With so many virtual meetings happening everyday, it is easy for a day of remote working to feel like one long call. The widespread reporting of so-called ‘zoom fatigue‘ attests to the issues people have encountered since transferring the vast majority of their work communications to virtual conferencing and online calls.
It can be difficult to keep these interactions fresh and engaging without the spontaneity available to us in office situations. Humour can easily be lost in the ether and the soft skills that help colleagues communicate face-to-face are inhibited when communicating via a webcam with compressed audio and a glitchy signal.
Here are a few tips to revamp your virtual meetings and ultimately make them more memorable for attendees.
Make the most of your tools
By now, most of us are fully accustomed to the basics of video conferencing. However, the majority of platforms from Zoom to Microsoft Teams have a range of useful tools that can help add a bit of variety to your virtual meetings.
Zoom’s virtual whiteboard is a great example, enabling individuals to present ideas in a visually appealing way, or allowing teams to collaborate to a live brainstorming session. Try allocating areas of the board to members of your team and giving everyone two minutes to unload their thoughts onto the board.
Another great feature that is often overlooked is the ability to work on live documents that everybody is tied into. This could be done by using the screen share tool whilst working on a shared Google Document or Sheet. This kind of co-working will lead to increased in-session interactions and engagement.
Emojis may seem like a childish or silly add-on in digital communications that don’t have a place in the serious world of business. However, a slightly different approach can turn them into a highly useful and insightful communication tool. Online meetings tend to reduce the amount of physical communication or body language in the virtual room.
Emojis can be a great way to share more nuance reactions, especially when the interpretation of the images is unanimously agreed. Quick indications of opinion can be shared, for example, by using the ‘thumbs up’ icon in Zoom.
Change your background
Virtual backgrounds took the world by storm early in 2020 with people finding hilarious and inventive ways to manipulate the tool. The range of zoom virtual backgrounds by Hello Backgrounds offers a range of more business appropriate backgrounds alongside more informal workspace settings which could easily be integrated into your online meetings to change the scene.
Varying the backdrop might seem like an unnecessary addition to an already complicated process of getting online. But thinking of it another way, and your meetings could instantly be more memorable if each attendee used the same background and that meeting could then be referred to as ‘when we spoke in Paris’ or ‘in the cafe chat last week’. Locations are crucial to memory and place usually factors highly in our ability to recall information. Without the ability to meet in shared physical spaces, shake things up by travelling the world from your desk using the virtual background feature.
Record your calls
Whilst this may not necessarily make the meeting itself more memorable, it can be used as a memory aid by becoming an uncontestable record of what was discussed. Recording meetings is also likely to increase engagement as people will want the record to show that they were contributing well rather than sitting back and checking their emails. As long as everybody is on board, this can be an easy way to drive productivity.
Another benefit is the ability to share the meeting with absent colleagues. At a time when people are under all sorts of different pressures such as extra childcare responsibilities, the ability to record and archive meetings for people to catch up when they can is invaluable. The overall boost to an organisation’s transparency as a result is also a great by-product and will contribute to overall morale and positive feeling within your remote teams.