Meetings are a fundamental part of the modern workplace. When you have many people working on the same project, meetings are necessary to ensure everyone collaborates effectively. Ideally, you should keep sessions short because even adults have limited attention spans. However, some meetings must be long to accomplish all of the things that need to get done. It can be challenging to keep attendees alert, attentive, and interested in long meetings. Here are four tips from the Conference Group you can use to host long meetings effectively.
The key to managing a long meeting is to have an agenda, and that applies to long virtual meetings as well. Meeting organizers can use the agenda-setting process to make sure only the vital elements are being discussed and to trim items that cause the session to drag on unnecessarily. Including an agenda helps meeting attendees in several ways. Sending the schedule in advance allows everyone to come prepared for the meeting, eliminating wasted time as people scramble to find reports or look up answers. It also helps to see the finish line when you’re doing a long meeting. This tactic eliminates the frustration that can come with not knowing when the meeting will end.
An agenda is only useful if the meeting organizer sticks to it. There is always the potential for something unexpected to come up during a meeting. When a meeting is already taking a long time, it’s vital to prevent unexpected items from eating up too much time. Meeting organizers should know how much time they plan to spend on each item on the agenda. It’s a good idea to allow a little extra time for questions and comments, but be prepared to stop the discussion if it carries on for too long. An additional five minutes here and there can quickly add another half hour to a meeting, which is bad if the meeting is already going to take a long time. To ensure your audience isn’t too exhausted by the end of the conference call, make sure to stay on track.
Depending on the length of a meeting, it may be beneficial to schedule a break for the attendees. It’s an opportunity to use the restroom, grab some coffee, and stretch their legs. A quick 5 or 10-minute break can leave everyone feeling refreshed and ready to engage with the remainder of the meeting agenda. When hosting a conference call, you can either have a quick break where everyone knows to come back to their phone at a particular time. With the affordable pricing of Together Talk Audio, a small break isn’t going to cost the meeting host very much. However, meeting organizers could divide the meeting into separate calls. You can end the first call when it’s time for the break, and have a new line to join when the break is finished. This method is most appropriate for situations where there is a meal break during a long meeting.
When conference calls and other virtual meetings run too long, the most pressing concern is that people will stop paying attention. Meeting organizers can prevent this from happening by including many opportunities for audience engagement. When these opportunities for feedback are woven into the meeting experience, it encourages attendees to pay attention, so they’re ready when questions are asked. Together Talk Audio from the Conference Group has several features that can be used to add engagement opportunities. Call organizers can include Q&A sections, polls, and more.
Whether you plan on hosting long or short virtual meetings, the Conference Group has everything you need to make your remote gatherings a success. Speak to a Meeting Specialist from the Conference Group to learn how smarter services can make your virtual meetings more cost-effective and productive.