What if you and your clients could look forward to video meetings instead of viewing them as a necessary evil?
According to a 2019 Korn Ferry study, “89% of workers say they waste time every week attending unproductive meetings and calls.”
This current trend of poorly executed meetings provides ample opportunity for you to shine as a video meeting lover.
You can transform this aspect of the customer journey with the right execution, leading to a more fulfilling role and more enduring customer relationships that increase your value in the market.
before the meeting
Laying a solid foundation for an excellent meeting is where preparation comes in.
Do your homework
It’s helpful to know if the attendees – or someone close to them – has had a recent milestone that involves congratulating, cheering with them, or simply asking about it.
You simply want to conduct a proper survey to ensure that you have the right amount of current and meaningful knowledge. Believe me; It is well worth the extra 5-10 minutes of research and will be a game changer for both parties.
Put questions and answers in your agenda
Questions are inevitable in video calls, especially in our field.
Aside from the oral summary mentioned later in this article, you will need to reserve the last five minutes for questions and answers.
If you neglect this practice, you risk running out of time or rushing your exit, both of which are no video calls.
Send a manual reminder
First, you’ll want to manually send a meeting reminder an hour or two before your match.
Automation isn’t fail-proof, so manual reminders ensure attendees are present despite technological glitches.
Manual reminders also add a nice human element by personalizing the experience and conveying your engagement and interest.
Consider introducing a sense of light humor into these reminders to build rapport with the participants.
In short, this practice serves as a simple way to go the extra mile.
Audio and video confirmation
The most important pre-meeting check is to run your show 5-10 minutes early to make sure your audio and video are fully functional.
You’ll want to see the shape of your wallpaper and make sure that your headboard is under control.
Notice the mute button, and be careful not to mute yourself while speaking on the call!
during the meeting
No matter how often we do video calls, there is always some annoyance.
Eliminate embarrassment by simply asking a question or comment about the attendees or their work.
The ideal scenario here involves celebrating something with the participants, as we covered above.
This approach may not be as innovative as the fun icebreaker suggestions, but it is safe.
It enhances the customer experience by adding another level of personal touch.
Here are some examples of life events:
- Brand memory: The company recently celebrated (or is about to celebrate) its anniversary since its launch.
- Role memory: An attendee recently celebrated (or is about to celebrate) an anniversary in their current role, with the company, or in the industry.
- last upgrade.
- last post/article.
- A recent project or case study.
- Brand redesign and/or website.
- Wedding anniversary.
- The birth of a child.
- Favorite professional sports team victory.
Note: Most of these events are not limited to direct attendees; They can also apply to a loved one.
Communicate with difficult breakpoints
One tip to a meeting, in my book, is not to bring up a hard stop at the beginning of the meeting.
Tell those present, as early as possible, that you need to finish work at the agreed time.
Not doing so can lead to an awkward end to the meeting, depending on how you manage the time.
Repeat the agenda
As a matter of strategic courtesy, remind invitees of the meeting time frame and make sure it’s still convenient for them.
Something like, “Looks like we’ve allotted 30 minutes for this meeting. Does this still work for you?”
Second, don’t assume attendees have read your itinerary.
Make sure they know what’s on the list, and let them make a supplement.
This crucial step in the meeting sets appropriate expectations and gives attendees a sense of control, both of which will put them at ease.
Stick to the agenda
We all know that this is much more difficult than it seems.
It is important to make sure that you use the agenda as your guide to carrying out the meeting.
Don’t veer into areas that weren’t previously agreed upon by both parties.
First, it can be seen as unprofessional to explode in obscurities not included in the original talking points.
The truth is, people do it all the time, and it probably goes unnoticed.
However, here’s what won’t go unnoticed: a tightly managed meeting that sticks to the agenda, and that will stand out in the crowd every time.
How to handle terminal queries
What about difficult scenarios where attendees insert a comment or question guaranteed to disrupt or delay the meeting?
In this case, it is best to simply acknowledge the question and ask for permission to address it at the end of the meeting.
This provides another opportunity to give your guests a sense of control while running your meetings efficiently.
The attendees will also appreciate asking their questions at the end of the meeting because it is another indication that it was listened to and prioritized.
At the end of the meeting, you have two options.
If you have a hard stop, tactfully highlight the success of the meeting and ask permission to address their question via email or similar.
You can even add it to the next meeting if applicable.
Even if you have some flexibility, you should still emphasize the successful meeting before any collateral concerns are addressed, which helps ensure they understand that you supported their end of the bargain.
Provide a verbal summary of the meeting (discussed below) and highlight that you finish on time, indicating that you managed the meeting well and were respectful of their time.
The summary is followed by a comment like, “Fred, you had a previous question about ________. I have some extra time if you’d like to extend the meeting, or we can address that via email if that works better for you.”
Notice that you tactfully stand out that they prolong the meeting.
Provide an oral summary
Orally summarizing a meeting is one of my favorite things to do when you’re done.
It enhances elaboration, provides helpful summaries, and creates a less difficult ending.
These summaries should be comprehensive, highlighting all the key talking points of the meeting, including incidental topics.
They should also be concise and bullet-like statements.
finish on time
This cannot be overstated.
First of all, it shows that you respect everyone’s time.
Secondly, it shows that you know how to run a meeting efficiently.
And if you have covered everything necessary in less than the allotted time for the meeting – feel free to end the meeting early. After all, who doesn’t love taking a few minutes back from their day?
Email a summary after the meeting
This is just best practice.
However, how many of us are guilty of ignoring this step?
This should be a simple email with a point for everything discussed, including action items.
You should also ask the recipients to confirm that nothing is missed.
Consider practicing a couple of these tactics at once until they become habituated.
Follow up by doing more.
This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and thus failing to improve your video call management.
Mastering video calls is a simple way to earn the respect and appreciation of those you meet.
It is also worth noting the great satisfaction you will feel when your meetings are executed with brilliance.
Here’s to becoming the digital marketer everyone is looking forward to meeting!
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