Use Team Communication Software to Transform Your Meetings — Brosix
August 12, 2019 Instant Messaging
Meetings. Probably not the first word that comes to mind when you think of productivity. But that’s problematic, considering 15% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings.
If your business meetings are even the slightest bit ineffective, that’s a lot of wasted time.
Ineffective meetings result from a variety of factors, the biggest including:
- Lack of structure
- Poorly engaged remote participants
And though you can reduce business meetings in number, as well as shorten them, they’re likely not going anywhere anytime soon.
So what can you do? There are steps you can take, especially in the case of remote meetings, to engage employees before, during, and after.
Also, consider your internal communication. In many instances — for both distributed teams and those that work under one roof — team communication software can transform your business meetings by allowing you to not only more effectively establish the meeting scope, but enhance communication and empower engagement.
More Effectively Define the Meeting Scope
Defining the scope of your business meeting is perhaps the most critical step. Failing to adequately prepare the participants, agenda, deliverables, and medium of communication sets the stage for an unproductive meeting before it even begins.
In many instances, team communication software can help you more effectively define the scope of the meeting, as well as more efficiently inform the necessary stakeholders.
- Determine not only who’s expected to be present at the meeting, but what their roles are. Delegating responsibilities among the participants — note-takers, facilitators, presenters, and so on — ensures a more engaging and participatory meeting.
- Set the agenda. By determining the participants and their responsibilities, you can more appropriately set the meeting schedule, define the objectives and expected deliverables, and make sure each relevant stakeholder is involved.
- Decide on the most appropriate medium of communication for the business meeting. Whether you’re meeting in-person or conducting a remote meeting, employing the right communication channel lays the groundwork for a meeting that’s efficient, engaging, and productive.
- Communicate with each participant in advance of the gathering. Establish a chat room with the title of the meeting, for instance, and add each meeting participant. This provides a channel to transfer relevant materials like the agenda, as well as conversation space for pre-meeting questions and discussion.
- Post the meeting details on your team communication software’s welcome module. Before the meeting, send out broadcast messages issuing calls to action regarding meeting tasks and presentations and reminding your team to test their tech.
There’s a Channel to Suit Any Meeting
Once you’ve defined the scope of the meeting, you’re ready to get down to business.
- Text Chats — Text chats provide a conversation space for quick, free-flowing, and ongoing discussion, as well as yes, no, or simple questions. Choosing a text chat makes sense when the topic of discussion is neither in-depth nor one which requires gauging body language. Using text chats to discuss the status of a task, project, or presentation, convey relevant details, or transfer files quickly saves both parties time and energy, leaving them more time to focus on the final product.
- Chat Rooms — Chat rooms afford businesses a secure location for team members to meet, discuss a wide variety of topics, and even transfer unlimited data and information. The customizable nature of chat rooms allows for a conversation space which can be tailored to meet the scope of each business meeting.
- Set up a chat room for a one-off, or a specific meeting on a particular topic, like brainstorming for an upcoming marketing campaign, for instance.
- Establish chat rooms as an ongoing meeting space tailored by team, department, location, or project, for example; or a feedback channel post-meeting. Or mix and match team members and chat rooms as you see fit to enhance cross-functional teamwork and collaboration.
- Utilize chat room controls for maximum productivity — create and shut down rooms, add and remove users, and leave rooms opened or locked rooms.
Despite its convenience, instant messaging remains a vehicle for sharing quick ideas, thoughts, questions, and also data, with the intended parties. Big-picture meetings, in-depth team conversations, and transformative announcements should be left for voice or video chats, or even in-person meetings when possible.
- Voice Chat — When you need to provoke a response, voice chat provides not only a channel to execute your meeting, but also a medium that’s more impactful than an instant message and easier than a phone call. In fact, participants in audio-only conversations have been found to more accurately gauge speakers’ emotions. Keep that in mind when you need to discuss sales reports or the new product brochures, go over onboarding material with the new hire, or simply check-in with the remote team.
- Video Chat — When in-person meetings are impractical or impossible, video chat offers an able replacement. By enabling the intended parties to see each other in real time, video chats facilitate more personal communication and collaboration which would otherwise be delayed or impossible altogether because of logistics. Keeping in mind a few simple tips, video technology can boost engagement, efficiency, and productivity — for one-on-ones, the daily stand up, and even hiring processes, for example.
- Ensures the necessary channels to suit any type of meeting;
- Safeguards communication and collaboration across the entirety of the platform;
- Provides a thorough record of communication for administrative purposes;
- Guarantees communication that’s focused, timely, and efficient
Collaboration Tools Empower Engaging Meetings
- A Virtual Whiteboard — A virtual whiteboard provides teams a multifunctional and collaborative space to share ideas, import photos and files, and create flow charts, diagrams, graphs, and charts. The ability to add comments and highlight key details enhances the visualization of numbers and performance indicators, underscoring of objectives, and presentation of material; all from the confines of the office conference room or even the departures lounge.
- Screen Sharing — By providing each participant the ability to view in real time the same content, screen sharing better ensures everyone’s on the same page.
- Instant Screen Shot — Capturing your screen as an image, instant screenshots streamline the demonstration of information which would otherwise be time-consuming or difficult to explain with words.
The Last Word
Originally published at https://www.brosix.com on August 12, 2019.