The world is a different place today than it was a few weeks ago. The terrible corona virus is costing lives and affecting our way of life in ways we could have never imagined. Also our professional lives have been dramatically impacted by this virus and many now work remotely to keep businesses going as well as possible. Offices where people work together and have meetings with each other are now replaced with work from home situations. While having productive meetings in a normal office scenario can already be a challenge, having virtual or on-line meetings instead is even more challenging.
Note: MeetingKing is not an alternative for Webex, GotoMeeting, Join.me, skype or other communication platform for on-line meetings. MeetingKing is a meeting documentation solution for agendas, meeting minutes and tasks and can be used for both in-person meetings and on-line meetings.
How can you make sure that your remote or online meeting is productive?
The basic rules for productive remote or on-line meetings are basically the same as for in person meetings. However in a remote scenario they are even more important, because the non-verbal communication is very limited or completely absent. The chance that what is said is misunderstood is much larger in a remote meeting than it is when you are sitting together and see each others faces. While a video call is slightly better than an audio only conference call, most of the non-vebal communication will be missed.
To have a productive meeting just follow these simple steps:
Prepare – distribute a meeting agenda
A meeting without an agenda is like going to an exam without studying. If you are not prepared you are wasting your time. It is key that the agenda is distributed among all participants at least one day ahead of the meeting (more if extensive preparation is required), so everyone can prepare and contribute productively to the meeting. Often this step is ignored because people do not want to spend the time to create the agenda.
MeetingKing makes it really simple to create and distribute an agenda. All meeting details that are included in the meeting request you send from Outlook or Google calendar can be automatically copied to the agenda of your meeting. For the topics in the agenda, you can use standard templates or create your own. The most powerful feature is the ability to link your meeting back to a previous meeting and add the list of tasks from the previous meeting, including all the updates on these tasks, to your new agenda. And once your agenda is ready you can automatically email it from the application. Read more on how to create a meeting agenda.
Document – Write meeting minutes
It is key to document your meeting with proper meeting minutes. These minutes should not be a verbatim report of the discussion, but they should contain all the key points, decisions and most importantly the action items. There are few reasons meeting minutes are important:
Prevent confusion – Meeting participants often hear different things or draw different conclusions from what is said. If you send the meeting minutes quickly after the meeting, participants can verify if the conclusions there are correct. This is even more important with a remote meeting where the non-verbal aspect of communication is absent.
Have a record with decisions – How often are you in a meeting and know that something was discussed before but you cannot find what was decided and why. Having an archive with easily searchable meeting minutes makes sure that you will not be wasting time on the same issue.
Assign action items – A meeting without action items is useless, decisions lead to tasks and it is important that those are properly documented. A task should include one clear owner, and preferable also have a due date.
MeetingKing makes it easy to write your meeting minutes. Just log in on your pc, laptop, ipad or phone and make short notes in your agenda in MeetingKing. You can save your notes as a note decision or task. Tasks are automatically emailed to the task owner and added to your task manager in MeetingKing. At the end of your meeting you can immediately print or email the meeting minutes. No additional work required.
Follow-up – Manage tasks
Creating tasks is one, but making sure that the agreed upon action items are actually completed is incredibly important. Often tasks fall through the cracks or people simply forget about them, unitil it is too late. To make progress in an organization action needs to be taken.
MeetingKing helps you to manage your tasks effectively with very little work. In the included task manager, you can filter your tasks list by task owner, by project and by department. As mentioned before tasks from the previous meeting can be automatically added to the agenda of your new meeting and in your dashboard you can see which tasks are due today and tomorrow, to really stay on top of it. The task owner can provide updates to the task and those updates then appear right in the task list of the agenda of your next meeting. The application can also email automatic task reminders. If you use another task manager, you can use Zapier to export all your new tasks to any task application that integrates with Zapier.
We hope this helps you to have more productive meetings. Both in person and remote or on-line.