Leverage These Social Cues and Make a Larger Impact With Your Meetings
Meetings that lack engagement are not only unproductive, they’re also a waste of time.
When you host a meeting or presentation, you want to make sure your audience is engaged and actively participating. Members of your meetings that are involved help conferences go by much more smoothly while leaving a lasting impact on all attendees. Better meetings usually mean more productivity out of your team and better results for your organization.
To help you and your team get the most out of your conferences, we’ve come up with five signs your audience is actively engaged in your online meeting.
1. Your Guests Read Your Agenda Before Meetings
There’s no worse feeling than getting together with your team and having no one know why. Your guests may enjoy the company, but meetings where none of the participants know what’s going on are not a productive way to spend that valuable time you have together.
When guests read your agenda, it’s a definite sign that your participants are actively preparing for the meeting beforehand. The agenda lays out a defined outline for all participants to review and ensures everyone knows what the major topic of the meeting is about.
You want to be sure to send out a copy of the major topics you plan to address and your immediate goals for that meeting in an email before your conference starts. Guests are more likely to bring valuable thoughts to the meeting if they have time to prepare.
2. If Your Guests Looks Ready
If you’re starting a video conference with someone who’s still in their pajamas and yawning at their webcam as you notice a poster of a unicorn in the background, they more than likely weren’t expecting a video conference at 6 AM.
On the other hand, guests that have a designated conferencing area generally have it set up so their audience is met with an image that is corporate appropriate and safe for work.
Being met with a solid background and a person dressed in clothing that looks professional is an immediate indicator that your guest was well-prepared for your conference and ready to participate.
3. Your Team Asks Questions
One way to know if your guests are engaged is if they ask questions throughout the meeting.
Meetings serve to share key data and information relevant to your organization or business. When your guests make a conscious effort to understand the information by asking questions, it shows that your guests are interested in what’s being presented.
Often, the questions your guests ask will attempt to clarify details about the meeting topic or questions to move the project forward by presenting hurdles your team may need to get over. These questions can fuel your team’s conversations and lead your meetings.
4. Participants Help to Create Action Items
Another sure sign your team is engaged with your meeting is if they’re suggesting ways to improve on the project or move the organization forward.
When guests create action items during the meeting, it indicates that those members of the team are listening and actively thinking of viable solutions to problems shared by your team. The suggestions from your group can be highly valuable, so make sure you’re giving guests at your meeting a leading role in improving your department or organization.
To ensure that everyone gets a chance to offer suggestions, spend some time at the end of the meeting to recap the meeting and openly discuss how your team can move forward.
5. Attendees Follow Up
After a meeting concludes, participants may have action items that need to be done right away, like sending out documents or scheduling for the next meeting. When attendees follow up after a meeting ends, you can assume those attendees had a similar level of engagement during the meeting.
To stay proactive, you’ll want to take the initiative and send out a quick follow-up e-mail to everyone that attended the meeting. This email also serves as a friendly reminder to those that have tasks due immediately after your conference is over.