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9 Ways to Become a Web Meeting Master

Small meetings—which can all too easily run off the rails—are even harder to conduct effectively when you’re doing them remotely via the Internet. These tips can help.

What is the purpose of a web meeting if not to make you and your team more productive? And yet all too often online meetings end up wasting time, not maximizing it. Here’s what you need to know to make your web meetings—and all your small meetings—more effective.

1. Schedule with all participants in mind
Don’t forget to do a time check. Take into consideration the time zones in which all your participants live so you aren’t asking them to be at their best and brightest at 3 a.m. local time. An added plus: Not only will everyone appreciate meeting during their normal business hours, but they’re also much more likely to actually show up!

 2. Do your pre-meeting preparation
Be sure to set an agenda that gives the web meeting a clear structure and ensures that all the important points are covered. A clear plan will also help your meeting end on time. 

3. Make sure everyone understands the web conferencing tool
Learn the system so that, should anything technical go wrong, you know how to troubleshoot it. While you can’t expect everyone participating in the meeting to be a master of the meeting app, you should send guidelines on the tool that you are using to all attendees before the meeting. 

4. Make sure everyone can contribute
Isn't the whole point of a meeting to have other people involved and contributing their ideas? One way to engage your attendees is to ask them their perspectives on your meeting agenda (This is where the pre-meeting preparation comes in handy!).

5. Take notes
Taking notes and collecting information while your meeting is in progress will help you shape your meeting as it occurs, inform others not at the meeting of what they need to know, and help you ensure that you did in fact cover everything that needed to be discussed. You can go old school and use a pen and paper or take notes on your device. 

6. Keep track of time
Allocate a specific amount of time for each agenda item to keep the meeting on track and ensure that it ends on time. 

7. Take stock
At the end of each meeting, allocate some time to compare the overall outcome of the meeting to what you were aiming to do. Have all the participants discuss what could have been done better so you can improve the next meeting. 

8. Conduct a post-meeting analysis
Review the participant feedback and compare what was actually accomplished to what your goals were for the meeting to and see if you achieved what you set out to do.

9. Schedule your next meeting
In order to keep your attendees engaged and interested, you need to make sure that you clearly specify when the next meeting is scheduled. This is one of the most significant aspects of an effective meeting because it will ensure that people will sign in to your next web conference with a clearer plan for success.

 Kamila Zaripova, a marketing assistant with web meeting provider Drum Technologies, is a regular content writer for the web meeting and communication world. You can read more of Kamila’s tips over at thisisdrum.com.

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