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Eliminate virtual meeting distractions: tips for meeting organizers

What is really happening in your virtual meetings when the cameras are off? 

It's always been easy to get distracted during virtual meetings, with most participants admitting to multi-tasking by answering emails and doing other work. Now with more people working from home, there are added distractions that cannot be avoided - children and pets demanding attention, the delivery driver suddenly showing up and more. 

There are many tips to help individuals eliminate distractions around them, but there are also things meeting organizers can do to help.

Meeting organizers can help participants be prepared and more focused during their meetings using these suggestions. 

  1. Give People Time to Prepare: Send the agenda 24 hours (or more) in advance so attendees have time to prepare their thoughts and come ready for discussion. This way when the inevitable distraction comes up, they already have their thoughts together on the topic. 

  2. Make Sure Agenda Topics are Relevant to All Participants: If a topic doesn't apply to all attendees, it should not be on the agenda. This ensures the best use of everyone's time. 

  3. Focus on Meetings With the Most Value: Status meetings are often only relevant to the meeting organizer or leader. Instead of meeting, have people share their for-information-only status updates in Microsoft Teams and focus your meeting time on topics that require discussions and decision-making. 

  4. Stick to the Agenda: Creating a great agenda and sticking to it will decrease the number of follow-up meetings you need to have because topics didn't get covered. This allows people to spend more time on work that matters to the business. 

  5. Communicate Clear Outcomes and Deadlines: At the end of the meeting and again in the meeting minutes, clearly recap what decisions were made and what action items need to be completed. This ensures that even if someone had a meeting distraction, everyone ends the meeting on the same page. You can also use the first five minutes of the next meeting to review outstanding and upcoming tasks, to further keep everyone on track. 

Decisions helps meeting organizers run more successful meetings. Start your free trial of Decisions when you download it today from Microsoft AppSource. 

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Tag(s): Meeting Tips

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