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Top 7 tips to run effective virtual meetings

NitanshLast Updated: December 21, 2022

The past two years have taught us new ways to work. Among them, the biggest realization is that virtual meetings are essential for remote teams. At the same time, it’s no secret that they can be challenging to run. Not only do they require more preparation than face-to-face meetings, but they are also more prone to interruptions. However, with proper planning and organization, virtual meetings can be more efficient than in-person ones. And they can also help you improve your team’s productivity. Here are seven best practices for running an effective virtual meeting.

Read: 33 remote work statistics in 2022 that prove that it’s here to stay

1. Have clear goals

One of the most important things you can do to run virtual meetings effectively is to have a clear agenda. Before starting your meeting, ensure you know exactly what outcomes you are looking for. Ensure those goals follow the guidelines of SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

For example, “we need to come up with a new strategy for customer service” isn’t specific enough as a goal. It doesn’t tell anyone which customer service tactics they should use in the future or why they should change from their current ones. Instead “we need to replace the existing WhatsApp chat for customer service as it’s not effective for resolving queries” is a clearer goal. This will ensure that people attending the meeting know what to expect and thus, come prepared for it.

2. Choose the right platform

While Zoom has become the de facto choice for a video conferencing platform, it’s not the only one. If you’re looking for something easy to use, offers collaboration features, and has good audio and video quality, here are a few things to consider when selecting a platform:

  • Is it compatible with the devices you need? Not all platforms support the same devices—some only work on PCs, others are mobile-only—so make sure it matches what’s prominently used and preferred in your workplace before purchasing it.
  • Is it scalable? You may need a certain number of participants for this first meeting, but if you find yourself regularly hosting virtual meetings with 20 or more people involved at once, select a platform that can grow along with your needs over time.
  • Does it have good audio/video quality? Choosing a platform that can’t handle multiple video feeds at once will lead to choppy feeds and poor sound quality during meetings, which defeats the purpose of using one in the first place.

Some of the popular options beyond Zoom include Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, and more.

3. Be inclusive

It’s a good idea to ensure everyone is included in the meeting. Encourage people to share their input and ideas so that you can get a sense of what your team thinks about the issues at hand. It’s also essential to ensure everyone is heard, not just those who talk most frequently or loudly.

When you make an agenda for the meeting, including proposed topics and potential solutions. You could also assign each team member a topic they would like to discuss during the meeting so they can prepare ahead of time and be ready with ideas when needed. If one person has a lot of thoughts on an issue, ask them if they would like extra time to share them with everyone in attendance.

4. Stick to the agenda

As mentioned above, a well-run virtual meeting starts with an agenda. It should be sent out to participants in advance and shared with them in several formats, including text, email, or the internal company network. Once everyone knows what’s going on, follow up with a reminder about the meeting time and date.

Your agenda should include all the topics you want to discuss during your meeting. It should also have a list of attendees so that everyone knows who else will be there and can contact them if necessary before or after the meeting. The agenda is integral to running a successful virtual meeting, so it shouldn’t be missed

5. Set ground rules

Before the meeting starts, set the tone for what’s to come. Explain why it’s essential to be on time and stick to the topic or agenda. If someone cannot attend a meeting, they should notify you in advance so you can adjust your plans accordingly.

Also, mention how much time you want participants to give their input, who is leading and moderating the discussion, and how participants can request a break if needed.

A good way of doing this is by emailing before the meeting starts with all this information. You may also include other relevant details, such as links where people can find more information about what will be discussed during that meeting or specific documents related to those topics used during those meetings.

6. Manage participant interaction

As the meeting organizer and facilitator, you are responsible for managing the conversation. You will need to stay alert and steer discussions back on track if they begin to stray from their original course. If necessary, ask questions to determine the best way forward. This will keep participants focused on getting things accomplished rather than debating minor points that may or may not be relevant to their purpose in holding the meeting in the first place.

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The moderator should also ensure that all participants have an opportunity to speak during each session. When asking questions that require responses from other team members, try asking multiple people at once, so no one has a chance to go unheard or unappreciated by others on their team. This approach also helps prevent possible conflict between co-workers who might otherwise have different opinions about a particular topic being discussed during an online meeting.

Finally, as moderator, it’s up to you to ensure everything runs smoothly throughout your virtual meeting. Take charge of keeping everyone on task by scheduling breaks where needed.

7. Don’t forget to follow up

As the meeting organizer, ensure you follow up with participants promptly once they’ve returned to their offices. It will help ensure that everyone clearly understands what was discussed and decided during the meeting.

It’s also imperative that you follow up with your boss or manager. It allows them to ask questions about what happened during the virtual meeting and helps them understand how these meetings can be used for future engagements. Of course, it also keeps them apprised of any developments or insights that may have surfaced during the meetings.


Running effective virtual meetings is challenging, but it is certainly possible. All you need are the right tools and some knowledge of how to use them. With these tips in mind, we are sure that you will be well on your way to running virtual meetings smoothly and efficiently.

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