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6 (More) Ways to Make Virtual Meetings Engaging

By Brian Farris   |    March 16, 2021   |    8:39 PM

How Meeting Presenters Can Make Virtual Meetings More Interesting & Engaging

It wasn’t too long ago that I shared these five methods for making sure employees stay engaged during virtual meetings.

Since virtual meetings will continue to be a regular part of modern work, I figured it would be helpful to round up even more tips and tricks for hosting effective video calls.

If your team is burnt out on virtual meetings, try these strategies to liven things up and increase engagement.

1. Use visual aids

It’s easy for attendees to get distracted, especially during dense presentations where one person is addressing the entire audience at length.

Visuals are a great way to get someone’s attention, and there’s an infinite number of ways to incorporate them into a presentation:

  • Word clouds
  • Flow charts
  • Venn diagrams
  • Relevant photos
  • Irrelevant photos (Try adding a funny photo or relateable meme to your next presentation. Attendees will get a quick laugh, which can help break up an otherwise monotonous meeting.)

2. Outline your meeting, then make it shorter

No one wants to spend extra time in meetings. A bit of preparation is the best way to ensure everyone’s time is used efficiently.

If you’re presenting, make an outline of what you want to cover during the meeting. Then, ruthlessly edit your outline. What can be cut? How might you convey a point more effectively? 

3. Check your camera angles

Before a virtual meeting, make sure your camera is set up properly. It’s tough to engage with a presenter if you can only see part of their face.

While you’re adjusting your camera, consider hiding your own video from the screen. That way you’ll be more inclined to look into the camera and not check your own appearance.

4. Block out background noise

Sometimes it’s impossible to control background noise, especially while working from home. Fortunately, there are ways to control the level of noise that attendees hear.

Zoom has a ‘Suppress background noise’ option in its Audio settings, and you can easily experiment with different levels of noise suppression.

There are also third-party software options that can remove background noise from virtual meetings, no matter what communications tool you’re using. Krisp.ai is the leading option in this category, with affordable pricing for individuals and teams.

5. Let attendees know the meeting will be recorded

If a meeting will contain lots of useful information that attendees may want to revisit later on, consider recording the meeting.

A recording makes it easy for participants to double check their notes, confirm next steps, and more.

You may worry that employees won’t pay attention when they know a replay will be available. This is certainly possible, but it doesn’t negate the benefits of recording important information. 

6. Incorporate polls and surveys into your virtual meetings

Zoom, GoToMeeting, and other virtual meeting platforms allow meeting hosts to create and share polls during meetings.

A quick poll or quiz can grab everyone’s attention and bring it back to the presentation at hand. You can use these interactive elements to test knowledge retention, but don’t be afraid to use them for fun, too. 

Here are some ideas to try:

  • Opinion polls (on a serious business topic, or on something less-than serious)
  • Image polls (ask attendees to rate which image is the cutest, funniest, etc.)
  • Mood meter polls using emojis (“Which emoji best describes your current mood?”)
  • Ask a series of true or false questions

You can also ask attendees to fill out a survey at the end of the meeting. With any luck, you’ll gain valuable insights and feedback that can be used to make future virtual meetings even better.