Remote communication

Virtual Meeting Best Practices: 11 Tips for Effective Meetings

Published on January 31, 2022 • Updated on December 7, 2022 • About 6 min. read

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Virtual meetings should be about sharing ideas, engaging in relevant topics, and finding solutions as a team. And yet that’s not always the reality.

When meetings go wrong, people start to switch off, topics go on tangents, attendees stop participating – and the end result? Key issues remain unresolved.

But when meetings go great, there’s a buzz about the team, individuals know what’s expected of them, and productivity goes up. This is why virtual meeting best practices count – they make the most of your team’s time together.

Read on to see how you can get more out of your meetings.

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50 Ice Breakers For Virtual Meetings
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4 Virtual meeting best practices to engage your team

Virtual meetings should be fantastic opportunities for teams to bond and share ideas, so put these tips into practice and get your teams motivated.

We recommend the following best practices to prepare for your virtual meetings:

  1. Choose the right tool
  2. Plan out your agenda
  3. Test the tech
  4. Consider time zones

Now see why...

Before the virtual meeting

Choose the right tool

This is an attendance list for virtual meetings from the Livestorm platform. It also indicates whether specific individuals have replayed the meeting or not.

The platform you use has a direct impact on how well your teams interact.

Problems you might encounter with the wrong platform include a confusing technical process to start a meeting, people struggling to join your event, or not being able to see who attended – so choose wisely.

Know what the best virtual meeting platforms are, and use what’s most important to your team to make the right choice. For instance, you might want an in-browser platform that’s easy to get started, with whiteboards for brainstorming sessions, and which automatically records meetings.

Some of the essential things you should expect to see in an online meeting software are:

  • Accessibility and ease-of-use
  • High-quality video and sound with no lag
  • Interactive tools for the best in-room engagement
  • Reporting analytics to learn more about your meetings
  • Covers every part of your meeting: before, during, and after

Plan out your agenda

When you plan a meeting clearly, it helps to clarify objectives, and avoid running overtime. It’s a great time to share with the team beforehand to give everyone the chance to think about what they want to say or ask.

Include a timeline in your meeting agenda (this will help keep topics focused), and allow for some friendly chat to kick things off.

Test the tech

Don’t get confused in the middle of a video share – fun engagement features should be super-quick to implement and hassle-free. So if you don’t know your platform, give yourself some time to experiment with it first.

Or just choose a platform that’s totally intuitive for everyone to use and doesn’t need any downloads, installations, or tech know-how whatsoever (any guesses who we have in mind?).

Consider time zones

Maybe you can’t include everyone in all your virtual meetings – but can make sure everyone takes part in some of your virtual meetings. So take into account people’s core work times, the time zone each person works in, and work around them so everyone is involved.

Now you’re all set and organized, it’s time to start the meeting itself. Once you’re in-room, we recommend following these virtual meeting best practices:

  1. Stick to planned timing
  2. Manage your mic
  3. Set the tone
  4. Engage, engage, engage
  5. Summarize what counts

Now dive into the details...

During the virtual meeting

Stick to planned timing

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But sticking to your agenda timings is one of the most important things you can do in a virtual meeting – and it’s not only about respecting other people’s time.

By being strict on timings, even though some issues may go unresolved, you start to create a virtual meeting culture, where each topic is focused and tangent-free. We've created a list of [virtual meeting ground rules and etiquette] (https://livestorm.co/blog/virtual-meeting-etiquette) that can help make create a culture where everybody feels valued and respected.

Knowing you have to achieve objectives and decide what’s actionable within those time limits will drive your discussion points throughout all your virtual meetings.

Manage your mic

It’s easy for people to switch off from the background noise going on around them but it’s very hard to block out if you’re on the other end of the line, so set a rule for meeting attendees to mute themselves unless they’re about to say something (and if you’re using Livestorm, just hold the shortcut “M” any time you want to speak).

