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Ways to stay engaged in a virtual meeting

Whereby, April 18, 2021

Video meetings can be tiring, especially when you’re sitting in them all day – which is true for most of us nowadays. Staying engaged and focused for every meeting takes up a lot of energy.

Thankfully, our team at Whereby has some top tips and tricks on how to stay engaged – and keep your meetings engaging. Let’s take a look.

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1. Be prepared

It can be really tiring if you and your colleagues are under pressure to come up with discussion points during a meeting. That’s where a bit of preparation helps. Set an agenda before the meeting and make sure to send it to attendees in advance to give them (and you) time to prepare. The same thing goes for your 1:1s.

If you’re in a regular team meeting, try picking a different note taker for each meeting so everyone’s invested. Afterwards, share the notes somewhere where the whole team can help with editing and assigning action points – like Google Docs or Notion.

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2. Switch off distractions

People can tell when you’re distracted on a call, like when you take a quick peek at the email or Slack notification in the corner of your screen. It stops you from being able to focus – and it throws other people off, too.

Try disabling your notifications and quitting distracting apps to help your brain stay on task (Do Not Disturb mode works like a charm). Make sure the video window is your main window.

Staying 100% engaged is easier said than done, but it’s totally worth it – for you and your team.

3. Maximize other participants

Constantly looking at yourself during a video meeting can be distracting. It’s like looking in a mirror all day long, which would be kind of weird (although great for spotting spinach that’s stuck in your teeth).

Try maximizing other people’s video in a 1:1. It’ll feel much more like you’re speaking to them in the same room. And on Whereby, it’s as simple as double tapping the participant’s face. Easy.

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4. Be human

The people you’re talking to on camera are human, just like you. So don’t be afraid to do regular human stuff, like taking a sip of your coffee or water on screen. Staying hydrated isn’t unprofessional or weird.

Also, you don’t need to hide your background (unless you want to). It can be a nice way for someone to get to know you, and helps with small talk. Particularly if a cute pet walks in.If you want to make sure you leave a lasting impression, look into your camera at the beginning and end of the meeting. This will give the person you’re speaking to the feeling you’re looking them in the eyes, just like if you met in person.

5. Give feedback

If you’re leading a virtual meeting, it can sometimes feel like you’re talking to an empty room, which is a bit demoralizing. On Whereby, you can use emoji reactions to let the speaker know that you’re listening, or if there’s a point that you particularly agree with (it’s all about the party popper emoji).

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Another way of giving feedback is to nod or say “mmhmm”, like you would in person. It shows that you’re actively listening, which encourages people to continue speaking. It also means people are more likely to listen to you when it’s your turn to speak.

6. Switch it up

If you’re getting tired of the same meeting format, you could try a whiteboard session with Miro. It’s perfect for workshops, brainstorms, and more. With Whereby, all meeting participants can collaborate in a Miro board without leaving the call.

If you want to show people what you’re working on, just share your screen. Or people can follow along in Miro from their own computer. Meeting participants don’t even need a Miro account to create a new board with Whereby, so everyone can get involved.

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7. Keep things fun

Remote working can be a super efficient way to get things done but it’s important to have fun along the way, too. To get over the post-lunch slump, try teaming up with your colleagues for a power hour to crank through some work together.

When you’re in your Whereby meeting, tap “Share” to show off your Spotify playlist. Make sure you tick the “Share audio” box so everyone can hear the same song at the same time. You could even create a team playlist so everyone can keep adding music.

If you want to turn the fun dial up to 11 for team socials, try hosting a karaoke night using Whereby’s YouTube integration. Or get everyone together for some drawing-related challenges using Miro’s drawing tool. The choices are (almost) endless!

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Want to start running more engaging meetings? Try Whereby for free.

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