While essential businesses across the country are slowly reopening, large enterprises are encouraging employees to continue working from home. Sales travel also remains on pause. The best way to stay connected with your team, sales prospects, or clients is to engage with them in the most personal way possible right now. That’s largely through the use of integrated appointment scheduling for virtual meetings held either via video or phone. Here’s how to keep these meetings focused and productive even among virtual meeting fatigue.
Be an Active Host
Taking the lead to facilitate productive virtual meetings is a multi-step process that starts before a call even begins. In today’s new normal, people may not be traveling, but schedules remain packed. The best way to keep everyone on track is to ensure that goals are clear from the start.
- Create appointments that loop in the right people at the right time, and state the key goals of the meeting in the appointment invite
- Set an agenda. That includes top discussion items, relevant documents or research required, and clarity about each person’s role.
- Encourage participation from everyone during the meeting. This often requires the skill of a diplomat, but part of this role means fostering participation from quieter attendees, while also ensuring that strong personalities don’t take over.
- Nominate a timekeeper and note when the meeting is halfway over and when 10 minutes remain.
Make Every Meeting Personal
Working from home in makeshift offices has presented challenges for even the most dedicated employees or clients. In addition to creating an appointment invite that focuses on everyone’s roles, extend personalized details to the meeting, too.
- Don’t forget to be conversational. A few months ago when we traveled liberally to client or team meetings, the first few minutes of a meeting were always spent catching up and asking about traffic, kids, or the weather. Don’t let personal conversations completely fade because we are all staying at home.
- Use the information at your fingertips. Engageware Intelligent Appointment Scheduling does much of the detective work behind the scenes. It will route appointments to the most appropriate person on the team and sync up to your CRM and other databases making it easy to understand what’s needed and anticipate questions on the call. Come prepared with those answers and win the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance.
Use Video Thoughtfully
Zoom fatigue is real. But you can stay on track and make everyone feel more at ease with a few video conference best practices.
- Even though it seems obvious, start out with a reminder to mute their line when not talking.
- Minimize the size of windows with everyone’s faces, including your own. The fatigue sets in because the human eye is not used to staring at faces so directly. Those who attend in-person meetings can look around the room, view the presenter screen, and dart attention out the window. But with video meetings, all the attention is focused on one small screen.
- Don’t multitask. It’s bad form to check emails or text when you’re in a room full of participants, so avoid it during virtual meetings too. And because video calls are more mentally taxing multitasking diverts even more attention at a time when it’s needed most.
- Be mindful of video backgrounds. While everyone is doing the best they can, don’t let the background, whether it’s a room or a graphic, take attention away from the discussion.