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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

How to Run a Great 'Bad Virtual Meeting' - TMA World

How to Run a Great 'Bad Virtual Meeting'

Running meetings with remote employees in virtual teams can be a real nuisance because they disrupt the smooth flow of more important work (and fun), taking place face to face in the office.      
Here are my top tips and hints to help you run really bad virtual meetings:
  • Audio – Always use the speaker phone, particularly in a noisy office so that attendees will sense that you are important, as they hear you working in a busy and vibrant environment.     
  • Punctuality - Turn up absolutely on time. Not a minute before or after. Although you might need to load slides into your virtual meeting room for a couple of minutes whilst everyone waits around; it helps people relax. Relationships are important so you can use this time bond with your colleagues by talking about last nights’ football score.  Around the world everyone loves football!   
  • Agenda – The great thing about virtual meetings is that participants can’t actually see how unprepared you are. The main thing is to sound confident, as you remember the three most important things you think people should be discussing. If you do this, they’ll think you really do have an agenda!     
  • Multi-tasking – Generally people find listening to other people’s opinions for long periods of time a little tedious; particularly when you can’t even see them!   Multi-tasking is a new generation leadership skill so practice it (social learning on the job is the new big thing!) by updating your Facebook page, as soon as you sense what someone is saying. When they finish, just say ‘that’s a really good point you’ve made’ and they’ll feel acknowledged.  
  • Surprise Questions – If you are ever caught by a surprise question that you either don’t know the answer to, or you did not realise was actually addressed to YOU, (because you were on FB) just say that you ‘agree with what the last person said’.   Even if you disagree later, you can blame it on a lack of context. Alternatively just make a noise like ’’**£s &*$££sss!...and say ‘Sorry we’ve got a really bad line here, hang up, Google the answer and dial back in. That demonstrates commitment.  
  • Screenshare – I generally recommend you avoid using screen share. It’s complicated. No one else knows how to use it either and you don’t want people peeking at unplanned private chat messages about the boss. Screenshares really disrupt the flow of a meeting.       
  • Feedback - Remember that when everyone remains quiet as you make your final resonant concluding statements, silence is normally a sign of approval, respect and agreement for what you have said, so you don’t need to waste the peoples time by asking for feedback. Apparently people from some cultures are always silent and won’t say anything anyway, I’ve never had any complaints from them.
I hope this helps you and remember that great mantra; ‘think global ...but act local! If you have any other bad advice or habits please email me at and we’ll set up a virtual meeting :)

How to Run a Great 'Bad Virtual Meeting' - TMA World

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