5 tips for successful virtual meetings 

Image of coloured pencil tips representing 5 tips for virtual meetings.

Key takeaways

  • It's our responsibility to ensure the virtual meetings we are holding are the best they can be — not only to enhance their effectiveness, but for the people taking part.
  • Starting to implement better strategies in to your meetings will instantly step up the game and make them work better — for everyone! 

So, we are all used to virtual meetings by now — they’ve become part of our day to day work. It’s tempting to rest on our laurels. Yes, we can run a team stand up, or host an ideation session — but can we do it well? Virtual meetings are going nowhere, and with 44% of people saying they are unable to complete the rest of their work due to ineffective meetings, it’s time to start looking at what we can do to cultivate more effective and successful virtual meetings. 


Our 5 top tips for successful virtual meetings

  1. Taxi meetings
  2. Embrace the tech
  3. collaboration
  4. Understand your camera use
  5. Set intentionally healthier virtual meetings 

Tip 1 — Taxi meetings 

What you are already doing? 

So you have probably never heard of a taxi-meeting before, but it’s something we at VTT came up with ourselves and like to incorporate in to our meetings. Imagine you are heading to a face-to-face meeting with a client. You jump in a taxi with your colleague on the way to the meeting room, and without thinking about it, the conversation turns to your upcoming meeting. You might not even have realised, but by the end of that journey you’ve both established your goals, discussed any questions you would like to ask, and finalised who leads on what. In short, you’ve done your prep work and you are in the zone. It’s something that comes naturally. But when we are holding virtual meetings, often this prep time gets forgotten. 

How can you do better? 

The key is making this intentional. At VTT, we book a 15 minute taxi-meeting with our co-workers beforehand where we can all establish what we want to get out of the session, and how we are going to achieve it. After the meeting has finished, we jump back in to our taxi-meeting afterwards, where we can debrief, set some next steps, and summarise the key points. Result? Everyone goes in to the meeting feeling prepared, and everyone leaves on the same page — clear about the take aways and the next steps. 

Tip 2 —  Embrace the tech! 

What are you already doing? 

You probably already know that Teams has lot’s of features that make hosting and participating in virtual meetings even easier. But as they are constantly updated, it can be hard to keep on track with them all — let alone learning how to use them all. And what you don’t know, you don’t know! 

How can you do it better?  

We picked two of our top tech features that you can easily incorporate in to your virtual meetings to help them run smoother.  

  1. Loop component — this is a great feature that can add some structure or direction to your meetings. Scrap the scribbled down to-do lists or memorising the meeting agenda! The loop component allows you to create editable and tables, tasks lists, check lists or bullet points, whilst in a meeting which are shared in the meeting chat feature for everyone to see. In fact, you can even use it as the meeting agenda, or your takeaway actions.  
  2. Microsoft co-pilot — ok, so we can’t not talk about co-pilot — it is going to make leading meetings SO much easier — allowing you to focus on communicating with those around you. It can catch you up on anything you have missed, summarise key points, create action points, help create meeting agendas based on chat history, and can even answer specific questions you ask about the meeting — “What decisions were made; What are some next steps?” 

Tip 3 — Collaboration 

What are you already doing? 

Perhaps you already think everyone is already collaborating  in your virtual meetings. You hold discussions, bounce ideas around, but does this make for a meaningful collaboration session? In fact, research shows that 42% of employees contribute nothing in meetings. We work so much better when we are immersed in our ideas, in a space where everyone can contribute, and that means utilising the technology available to us. 

How can you do it better? 

Here are just two examples of great features within Teams for hosting collaboration sessions. 

  1. Microsoft whiteboard makes working together simple, in real time on a meeting, or asynchronously.  Everyone can easily contribute, and with templates to suit different outcomes, it is a great tool for brainstorming, storyboarding, or designing. 
  2. Excel live is a fairly new feature that can be used for opening and collaborating on spreadsheets together, ensuring everyone is quite literally on the same page. And there is no more asking “can someone shout if they have a question?”. You can still see all of your participants and the chat box, which makes it much more intuitive. 

Tip 4 — Understand your camera use 

What are you doing? 

How many virtual meetings do you have where you find yourself facing a blank wall of icons? Not only can this be demotivating, it is also hard to create a sense of connection. 

How can you do it better? 

Understand that sometimes people don’t want their cameras on. Agreeing on rules for camera use can help everybody, perhaps ask everyone to turn on their cameras at the start and end of every meeting to say hello, and goodbye. This ensures everyone still has a chance to connect with each other. 

For some people, they may be weirded out by seeing their own face, and this causes them to turn off their cameras. Like talking to yourself in a mirror, it can make you self-conscious and be super distracting when trying to participate in a meeting. There’s a nifty little trick you can share with your group to help.  

Simply click on the three little dots on your video to hide your face, everyone else can see it but you can’t. Just remember not to forget that your camera is still on… 

Tip 5 — Set intentionally healthier virtual meetings 

What are you doing? 

Ok, so we’ve probably all heard of walking meetings, standing meetings, or even some of those who work whilst on a treadmill. It all sounds great, and we intend to try it out. But often our intentions end there. We remain stuck at our desks and our productivity, and wellbeing , can take a hit. 

How you can do it better? 

Set yourself up to succeed! Ok, so it may not be feasible to change up your meetings everyday, but with careful planning it can be entirely possible to ensure you have successful virtual meetings.  

Set out a plan — that could mean scheduling in a walking meeting for a set day, or blocking out a time in your calendar to self-reflect before and after a meeting. It gives you chance to prepare, so you know well in advance what you need to put in place to facilitate it.  

It is super easy to say “I can’t today because of …”  but by making sure you are intentional about scheduling in healthier virtual meetings, you can plan and prep accordingly. 

Want to learn more?

Are you interested in learning more virtual training tips for delivery? Take a look at our Mastering virtual meetings workshop!

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