In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are suffering from the pandemic of ‘meetings’. Every hour of the day, endless monotony, some strategic, some departmental, some informative… it can be rather exhausting. With average employees spending around six hours per day on video calls, zoom fatigue is real. If your employees are fed up of zoom meetings, here are 7 ways to jazz up your videoconferences and feel great about them again.
Set a Positive Tone
Videoconference calls often feel gloomy and awkward. As the person leading the meeting, start out with a happy, positive tone and people will automatically pick up on your enthusiasm. Greet all participants heartily, tell them you feel happy seeing them, ask everyone how they have been, lavish compliments on your colleagues, and try to see everything through a lens of optimism.
Refrain from passing criticisms and make sure to prevent the meeting from steering in a negative direction. Keep smiling and keep your body posture amenable. Stay present and listen to what everyone has to say. Nod along when others are talking to encourage them to continue. Clap for speakers by doing some jazz hands and encourage others to do the same, after each participant takes their turn speaking.
Stick to Topics That Allow Inclusion
Not everyone on your team is having a great time, not everyone is a fan of soccer, and not everyone is binge-watching Netflix. Before starting the meeting, keep in mind that all participants of the meetings are different. Try to find general topics that everyone can join in. Start your zoom meetings with fun questions that everyone can answer and be amused from.
Cut to the Chase
Not another online meeting! People are exhausted by the prospect of constant meetings so be sure to only conduct meetings when there is something important to be discussed. Skip the small talk and get on with the agenda. Unlike physical meetings, you don’t have to wait for people to settle down, greet each other and offer them a drink. Zoom offers a perfect opportunity to head straight into the topic at hand. Trust me, your employees will breathe a sigh of relief if you set a tone for efficiency.
Need feedback from your team on the agenda at the table? As the host of the zoom meeting, you can create a poll that all other participants can vote in. Not only that, this feature makes a simple warm-up activity to start a meeting. Find out who got enough shut eye during the night, garner insight into general feelings about remote work, ask your team to vote for the next team building activity, and so on. This tool is great for voting on meeting topics to make important decisions. Since answers stay anonymous, everyone can feel comfortable choosing their favorite option.
Get Creative with Backgrounds
I was just admiring the lavish apartment of my colleague when she laughed and told me it was just background. Ever since, my teammates and I are hooked to fun zoom background and the background is swankier each time we hold a meeting. Pick your luxurious location each day or look up creative backgrounds that suit your style. New scenery might perk everyone up, bring about new ideas about approaching challenges, and simply keep things from becoming monotonous.
Remember to Laugh
Zoom calls don’t leave much room for the banter a real-life meeting would have. If you feel like the meeting is becoming too intense or tempers are flaring, schedule in some laughs. Zoom offers the on-demand service of laugh breaks, led by an improv team of professionals in hilarity that aim to lighten the mood at boring Zoom calls. A bit of laughter does wonders for shedding a positive light on the scenario and can change the mood in an instant. Watch your meetings step up a gear after everyone has had a good laugh.
Arrive Early and Set Up
If you are the host, this is an important step that you shouldn’t neglect. Don’t make the participants of your meeting sigh silently and twiddle their thumbs while you struggle to share your screen or figure out why audio isn’t working. If you want things to go smoothly, make sure to arrive early so that you can ensure that everything is set up correctly before the scheduled time. Check your cam, audio, speakers, and make sure that you have opened all the files and tabs that are needed for the meeting so that you don’t end up hunting for anything mid-meeting.