Online meetings have become the norm since the pandemic struck. Fortunately, this new shift has brought several benefits like exempting workers from exposure to adverse weather and travel delays. Business owners and employers have also witnessed a reduction in the number and frequency of sick leaves in the workplace.
However, virtual meetings are not all bliss or as productive as the host would like them to be. Statistics show that approximately 68% of participants are distracted during online sessions. Attention spans are rapidly diminishing, primarily because of technological interruption. Nevertheless, there are practical steps a host can take to make online meetings more engaging and productive.
Engage the Audience before the Meeting
The importance of building excitement in the participants before the meeting starts can’t be overemphasized. Ask the audience to submit their questions and vote for their topics of interest. They can also take a survey a few days prior.
With this information at hand, you’ll be in a better position to structure the conference in a way that suits the audience. The speakers can tailor their content to improve audience engagement.
If you want participants to be fully engaged, assign roles to different people. Roles to assign may include a note-taker, facilitator, technical supporter, timekeeper, and discipline master. The more lively the people tasked with these roles are, the better the chances of engagement by the rest of the audience.
No one wants to be caught off-guard, and they’ll stay attentive and engaged. Assigning roles also reduces the chances of some people contributing to the meeting more than others. You want to hear more voices as a way of enhancing participation.
If time allows and depending on how big the audience is, pose questions in the middle of the presentation. Let every participant voice their views.
Use Distractions to Your Advantage
When working from home, distractions are almost inevitable. Use it creatively and incorporate it into the workflow. It takes the formality down a notch and helps the participants feel a little relaxed.
It also sends a message to the team not to worry too much about a child or pet requiring their attention while working from home. However, ensure you strike a balance between what’s acceptable and what comes across as outright disregard for work.
Use Gamification to Make the Virtual Meeting Fun
In addition to incorporating subtle distractions, consider incorporating elements from online games. This in itself, can take a presentation from good to stellar. Several tools are available for use to integrate games into the sessions seamlessly.
Another idea is to use a Virtual Photo Booth to create an engaging meeting. It’s the perfect addition to any virtual conference. The participants can take photos or create digital images as a reminder of the meeting. You can display the images captured as a live stream on the company’s website or any other virtual platform.
Virtual meetings shouldn’t be boring for your participants. You don’t want to lose your audience’s attention, and this is why you must strive to engage them. There are several ways to achieve full participation if you’re creative enough. To get you started, assign roles, allow subtle distractions, and incorporate fun activities.