Set the tone

As the virtual meeting host, you set the tone for how people interact throughout your meeting – and if you want your team to be creating, you have to be creative first!
So break the ice with a game or activity to kick things off – even sharing a meme you find funny can be a great way to put a smile on your team’s faces, get them relaxed, and in the mood for sharing ideas, and engaging with each other. Speaking of engagement...

Engage, engage, engage

The leader of the video call is engaging with the virtual attendees and there is a list included of all the people in the meeting, with their icons visible as smaller tiles below the speaker.

Why not use interactive engagement features throughout all your virtual meetings?

Instead of being passive observers, your meeting attendees can be active participants. They can get creative with whiteboards, make decisions with polls, share opinions in the chat tab, and react to ideas with fun emojis all during your virtual meeting!

And if you can use just one user-friendly platform, with all these engagement features to streamline the entire process of meeting creation, all the better!

Summarize what counts

Before saying your thank-yous and goodbyes, close out all your video conferences with a summary of everything you’ve discussed. Take care to go through each actionable item so everybody knows what next actions are expected.

Or, even better, randomly choose someone at the end of each meeting to close out and summarize for you. This shouldn’t be a test to call people out, it should be quick and fun with others pitching in to make sure all the key points are included (and, yes, it’ll help keep people alert when they know it could be them).

Your meeting’s complete, but there are still more platform features to take advantage of – we recommend following these virtual meeting best practices:

  1. Share meeting replays with attendees
  2. Reflect and critique

Now to dig deeper...

After the virtual meeting

Share meeting replays with attendees

Meeting replays are fantastic for attendees to check up on any details after the event.

With the best platforms, you can set up automated recordings at the time you send out meeting invites, with all attendees (and those who couldn’t make it) receiving an email of the meeting replay as soon as it’s over. Simple.

Reflect and critique

The last thing you should always do is have a sit-down (you deserve it) and think about what was positive about your virtual meeting, and what could have gone better. Lending this level of importance to how successful your virtual meetings are will help you make each one better than the one before.

Use your virtual meeting platform’s reporting engagement features to look at how people participated and which tools they enjoyed most. If the meeting reports show they loved the polls, questions, upvotes, and chats, you’ll know you’re onto a winner.

Create impactful virtual meetings

People working together, engaged in relevant discussion points, focused on achieving positive outcomes – isn’t that what teamwork is all about? It’s what virtual meetings should be about, too.

So start using video engagement features to get your team connected, gear them towards realizing the group objectives, and set the tone for positive interaction – and successful online meetings.

Two people in a video call on Livestorm engaging in an  insightful conversation from their browsers
50 Ice Breakers For Virtual Meetings
50 icebreakers, questions and games for virtual meetings
Ebook Ebooks

50 Ice Breakers For Virtual Meetings

Discover 50 ice breakers questions, activities, and games that will make your virtual meetings fun and engaging.

Read more

Frequently asked questions about virtual meeting best practices

What are the benefits of a virtual meeting?

Virtual meetings don’t just make remote working possible, they’re fantastic for engaging participants and driving team collaboration. With online meetings, you can use interactive features like screen sharing, live polls, and question upvotes to get people involved and working together.

What are the do and don'ts of virtual meetings?

You can get the best out of your virtual meetings by following these simple tips:

  1. Organize a carefully timed agenda before the meeting
  2. Give everyone the chance to speak at the start
  3. Take regular breaks
  4. Use body language to show you’re engaged in the conversation
  5. Avoid any background noise and place yourself on mute when not speaking
  6. Close your meeting by summarizing all the main points
  7. Share a replay of the virtual meeting with all the participants

What makes a virtual meeting successful?

Virtual meetings are most successful when everyone is engaged in the discussion points and has the opportunity to make a tangible contribution. Interactive engagement features help your participants collaborate, so use a video engagement platform for the best virtual meetings.

50 Ice Breakers For Virtual Meetings
50 icebreakers, questions and games for virtual meetings
Ebook Ebooks

50 Ice Breakers For Virtual Meetings

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