Virtual meeting IQ: Q&A
The great news is that Effective Virtual Meetings: Seven Ways to Boost Your Virtual Meeting IQ is that it was interactive and there were a ton of questions. The bad news is that when there are 500 people in the audience, you can’t get to them all.
Following is one that came in that I didn’t get to during the presentation:
Scot R. asked a few questions:
“How would you work OneNote into this?“
When I dropped out of PowerPoint to demonstrate how to use Word as an ‘active agenda,’ I was just sharing my desktop. Anything you’ve got on your computer desktop can be shown to your audience, so OneNote would work just fine! (BTW, it’s a great program…love OneNote!).
“Would you recommend using the video in the meeting?”
That’s a longer answer than I’m going to take the space for here. For a multi-page dissertation about how it works and why I’m very careful with the use of video in a meeting, get the book (please don’t take that as a pitch – I’m just pointing you toward the one resource I know about that addresses this in depth).
The question I’d ask is “what’s the tradeoff?” Video can be useful, and sometimes it’s even necessary, but there’s a cost technologically. What’s the value you’ll get versus the potential downside? Example: if yours is a marketing presentation and you’re unsure of your audiences’ technical savvy, bandwidth, computer horsepower, etc., is what you’ll gain worth the potential risk? (Also see what I wrote to Mary Ellen and Catherine)
It’s a tool – and all tools have their place.
“I work with lots of developers, if I have them at their desk how do I keep them engaged (instead of working on the code so they can leave)?”
We’re talking about remote audiences here. If they all piled into a conference room you not only cannot engage them one-on-one, ask them to contribute, ask them to answer a question, etc., you still can’t guarantee their not coding either.
In addition to including each individual in the discussion, keep things moving. Even someone who glances away or goes to check email will come back so as to not miss something. It’s part of why I push 70-80 slides in a presentation (~30 seconds each).
Finally, remember the ‘move the needle’ exhortation. You’ll never get 100% participation in any meeting, save CEO mandate. Think through what you’d do in ANY meeting to improve its “interestingness” (to coin a word), and remember the goal is to improve the averages.