3 Tips to Improve Your Daily Video Meetings

3 Tips to Improve Your Daily Video Meetings

3 Tips to Improve Your Daily Video Meetings blog (1)

“This meeting could have been an email!” We have all been in those terrible meetings where Mr. or Ms. “I love to hear myself talk!” blows hot air around the room for the duration of the meeting.  There is always the multi-tasker there that is secretly trying to type out an email which has NOTHING to do with the content of the meeting.  If there is someone in the corner snoring and drooling, you have probably hit corporate meeting bingo.  As a meeting organizer, you are lucky if you have someone engaged, interacting and paying attention.

Now throw Covid-19 and a global pandemic into the mix where most of the workforce is working remote and conducting video calls during the workday, and that just throws another monkey wrench into the equation.  So how DO you keep your teams engaged thru these endless distractions?

Personally, I have been working remotely (way before it was cool…) for DAVIS for about 3 years now.  My wife’s job moved us out of town, and I was left trying to figure out how to make this work.  If you find yourself leading endless video calls without your team’s engagement, here are a few tips:

  1. Make it fun! I have started a daily “fun fact” or some other silly ice breaker to get engagement before we even dive into the content of the meeting.  Sometimes it’s as simple as “Did you know that a dishwasher only uses 4 gallons of water?  Now if you hand wash, you’ll go thru 4 gallons in 2 minutes?!?!” or something tamer like “what was the thing that you did this weekend that brought the biggest smile to your face?” You can go around the room and take the 2-3 minutes to have everyone tell you.  Pro-tip: if you implement this at the exact time that the meeting starts, chances are folks who are notorious for being late, will begin to arrive earlier or closer to on time so they can share.
  2. Set the expectation that video needs to be turned on regularly.  It needs to be the rule, not the exception.  I always say, “I can’t see your smiling faces!” and it gets folks to turn on video.  People are less likely to multitask if you are looking at them on screen.  Now I know these are unprecedented times and folks are working with the distraction of kids at home, so if people need to drop off video to calm a kid’s meltdown or go on mute as their dog explodes at the UPS person dropping packages on their porch – that is totally cool.  We are all human, just pray that everyone goes off video if they need to use the restroom!
  3. As stated above, do not just make it fun…KEEP it fun.  Obviously, we are all here to do a job and must disseminate information to each other during a meeting, but that is not to say you can’t have a little fun along the way.  Ask a question at the beginning of the call that your team can answer at the end of it, like – “what was the first concert you’ve ever attended” or “what would your dream job be if money wasn’t a factor?”.  People love to share, and it will bring your team closer together.

If you are meeting regularly and things are getting stale, mix it up! Ask some crazy probing questions and keep it light. Heck – I even had everyone go around the room with their best Chewbacca impression once (many MANY laughs were had with that one!) People will appreciate the lightheartedness and be more apt to speak up.  If we spend this much time at work every day, why not make it fun for everyone?