2020 is the year of the Zoom meeting. People are meeting virtually at an astronomical rate, and as long as “shelter in place” orders remain, this is likely to remain the norm for some time.
Making video conferencing work is not a slam dunk, however. It takes much more effort to keep people engaged. Here are tips for making your next Zoom meeting the best one yet.
Get Everyone Excited
Judi Holler, event speaker and author, suggests several ways to spur motivation and excitement during a video call. “Have music playing with the video off when they arrive. Then come in and dance it out. Start with music and movement,” Holler says, who then adds, “And dress like you mean it!”
People tend to let their minds wander when the information presented is chock-full of data and bullet points. Instead, Holler recommends using images and elements of storytelling, as well as other forms of communication and gamification.
“Use the chat box, run a contest. Give away something,” she says. “Ask them where they are calling in from. Ask them to share emoji that fit their mood.” She recommends doing a dress rehearsal to learn the Zoom platform. “You will feel more comfortable and brave.”
Nourish Your Attendees
There’s been an overwhelming surge in demand for food-delivery services for households, and so it’s no surprise demand for workplace-based food service has also spiked.
Nybll, a health-focused catering company, recently launched Nybll Connect, an at-home catering option for work-from-home meetings and conferences. While it typically serves food to the meeting rooms of companies, Nybll Connect is now delivering plant-based food options to people’s homes so those in virtual conversations can dine together.
With more than 4 million meals served, Nybll Connect makes virtual meetings feel more connected through healthy food. The company currently offers three packages, based on the length of the meeting: Connect, Align and Collaborate.
You can also customize an order for your group. Gifts can be tucked in with packaged meals, including a “quarantini” shirt, a seasonal fruit basket, a branded cookie, a jump rope and a stress ball.
Make it Engaging
Kim Marshall, host of Global Wellness Summit Podcast and cofounder of S’Well Public Relations, suggests more ways to increase engagement during video meetings. Chief among these are making sure the message is clear and using tools that stimulate the senses.
She also suggests using a moderator. “[This] doesn’t mean the moderator is the boss of the meeting,” she says. “Instead, they act as a respectful, objective ‘control tower’ who watches the time and agenda, moves things forward—if participants start going in circles—and spots unresolved issues, rephrases questions, smoothly segues from one agenda item to the next and confirms action items and their owners.”
If you don’t use a moderator, try something more sensory-oriented. Marshall likes live music, live scribing, and mindfulness or movement breaks. “Science shows this will help enhance engagement, support clear-headed thinking and thus result in more effective teamwork and better decision-making for both virtual and in-person meetings,” she says.