Hosting Board Meetings at a Virtual Office? Here Are A Few Tips
Posted on 06/05/2018
With technologies like Skype and WebEx that allow your business to hold meetings with people in several different locations at once, it's almost as easy to meet virtually as it is in person. But when hosting a board meeting at a virtual office, there are several other factors to think about that often get overlooked. Here are a few tips to help you make your virtual board meeting a success.
Prepare Your Audience
When you're meeting with people online, you can't simply hand out an agenda to everyone when they arrive. Screen sharing can be a great way to ensure that everyone is on the same page, but sometimes it's best to make sure that your audience is prepared before the meeting starts. It's a good idea to send out an email a day or two in advance that contains not just the meeting agenda but also any support material you might refer to, such as PowerPoint slides, speaking notes, and suggested readings. That way people can print out these materials and use them to follow along and take notes if they wish.
Your Appearance Matters
Dressing for a virtual meeting is different than dressing for an in-person meeting. This is not to say that you need to wear your best possible outfit, but rather to say that there are certain things you can wear that can be distracting and take away from the flow of your virtual meeting. Bright colors and busy patterns don't typically show up very well on computer screens. Don't wear something boring, but wear solid colors that aren't flashy or distracting. Also think about what will be behind you when you're on screen. Remove anything that can disrupt the flow of a meeting, and try to find a background that contrasts with what you're wearing so that you'll stand out.
Avoid Technological Distractions
Sometimes webcams or webcasting aren't the right option for you. If you have a large number of people at your virtual meeting, or if people are using a slower internet connection, pictures can lag and become pixilated, or not work at all. If that's the case, it may be best to stick to audio only for your meeting so that your participants aren't distracted by poor or broken images.
Have a Backup Plan
Even if you stick with simpler technology, there will always be failures from time to time. Just like in a face-to-face meeting where you have a backup plan in case the slide projector breaks down, you need to have a backup plan for your virtual meeting as well. If you lose your internet connection, make sure you have the phone numbers of the people you are meeting with so they won't be left in the dark. Learn how to use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot in case you need it, or learn how to broadcast to your meeting participants directly from your phone if your computer breaks down.
Many of the same principles that apply to face to face board meetings apply to virtual board meetings as well. Sometimes, though, you have to think about these principles in different ways in order to make your virtual meeting a success. If you do, your virtual board meetings should be just as productive as regular ones, if not more.