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How to run an effective business meeting
Almost everyone has sat through a business meeting where it felt as though time had stopped and the moment of freedom was never going to come. You ask yourself, where did it go wrong? Many think that a business meeting is simply a couple of chairs around a table with a power point presentation, it’s much more than that. The art of creating a striking and engaging business meeting will keep your clients energized and interested in your business proposal. Here are some ways to help you run an effective business meeting.
Virtual Office Meetings
With busy schedules, travel time and remote staff, you’re not always able to schedule a face-to-face meeting. With today’s technology, you can set-up a virtual meeting through videoconferencing and teleconferencing. Here’s some tips for managing a virtual meeting:
- 15 minutes before the start of the meeting make sure the technology is installed, fully charged and properly working
- Have any online presentations downloaded and visually tested
- Control the background noise
- State your name when you speak
- Be fully present and try to avoid multitasking
- Turn off cell phones and PDAs.
- Stay out of your e-mail.
Combined Virtual and Face to Face Meetings
There are times when you may have a combination audience – some participants in the room and others connected remotely. It’s easy to forget your remote participants and for your remote participants to be less attentive; they can’t read the body language or see the gestures through the phone line. They may also struggle with the volume and different conversations happening at the same time.
As a moderator, here are ways to keep everyone engaged:
- Ensure everyone is introduced in the beginning of the meeting
- Set the goals and the agenda
- Have everyone speak clearly towards the microphone
- Control the excess noise and interruptions
- Encourage Participation
- Take a pause when needed to describe what is happening so remote users can interpret silence and excessive noise
- Keep on schedule to respect others’ time
- Summarize points and next steps