From “can you hear me” to “please unmute yourself”, oh and let’s not forget the times we didn’t realize that the camera was on and we were caught off guard… Oops! We’ve all been hoisted into the virtual age, no thanks to Covid-19…. Who would have ever imagined that Zoom meetings would become a primary means of communication two years ago? Indeed, we live in unprecedented times and like every lemon life has thrown at us, we need to learn how to make the best “lemonade” ever, from this new reality.

The herculean task of every team lead or admin is trying to figure out how to turn our mandatory zoom meetings from “snooze-ville” to a more engaging time. Here are a few tips you can try:

  1. Ensure every teammate has their camera on. Ha-ha! Not convenient, but essential. With the camera on, you ensure that every participant is self conscious and this keeps them from mindlessly drifting to a land far, far away! Sometimes, poor internet connectivity could make this a problem and might require video streaming to be turned off, but make it an essential part of the meeting to request that cameras be turned on from time to time.
  2. Dear team lead/admin, we know we came in for a serious meeting, but please don’t be boring! The truth is, the entire meeting rides on the energy of the team-lead/admin; your energy gets translated to everyone in the room with you. To a large extent, you set the tone of the meeting and the success of the meeting is dependent on how engaging it is.   So, try to be as engaging as you can. Try to add some comic relief in between, mention the names of the participants, be observant, etc.
  3. Have an agenda. This might sound obvious, yea? But it still needs to be reminded. Keep your meetings short and each segment laser focused on the endgame. It’s much harder to hold the attention of people in this new virtual era. Keep your meetings sharp and straight… like a well-aimed arrow! If the meeting has to be a long one, schedule short breaks in between.
  4. Don’t Zoom right in. Make time for introductions… and make it fun.
  5. For team meetings, do “shout-outs”. Ask team members to give accolades to people they personally would like to appreciate- you can make it voluntary or ask everyone to share.

Virtual meetings have come to stay… don’t loathe them, make them interesting!