Conference Calls and specifically teleconferencing meetings require more facilitation than in person meetings. The physical queues of eye contact or body language when someone wants to participate are lost on a conference call. The art of a great teleconference comes from the leadership of the host as they facilitate the meeting. Here are some tips on hosting a great virtual meeting:
Have an Agenda and clear set of meeting goals.
When the host lays out the optics of conversation and the goals for the meeting, it keeps participants engaged. You want people to know that your meeting is about taking action and getting things done.
Use people’s Names during the conference call.
Without the visual queues, addressing someone by name gives them the heads up that a question or comment is coming their way. This is an engagement tactic and encourages participation.
Ask a lot of questions.
Questions let people know their presence had a positive impact on the meeting and that their contributions are important. Addressing questions to specific people also helps avoid those long awkward silences.
Like all great meetings, it’s important to stay on point, ensure goals are met, and provide a summary at the end of the meeting along with action items. Don’t forget to thank people for their time and contributions!