaky "pretty filter" to smooth out those rough edges:
Under Zoom > Preferences > Video check the following:

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