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  • Writer's picturePorsche Everson

5 tips for effective mid-size virtual meetings

Small virtual groups are pretty easy, but once your group grows to 8 or more active participants, it's time to change your virtual meeting strategy.

As a host, here are 5 things you can do to make your meeting more productive.

1. Offer, in the meeting invite, an opportunity to log in early to set up and test AV connections. I generally say the meeting will be active 15 minutes before the start. As people log in, we check their audio settings to make sure they can hear and be heard. I give specific feedback about audio quality as well.

2. Rename phone connections to the person's name. In Zoom, if a person calls in, their phone number shows up. That's hard to tell who is talking, so I check/confirm who the caller is, then rename the connection.

3. Make use of chat. And monitor it. 'nuff said.

4. Some virtual tools have non-verbal feedback. If you need to get quick, informal agreement on a topic, ask people to use their non-verbal tools. Zoom's non-verbal tools are under Participants in the tool bar. Take a couple of minutes to show and practice. You can also ask video participants to give a thumbs-up, thumbs-sideways, or thumbs-down on video to get quick group feedback.

5. Establish strong meeting facilitation for the group. Example: "I'm going to ask 4-5 people about their opinion and then quick-check for group feedback.

Bonus recommendation: Find a good webcam and microphone on Amazon or elsewhere if your computer doesn't have one. Use a headset if you are in an environment where that is necessary.

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