How to Facilitate a Video Conference Call Meeting

Virtual Conference Call Video | How to do a Video Conference Call

A video conference call meeting is different from face-to-face meeting, but the two have similarities. The most important thing in common is the purpose of the meeting. The question for any facilitator is what is the best practical way to achieve the meeting objectives. The type of meeting doesn’t really matter, because all meetings face the same challenges.

If someone is chronically late for virtual meetings, the same person will be late for face-to-face meetings.  So, it’s always important to follow best practices, be it a face-to-face meeting or video conference call meeting.

As a facilitator, you need to be sure that scheduling a video meeting is the best way to achieve the meeting goals.  How the meeting achieves its objectives depends on many factors. But the most important thing is the way you conduct it to be productive.  

How to Facilitate a Video Meeting:

1. Create a Meeting Agenda
2. Invite the Right Attendees
3. Test the Technology Ahead of Time
4. Check Room Light
5. Set the Meeting
6. Assign Roles
7. Set Ground Rules for a Video Meeting
8. Avoid Distraction
9. Make it Look Professional
10. Be Respectful
11. Review the Actions

1. Create a Meeting Agenda

A video conference call meeting takes a bit of effort to organize. But the best way to do it is to plan and make a checklist of things you want to talk about. No matter what type of meeting you are planning, you need a meeting checklist.

The meeting agenda must include a list of things that will be discussed. And when you finish putting the program together, share it with participants in advance so that everyone comes prepared for the meeting.

Send it at least 24 hours before the meeting, and then ask people to read and make suggestions if they have any. The last thing you don’t want are people to come to the meeting and spend 30 minutes reading agendas or thinking about ideas.

You may even want to send the rules and responsibilities so that they can understand who will and won’t do what. This will set the tone for your meeting, and more importantly, produce strong actions that can lead to extraordinary results.

2. Invite the Right Attendees

It’s also challenging to facilitate a face-to-face meeting with a large number of participants. It’s the same with a video conference call meeting. One thing you need to do when planning your meeting is to know who to invite.

Only people who can contribute are supposed to be on the video conference call meeting. When you bring the wrong people, they end up staying silent during the meeting. And more often, they get frustrated for being in the wrong meeting.

It is not necessary to have so many people who don’t do anything useful in the meeting. That is why you need the right number of attendees to make it more productive for everyone, including yourself.

3. Test the Technology Ahead of Time

This doesn’t seem like an issue, but you will be surprised at how many virtual meetings get delayed or postponed simply because the technology isn’t working.

With more meetings using technology nowadays, it is good spend at least 30 minutes before meeting to confirm if everything is working. It’s frustrating when you waste a lot of time because you can’t connect with the waiting participants.

Regardless of which platform you use for the meeting, make sure the video option is on. Also, make sure all participants are in video mode and not in call mode. You don’t want the attendees to be in call mode when the meeting is live broadcast via a video link.

4. Check the Room Light

Lighting is everything when it comes to any live video meeting. You must have good light on it because you will be using a live video stream to connect with other participants.

Check the room before you start the meeting to ensure you have enough light. If you do have the natural light coming into the room, face where it’s coming from, it will radiate on you.

Windows do add natural light to the video meeting room. However, if it is used as a backlight during a live conference call, the video quality may deteriorate.

So, if possible, it is always better to sit with your back to the wall rather than the window. And always remember to not turn your back to the screen during a live video conferencing.

Also, having good lighting is essential but positioning your camera at the right angle is equally important. Remember that in a video conference call meeting, you need to look directly into the camera.

5. Set the Meeting Time

Video conference call meetings can be very tedious at times. But if necessary, set a minimum of one hour and a maximum of two hours for your meeting. As a facilitator, it is your job to make sure the meeting flows the way you want it.

All participants need to know about the time allocated to each person. No one should use more than the allotted time unless you permit them.

When people are going over their time, step in and ask how much more time they need to ensure that the meeting remains on the agenda. If they take long, it is your job as a meeting facilitator to stop them.

Related article: How to Chair a Meeting

6. Assign Roles

For video conference meetings to run smoothly, you need to assign roles. As a facilitator, you have to focus on many things, so it can be difficult to keep track of where the meeting is heading.

So, give people some roles. Nominate someone to keep time and another person to write down action points and decisions made. This helps you to concentrate on facilitating and directing the meeting well.

7. Set Ground Rules for a Video Meeting

Setting the ground rules means specifying the types of behavior that are acceptable during the meeting. Just because it’s a video conferencing doesn’t mean meeting ground rules are unnecessary.

A video conference meeting can face the same challenges as a face to face meeting. People still arrive late, and others be playing with their cellphone during live video broadcasts. There are side conversations and many other things that make meetings less effective.

Many undesirable meeting behaviors that don’t make the meeting productive also happen during a video conferencing. You don’t want one person to dominate in the conversation and prevent others from contributing to the meeting.

Make it clear that all cell phones are off while in the meeting room. Many times, people come and start doing other work on their computers and cell phones. That is rude and not acceptable.

As a facilitator, you shouldn’t allow this to happen during the meeting. It’s important to be clear about what you want to see people not doing in meetings.

Also, whatever is said during the meeting must remain in the meeting because, as a facilitator, you want people in the meeting to be transparent and honest without any concern. People usually don’t open up for fear of being quoted outside the meeting.

8. Avoid Distraction

Engagement is important because no meeting can be productive where the participants are not paying full attention. Video conferencing can be organized anytime at any place. However, not every place is free of noise or distraction.

Use a headset so you and other participants can hear from each other. Wearing a headset in a noisy area or room can eliminate distracting echoes and help other attendees hear what you say.

9. Make it Look Professional

Whether you’re at home, or a coffee shop, stay professional. Some people don’t do this just because they feel away from the work environment.

But remember that you are on a live video conferencing with other people. Those participants can see what is in your background. It is so important that your environment is organized and looks professional.

Also, take care of your clothes. No need to wear office clothes, but in a virtual meeting, when the camera is on, be clean, tidy, and professional.

10. Be Respectful

Be respectful to participants. If you want to make a point when someone else is talking, use a chat function. Your video platform may even have abilities that allow you to raise your hands.

Stay present even if you are not talking. Even when your microphone is muted doesn’t mean you can start doing other things like going on your phone and checking out texts.

You should not forget that you are on a live video stream so, people see that you are not paying attention. Put your phone out of sight or put it on vibrate. No one should be allowed to do other things while in the meeting.

You must not forget to introduce everyone on the call at the beginning of the meeting.

11. Review the Actions

At the end of the meeting, you need to set aside 10 minutes for reviewing all flagged actions. People come to meeting to act or find solutions. So, reread all the recorded notes to ensure those who attended know what they need to do after the meeting.

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