How to make a virtual meeting a success?

How to make a virtual meeting a success?


When should you use remote meetings?

You belong to a multi-site company, you manage projects with participants located in different places, your customers are abroad, your sales representatives are dispersed, your employees are (partly or totally) teleworking, and your employees are expatriates.

What tools can be used?

  • Telephone conferencing (Free conference call etc).
  • Video conferencing (Teams, Zoom, Skype, Hangout, Webex etc).

What are the best practices?

  • Identify the tool best suited to your needs.
  • Do you want to share content or documents live? Do all your employees have access to the Internet?
  • Communicate an agenda with the objectives and issues of the meeting in advance.
  • Use the "Delegated Meeting" process, which makes each participant in the meeting jointly responsible.

The following roles should be assigned to participants in the meeting.

Facilitator: leads the meeting.

Decision Pusher: pushes the group to make decisions and notifies them. Pacemaker: Paces the time allocated to each stage of the meeting.

Scribe: takes notes and produces a report of the meeting.

Meta: gives feedback at the end of the meeting to discuss areas for improvement in terms of the perceived behaviour of each participant.

  • Provide a quiet place and make sure you are not disturbed (instant messaging turned off, telephone on answering machine etc.).
  • Be brief and concise throughout the presentation.
  • In the case of a video conference: adapt your webcam and the brightness of the room so that everyone can see.

For the record, there are different types of meetings

  • top-down information: briefing, decision briefing, document comments, etc.
  • bottom-up information: motivation survey, debriefing
  • discussion meetings: debates, exchanges and reflections, working groups
  • consultation: consultation or co-decision before taking action
  • negotiation: social, commercial, strategic, etc.
  • creativity
  • project meetings: kick-off, review, committee, closure

Depending on the meeting, the preparation and strategy for remote facilitation should be adapted by clarifying upstream what is expected of everyone. It is important to adapt the tools to each phase of the meeting (see example below)