Working from home, I face a schedule filled with never-ending, back-to-back videoconferences. I am constantly busy, but my productivity has fallen. Tangible results are lacking at the end of business, and I work longer hours. With everyone banished from traditional offices, regular meetings are vital to keeping the ball rolling. We are experiencing a learning curve, but I’m already discovering best practices.
First-rate meetings have an agenda, provided by the meeting host. The call lasts as long as necessary, but not longer. I appreciate a 5, 10, or 20-minute talk, instead of droning on to fill artificial half-hour increments. Respectful participants help the conversation by muting themselves unless they are speaking. The mute feature helps reduce background noises that can override the speaker’s mic, causing them to repeat themselves. Using the mute and off-camera options, lessen the chance of awkward situations and potential embarrassment.
At the kickoff, the host should outline the objectives, introduce any new attendees, and set clear expectations for asking questions, and when comments are appropriate. As an attendee, don’t be that person checking email, or performing some other task, who must then ask for the question to be repeated. The last five minutes should summarize the discussion’s key points, and deliverables, and provide an opportunity for clarifications. The presenter should also email recap notes to the team.
After multiple videoconferences, I log out, and turn on my favorite program, ready to unwind, only to discover it is being televised via a conference call.
Do you have videoconferencing pet peeves?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer