Are you tired of sitting in virtual meetings all day? We get it. It’s exhausting being on camera all the time because you have to worry about how you look, how much you fidget, your background, potential background noise, and other distractions. You may even end up paying more attention to your own face than the conversation itself!
There’s nothing wrong with switching back to traditional conference calls. While a phone meeting may feel a little old-fashioned, there’s something to be said about being able to move around and focus on the conversation better. Plus, new technology exists that offers all the benefits of modern virtual meetings without the need for time on-camera. If you’re ready to shake up your business’ remote communication style, here are a few tips for running an effective mobile meeting:
A basic phone call might work if you’re only meeting with one other person. However, suppose your phone meeting will have several other participants, especially in other countries. In that case, it’s important to pick a virtual platform that won’t prevent everyone from attending or inhibiting the conversation.
Many platforms offer voice-only options, like Skype. An app that specializes in voice meetings is Spot, which includes private virtual meeting rooms and transcription note taking.
Plan a schedule ahead of time that will provide a structure for your meeting to follow. Consider elements like:
It’s also wise to set time aside to break the ice if not all participants know each other and give compliments to your team members for their hard work.
Your agenda will also help determine the mobile meeting’s format. It might be a panel discussion where a few attendees do most of the talking, and everyone else listens until a Q&A session at the end. It could be a brainstorming session where everyone bounces ideas off each other, or a team-building meeting to build relationships. Another option is splitting everyone into smaller groups to discuss different topics before bringing all ideas to the table.
One of the disadvantages of mobile meetings is that it’s difficult to discern whose turn it is to speak. It’s common for people to talk over each other, apologize awkwardly, stumble over their words, and assure someone else, “No, you go.”
You can easily overcome this obstacle by assigning a meeting facilitator. This individual will follow the agenda, moderate the discussion to stay on track, and notify participants when it’s their turn to share. The facilitator segues between speakers with phrases like, “Thank you for your input, William. What do you think, Jessica?” This way, everyone knows William’s turn is over, and no one will speak over Jessica when she begins.
Before the meeting begins, though, make sure everyone introduces themselves. It’s difficult to tell who is present without cameras, so having attendees at least say their names establishes who is contributing or listening to the conversation. Similarly, the facilitator should ask everyone to address each other by name with direct questions to avoid confusion.
A problem all meetings face, whether they are in-person, on-camera, or voice-only, is that less outgoing people often feel left out of the discussion. They may have ideas to share but less confidence speaking up or identifying opportunities to interject. To avoid this issue, the facilitator should ensure everyone has a chance to speak, even if they don’t have anything to add. This way, someone who hasn’t had an opportunity to share their opinion throughout most of the meeting knows they will have a guaranteed chance to speak toward the end.
One of a mobile meeting’s most significant advantages is that you don’t have to be stationary for it. You’re not on camera, so why sit at your desk when you can move around and walk? Sitting still for long periods dampens your creativity. Instead, use meeting time as an opportunity to be active. Going for a walk through your neighborhood or nearest park gets the blood flowing to your brain, supports your physical health, stimulates your mind, and helps you generate creative ideas.
It’s always a good idea to take notes during phone meetings. You don’t have to do so manually, though — many virtual meeting apps automatically transcribe your conversation. Phone meeting notes keep a detailed record of what ideas and information everyone shared, allowing you to keep them as a reference or review the discussion whenever you forget.
Hosting a mobile meeting is an excellent way to communicate with your team remotely without cameras while enjoying fresh air and exercise. Following the tips above will help make your meetings productive and flow as smoothly as possible.
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