Whether you and your team are in the office full-time, part-time or none of the time, you’ll continue to have hybrid meetings.
COVID-19 ushered in the Zoom era. And no one’s sure when this business/social reality will end.
So we might as well get as good at hybrid meetings as we can.
Regardless of how many people are in the room or on the monitor, here are nine tips from i4cp to make every hybrid meeting better:
Ask 1 question
Before you call a hybrid meeting, find out if you can eliminate the hybrid meeting.
Ask yourself (and/or a trusted team member): Do we need to meet? If it’s just to share non-critical information or give an update, then you probably don’t. Send an email. Solicit feedback.
Assign a ‘Producer’
Get someone who knows how to handle the technology in the meeting room (camera, platforms, audio tools, charts, etc.) to be the Producer.
If there’s a large video-in crowd, assign a second, remote Producer to handle those same technicalities.
Encourage everyone to keep their video meeting app chat feature open and ready to use.
It keeps off-siters engaged and invites peer-to-peer comments, learning and sharing. It can even give a written record of great ideas.
‘Bring in’ remote participants
Use a big screen in the front of the room to keep as many remote attendees on video as possible.
If people don’t want their talking or listening head up there, ask them to add a photo. It’s a great reminder to on-siters that others are participating.
‘Push out’ presenters, audience
On the flip side of the camera, work with the Producer to make sure the leader or presenter is the main visual remote attendees see.
Even better, set up two cameras so the remote employees also get a view of the in-person audience. That way they can see and feel how others react to what’s being said or shown.
Include everyone in everything
Include remote attendees in everything, most especially break out sessions or collaboration activities.
Most platforms – Zoom, WebEx, Skype, Teams – have breakout functions. Use the app’s whiteboard or annotation tools, rather than physical flip charts. Make sure all attendees know how to use these functions before you meet.
Make audio a priority, too
As great as it is to “see” everyone through a hybrid meeting, hearing everyone is far more critical.
This might go back to your Producer again: Ensure the audio in the physical meeting room is top-notch.
Ask on-site team members not to talk at once or over each other. Encourage off-site attendees to use headsets and an ancillary microphone when they speak.
Level the Q&A playing field
Let everyone know if you’ll take questions throughout or at a designated point in the meeting. That way they can take notes and be prepared to ask questions at a good time.
Either the leader or Producer will want to alternate questions between on-site and remote attendees.
You can only get better at hybrid meetings if you know what went well and what didn’t. Ask all team members about their engagement and ability to see, hear and participate.