If your first reaction when you receive a Zoom meeting invitation is a bored, indifferent, or anxious “not again...”, you’re not alone. Virtual meetings can sometimes feel like a lengthy in-person meeting that could have been an email. However, there are instances where virtual meetings are necessary, such as when urgent or highly sensitive matters need to be discussed. That’s why we’ve put together five ways to make your Zoom meetings more engaging and interactive.
1. Give clear instructions ahead of the meeting
Having to participate in a video call when one is expecting an audio meeting can make one feel awkward. Meeting organizers who do not specify what type of meeting will be held usually results in some participants being late to the meeting or feeling anxious because they have to put on more decent clothing than just pajamas at the last minute.
That’s why it’s important to give your team a heads-up about the purpose and aim of a meeting before calling one. It’s also a good idea to let them know if they need video and microphone access, as well as how long the meeting will take. This ensures that the meeting starts and ends on time so that participants can get back to their work quickly.
2. Follow an agenda
One way to ensure participation in a meeting is to create an agenda and assign roles to the participants beforehand. You can add key meeting points to the calendar invite, so participants know what to expect and prepare for any discussions. Having an agenda makes the meeting more focused and ensures participants are less likely to stray from the main subject.
Moreover, creating an agenda will allow you to control the flow of the discussions and also ensure that everyone gets to take part in the meeting. It’s a good idea to go over the agenda at the beginning of the call to remind everyone of the meeting’s objectives.
3. Begin with an ice breaker
A quick five-minute ice breaker at the start of a meeting can go a long way in setting the scene for creativity and engagement. A fun activity can help participants feel comfortable speaking and interacting with one another, enabling them to be more open and honest during the more formal discussions.
4. Use breakout rooms
Zoom has a nifty feature called breakout rooms that allows you to split a large group meeting into a number of smaller meetings. Each session is completely isolated in terms of audio and video, which means participants can have more focused and interactive discussions. This feature is especially useful when you’re meeting with people from different teams or departments and need them to meet as a group without leaving the main call.
To use breakout rooms, you'll need to enable it in your settings. You can create up to 50 breakout rooms in a single call, however, you can only do this if you're using the desktop version of Zoom. Mobile users can’t create or manage breakout rooms but can still join them.
5. Collaborate on a digital whiteboard
Another handy Zoom feature is its built-in whiteboard. This tool allows you to share a digital whiteboard that you and other participants can write or draw on, which is useful in mapping out complex ideas and communicating visuals. This feature eliminates the need to open another app to view a presentation or collaborate on a document.
When you’re in a meeting, simply click the Share Screen button on the toolbar, then select Whiteboard. Click Share and the annotation tools will appear automatically. Presenting something on the screen breaks up the monotony and gives your participants something else to focus on other than the speaker.
Related reading: 4 Ways to improve collaboration between on-site and remote workers
Having the right technology is the foundation for successful virtual meetings. Learn how we at outsourceIT can help your business take advantage of existing and emerging technologies to ensure effective team collaboration. Get in touch with us today!