We are running our businesses, jobs, companies, families and friends on screen now. My iPad is jammed with FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, Lifesize and Webex.
After all these years I have finally become a Screenager.
As far as meetings go, I’m busy learning how to do it all – the technology, the etiquette, the preparation, the rhythm and beat, the flow and the aftermath.
There are quite a few guides / how to’s out there, so here’s mine – a mixture of my own experience – averaging six hours per day on on-screen, multi-person meetings, and a guide to virtual facilitation by Gwen Stirling-Wilkie.
1) Remember the Six P’s (Proper Preparation Prevents Pretty Poor Performance):
· Ensure all participants know how to use the tech.
· Have a tech rehearsal for any live-streaming.
· Brief the meeting purpose well in advance. Be clear.
· Circulate pre-reads / pre-views in advance.
2) Make it Count:
· Open up the call 10 minutes before start to help people settle in.
· Start with a two – three minute check-in if you have time.
o How are people feeling – maybe in three words,
o What’s on peoples’ minds,
o What’s making you feel happy.
· Run the meeting for up to an hour. For workshops keep them at three hours max.
· Be more direct as a Facilitator – ensure everyone contributes and is heard.
3) Before you check out:
· Have everyone wrap up:
o What did you get out of the meeting?
o What did you want to say, but didn’t have the chance to?
o What’s the key thing you’re going to do now?
4) Making the most out of the meeting:
· Be on time – five minutes early!
· Have video on; voice on mute when not speaking.
· Close down all other disruptive screens.
· Be concise and clear. Don’t ramble.
5) Presenting your best self:
· Raise your screen to eye-level.
· Keep your head and shoulders visible on-screen.
· Be in natural light – no backs to the window though.
· Check your image out – nothing embarrassing behind you that may appear on screen.
· Stand Up and Fight. Look smart, focused and ‘on’. Dress accordingly.