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Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett
Forget the Pajamas: Hosting
Successful Zoom Meetings
Recently I watched a Senatorial hearing with Dr. Fauci and others who are managing the Coronavirus emergency. Several, including the medical experts, were participating from their homes. Occasionally the systems of some of the home participants froze. In addition, one Senator’s dog was a loud, and annoying, participant!
Zoom and Google Meet are valuable tools, but it takes skill to run a successful online meeting or to be a good participant. Besides asking participants to remove children, dogs, and other noisy distractions, Zoom meeting hosts should:
- Set the stage by sending out invitations with the Zoom link three to seven days beforehand. Then, send a reminder the day before the meeting.
- Test Zoom before the meeting. Offer to help people who are inexperienced with using Zoom. Master mute/unmute, chat, and other Zoom features. If you have exhibits, check if text and numbers are large enough to read online.
- Post an agenda, or state the purpose of the meeting. No purpose; no meeting!
- Only invite those who need to participate. Twelve or fewer participants are ideal.
- Distribute minutes and other supporting material in advance so that people don’t have to strain to read the material online.
- Tackle difficult issues early as they are distractions. Save good news for the end.
- Moderate discussions so that only one person talks at a time; no one dominates; and everyone gets a turn. Ask questions to increase participation. Politely check people who are long-winded.
- Control noise. Mute participants with noisy backgrounds, or mute everyone except the speaker.
- Ask participants to turn off their cell phones.
- Keep the meetings short. Participating in Zoom meetings that last over 45-60 minutes is exhausting.
Like all meetings, online meetings require careful planning and skilled management. Above all, don’t meet unless you have a good reason to meet. And, dress appropriately!
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Copyright © 6/20 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.
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