Five Ways to Have More Engaging Zoom Meetings (Everyone Will Thank You)

Larry Olsen December 14, 2020

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been attending a record number of Zoom meetings and webinars over the last several months, and most of them have been dry and teetering on the edge of boring. Ok, some have been boring!

If this sounds familiar and you’re looking for some insight to have more effective and engaging Zoom meetings – I’ve come up with my Top 5 strategies that we use at Aperneo. Having 50 years in business working with people directly, at all levels of an organization, teaches you some things that you can apply using technology in 2020 and into 2021.

1. Know the rules of engagement

First and foremost, make sure that everyone on the call knows the rules of engagement in advance. These are simple but important things, such as being on time. Video meetings make it obvious when people show up late, and that wastes the time of those who do arrive on time. Plus, it can show disrespect to others – even if that is not the intention. Another rule of engagement is to turn your camera on. This is an opportunity to really communicate and interact, and not feel tempted to hide behind a blank screen.

If your meeting is with a larger group, be sure to turn your mic off until it is your turn to talk. This is just a courtesy and especially so if / when you have a barking dog, loud toddlers or any unexpected noises in the background. Also, say “hello” to everyone, and if you are the host of the meeting make sure you introduce everyone.

2. Utilize polls and chat to increase engagement

If you’re providing training or reinforcing best practices in a team meeting, polling is a great way to keep people engaged. You can deliver some information, then pull up the polling tool for a quick pop quiz. It not only reinforces what everyone is learning but will be a welcome break from the ongoing conversation.

Also, Zoom’s chat function works well if you’re engaging with a big group of people. It allows you to post notes on the subject matter as you go. This feature also allows you to highlight important points, while giving people the ability to ask questions.

3. Invite guest speakers onto your meeting

As you know, Zoom meetings are great for teaching and educating on a broad spectrum of topics. One consideration when planning your next meeting, especially if you’re looking to make them more effective and engaging, is to bring in guest experts to present some or all of the content. Guest speakers bring value, trust and a fresh perspective that can further the success of the meeting in a fun new way.

I get asked to speak on Zoom meetings, and I’m excited to do it. Special guests can bring invaluable credibility that can go a long way to increasing a company’s bottom line. Consider getting a guest speaker who is an expert at the topic at hand, for your next meeting. If you’d like to inquire about having me be a guest at one of your upcoming company meetings, contact us today.

david testimonial

4. If you’re the host, you should stick around till the end

Even though this might seem obvious, it’s surprising how many times the host is gone while others in the meeting are still on the call or in the process of signing off. My suggestion is to wait until everyone else has left the meeting before hanging up. This allows attendees to leave at their own pace and also get any final words in before disconnecting. A host leaving everyone else in the meeting is much like bailing on your own celebration.

Don’t be a bad host by checking out while other team members, guests or colleagues are still on the call. This is just proper etiquette in business – and in personal life too.

5. Always use the Litmus test

In our Zoom meetings, I always use the Litmus test by asking this question: “Would I do this in person when talking to a group?” If the answer is no, then don’t do it virtually! Just because you’re online doesn’t mean social etiquette ever stopped remaining in effect.

It looks like we’ll be doing more video meetings in the near future, and even continuing once we can go back to more in-person meetings. Zoom meetings are here to stay for all companies, so the “online social etiquette bar” should remain high for your organization. If you’re the leader or host of your meeting, you set the tone and people will follow your lead, so always keep that in mind.

Have more ideas? Share them with us!

I hope you’ve found these tips to be helpful. If you are struggling to keep your team engaged or just need to give them a jump start for the New Year, I can customize a call just for you and your team to get energized, motivated and ready to increase productivity! Let’s schedule time to talk.

Aperneo is an achievement acceleration company providing individuals and teams quick, actionable guidance on how to break ingrained, ineffective habits. The Aperneo approach to professional development balances common sense, practical neuroscience, and personal accountability, enabling clients to gain insights and perspectives to live, work, and engage with more success.

zoom meetings