Working from home: how to engage others during online meetings?

The current COVID-19 situation has an impact on our daily life, and also our working life. For many around the globe, the office is no longer accessible. Instead your home is now your new office. And with that, online meeting tools replace the regular offline meetings, classes and events. With these online meetings, new challenges appear: How to ensure everyone can participate? How to deal with sensitive topics? And how to keep a larger audience engaged? Questions that are already challenging in an offline setting, let alone in an online space. With Sendsteps you can charge your online meeting with several strong engagement ingredients:

Illustration of a woman during an online meeting

How do I know how my online attendees feel?

Without the live presence of your attendees, it is hard to read faces, to hear a tone of voice or to see body language. Therefore, setup a check-in moment before you start with the actual meeting:

  • In the check-in questions relate to their personal (Corona) home-work situation

  • Let attendees vote anonymously on the answer options of these questions

  • Formulate a number of multiple choice questions ahead of your online meeting

  • Reflect on the outcome and leave space to live comments

Questions: how to deal with (many) live questions?

Especially with larger online audiences, it can be challenging to let everyone speak up. Easily it can become messy and unclear. Therefore organize your Q&A properly:

  • Brief attendees ahead of the meeting that questions can be send digitally during a presentation

  • Alternatively let a sidekick process all incoming questions and let him/her forward the questions to the speakers

  • Let attendees give likes to questions raised and deal with the best rated questions after a presentation

  • Next to digital questions, also leave space for live questions and comments

Fun: how to foster online team spirit?

With all the heavy Corona news these days, it is also important to keep looking on the brighter side of things. Of course, if the situation allows it. An online quiz can give a lighter tone and can boost team spirit. Have you considered the big Spring Quiz? A light alternative for Friday afternoon drinks!

  • Setup a quiz with multiple choice questions about a specific (work) topic

  • Let attendees participate (with their names known)

  • Announce the winner and bring out a joyful cheer through the webcam

Appreciation: how to round off an online meeting with energy?

Upon the wrap up of your online meeting, you’d like to let your audience leave with a positive mood. Next to giving all attendees the opportunity to share a last thought or comment, you can also use a wordcloud and visualize the group contribution.

  • Let attendees reply with a single word

  • Formulate a final open question ahead of your meeting

  • See the wordcloud develop as attendees share their final thoughts

  • Reflect on it and end the online meeting in a positive tone

Evaluate: how to improve your next online meeting?

Now that your new-style online meeting has ended, ideally all attendees appreciate the way they have been engaged. But how to measure that in order to improve the next online meeting?

  • Formulate a survey with a few evaluative questions

  • Let attendees respond anonymously at the end of the meeting

  • Process the findings and finetune your next online meeting!

  • Alternatively, but impacting the response rate, you can send the survey after the meeting

Experiment, innovate and improve your online meeting!

The 5 ingredients for an online meeting will help to improve the sense of engagement among your attendees and with that the quality of your online meetings. Are you ready?

Robert Daverschot

Robert is a professional moderator, presenter and speaker coach. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and works for a broad range of industries. He has interviewed ministers, captains of industry and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With it, an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in comments to speakers and panels on stage. As such, events turn into lively dialogues with everyone being able to speak up!