Tip of the Week: How to Engage Remote Meeting Participants

a woman sitting at a table with a laptop

Over the last few months, many businesses have had to hurriedly adopt remote work as an alternative to in-house operations. While many have done so successfully, it isn’t uncommon for certain elements to trip them up, including remote meetings. As these meetings are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, we wanted to share a few tips on how to engage remote meeting participants.

Boost Engagement with Responsibility

The experience that participants of an in-person meeting have is naturally going to be very different than it would be in a remote meeting. The natural flow of conversation is interrupted by the limits of the very tool that enables the conversation to take place at all. This can lead to inconsistent participation and side conversations taking place… bad enough in person, but debilitating to a remote session. Preparing an agenda ahead of time and giving each participant something that they will be responsible for during the meeting can help to minimize the chances of this.

Streamline Your Meeting

Just as is the case in person, a remote meeting that involves too many people can be counterproductive and ineffective when collaboration is the goal. With an overly large group, there are just too many potential distractions to derail your efforts. Lagging technology and excessive background noise can swiftly diminish a meeting’s value, so to minimize the chances of this happening, resist the urge to pack your meetings and stick to those whose presence is essential. This also helps to add to the engagement that participants can have, as a smaller group offers more opportunities to speak.

Disable Muting

When someone has muted themselves during a remote meeting, they have effectively disengaged from the conversation. Consider it: by muting themselves, they can no longer contribute, and there’s the potential that they could allow their attention to wander more easily. While briefly muting can help to minimize interruptions, it should not be sustained longer than necessary when meeting.

How have your remote meetings gone? What have you done to make the most of them? Share your approach in the comments!

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