How to Use Technology to Take Charge of Your Business Meetings
Meetings pose an ongoing challenge for business leaders. The goal is to lead meetings more efficiently. However, that’s easier said then done.
Although they’re a necessary part of effective communication and collaboration, meetings can easily become a drudgery for attendees. For years, interoffice meetings meant handing out a paper-based agenda. Participants would take notes on pads of paper. Once the meeting was over, leaders found it difficult to gauge how things had gone. This made it difficult to get the information they needed to improve.
Once technology entered the workplace, meetings naturally evolved. Instead of relying on flat verbal presentations, PowerPoint made it easy to convey concepts.
Using Technology to Improve Meetings
Now, meeting leaders are so busy, they may not realize that there are now many tools that can take their gatherings to the next level. Here are a few top ways technology is providing ways to lead meetings more efficiently.
One of the biggest failures in business meetings is that participants are expected to serve as little more than audience members. Tools like GoWall are changing that, giving attendees the resources they need to contribute to a meeting without being disruptive. As concepts are communicated, participants can add their own thoughts to an “idea wall” in real time. Since others can see these notes, they’ll naturally feel inspired to contribute.
The result is a more engaged audience. There is also valuable documentation that leaders can use to move forward and lead meetings more efficiently. Employees feel like contributors in this situation. Therefore, they get excited about future meetings. This technology can be used for on-site get-togethers and meetings with remote staff.
When you think of meeting feedback, you likely think of the “How was our presentation?” surveys found at many conferences and seminars. However, solutions like ParticiPoll bring a poll tool to meetings of all sizes This includes standard staff meetings. The poll can be incorporated into aPowerPoint presentation. That way, you can invite attendees to rate each presentation and provide feedback at its conclusion. You can also include polls within the presentation, having participants rate various things in real time.
This type of tool is perfect for businesses that regularly host presentations for remote participants. You’ll be able to gather votes from your entire team and use that information after the meeting concludes. Not only will you see the results of your polls live, but you’ll also be able to access all of your polls after the fact. This will allow you to identify trends so you can lead meetings more efficiently.
Popular solutions like Google Hangouts have revolutionized videoconferencing, making it easy to launch virtual meetings where everyone participates. Google’s tool has itself evolved over the years, adapting to the always-changing demands of the businesses that use it. Like similar collaboration tools, Google Hangouts let employees move from text-based chat to file-sharing to video chat with ease.
Among the many benefits of Google’s tool is that many people already have an account, which means they can join without signing up. They’ll also be able to access other tools within the platform, including Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. This makes it easy to initiate calls not only with your existing employees, but with outside sources such as clients and contract workers. Cisco’s WebEx has also expanded its offerings over the years to help participants move easily between chatting, making phone calls, and video chatting.
Brainstorming is a great way to lead meetings more efficiently. It can call upon the expertise of an entire team, since one idea can easily feed another. But standing in front of a whiteboard with a dry-erase marker is not an option for many businesses, now that some workers and clients attend by phone. A whiteboarding app can resolve that, starting with the meeting leader’s ability to demonstrate concepts using a finger on a smart screen.
Today’s popular solutions include apps like Cisco Spark Board, which incorporates screen sharing to let multiple team members participate in whiteboarding. This can be essential for brainstorming with remote workers, as well as with clients who might want to talk through concepts. All information is saved for later, which means your team will be able to use the data to inform the project that was the topic of the meeting.
Lead Meetings More Efficiently
Whether you choose one of these tools or a combination of multiple solutions, it’s important to create an environment that helps you lead meetings more efficiently. Make sure that you’re regularly gaining the input you need to improve your future meetings. Eventually, you’ll find that employees are not only excited about upcoming business meetings, but they’re scheduling their own video chats with the easy-to-use suite of solutions you’ve put in place.
Republished by permission. Original here.
Image via Due.com
This article, “How to Use Technology to Take Charge of Your Business Meetings” was first published on Small Business Trends