Those of you who are successfully operating with remote teams will understand the difficulty with keeping your remote team engaged during video call meetings. It can be tricky to convey your conversation in a natural way which can lead to impersonal and sometimes boring meetings.
We have compiled a list of 4 ways that you can improve participation and ban boredom from your meetings.
Encourage Collaboration & Contribution
Let the team know at the start of the meeting that you will be going around the table at various points to get everyone’s input and opinions. Present your participants with a problem or topic that is affecting the business, while having them actively engage to solve the issue by brainstorming together. You can use whiteboards and notepads to note participants ideas throughout the video call.
Alternatively, consider online tools to encourage brainstorming and participation such as Google Docs or Dropbox Paper. Here is a detailed post to help you do just this. These techniques will increase engagement as team members will be expecting to participate from the beginning. Encouraging two-way communication will allow for a more interesting meeting experience.
“Clarify expectation that participation is expected and call on people who you haven’t heard from. Mention them by name and repeat the questions – you don’t want to “catch” them, you want to engage them” – RICK LEPSINGER, President of OnPoint Consulting –
Give Participants Tasks
Give your participants duties during the meeting and rotate these duties for every meeting. Have a team member keep track of the meeting time, write down action points discussed and make note of decisions made. Rotate these roles from meeting to meeting, allowing participants to feel more involved.
Have the remote team members “run” the meeting. They know the agenda and the drill, so they’re perfectly capable of doing it. Give everyone a chance to feel responsible. Keep things orderly by asking the participants to use the “raise your hand” button – DARIN HERLE, Co-Founder at Trackmeet
Use a Virtual Ice Breaker
Starting meetings with an icebreaker question is a great way to relax team members and ease them into the meeting. It can also be a good way for team members to build a friendship and get to know each other better. Remote working is here to stay so it’s crucial to encourage team bonding. Here is a list of 15 top ice breaker questions that you could use in your meeting.
If you feel that you would be putting team members on the spot by asking the question on the call, then you could create the same question with a poll and use the poll results as an icebreaker talking point.
While some video conferencing apps may only show the main speaker on the video, it is great to let all participants know who else is on the call. Video conferencing tools such as Zoom allow you to see all participants at once, so ask team members to switch on their camera function to enhance personal connection.
Bonus Tip: If you’re using a laptop, elevate it so that your colleagues can see your face clearly. Also, avoid placing bright light behind you. Rather, light should be coming from behind the camera to brighten your face.