In any professional environment, a leadership team is put into place to ensure the company runs like a well-oiled machine. These individuals are tasked with managing staff; conceptualizing project plans; delegating responsibilities; and understanding how to navigate any industry speed bumps that may pop up.
However, just because defined leadership teams exist, does not mean those directly below them on the company pecking order will not need to occasionally step up and take charge.
While this can be an exciting change of pace for certain professionals, not all will be comfortable jumping into the captain’s chair. Doing so takes practice, as well as levels of preparedness and confidence. Once these characteristics are in place, taking a leadership role feels far less daunting.
One task that emerging leaders need to master is how to run a video conference with their team members and/or clients. These virtual meetings help ensure that everyone is on the same page and allows for communication that’s far more effective than what can be accomplished on a phone call or email.
For those now tasked with hosting online meetings with the team, here are some tips on how to make this experience successful:
Set and Send an Agenda
Before any team and/or client video call, it is imperative that everyone involved understands the nature of the call, as well as how it is structured. Thus, having an agenda available to all participants in advance is important.
On this agenda, map out points of discussion in the order in which they should be touched upon. Allot a specific amount of time for each point and note which meeting participants should be prepared to speak and/or present, and when.
Having an organized agenda like this ensures everything that needs to get discussed, is discussed. What’s more, it will make participants feel much more prepared to make valuable contributions.
Even with an agenda at the ready, the video conference leader needs to be prepared for the nuts and bolts of all meetings. This can include having their own presentation materials in place, as well as know who to turn to for certain opinions and/or data.
If a conversation begins to go sideways, the video call host must step in and re-focus the discussion so that all significant points are covered. While occasional casual conversation is fine, too much of it can drain an online meeting of its momentum.
Leading by example is a must. If the staff meeting leader is not organized, other participants may lose interest or not take the video conference seriously.
Speak Confidently, but not Confrontationally
No matter how a meeting is going, it’s best to not let emotions overtake the virtual meeting. To try and stay emotionally neutral when helming a call, the goal should be to speak confidently, but not confrontationally.
Online meeting confrontations are incredibly uncomfortable for everyone on the call, not just those involved in the conflict. Such interactions should be taken offline and handled separately by these parties. Failure to do this, could result in further strife amongst others in the team meeting.
On the other hand, when a live video chat online with the team is going well, a lot of that has to do with how confidently the meeting lead is navigating the call. Such a positive, organized atmosphere empowers other attendees to participate and contribute.
In many ways, confidence is contagious. Once the person running the video conference exudes such a positive trait, others will follow shortly thereafter. This should be considered a win for everyone involved.