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How to run effective virtual meetings?

Master the art of running effective virtual meetings with our comprehensive guide. Learn proven techniques for engaging participants, optimizing communication, and maximizing productivity in remote team settings. From setting clear objectives to utilizing interactive tools, our expert tips will help you lead successful virtual meetings that drive collaboration and deliver results.

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The advent of digital communication has revolutionized the way we conduct business meetings. Today, businesses can collaborate with team members across different time zones and geographical locations, thanks to virtual meetings. However, the success of a virtual meeting hinges on how effectively it's conducted. Let's explore what virtual meetings are, the best practices for running them, and tips for keeping them engaging and productive.

What is a Virtual Meeting?

A virtual meeting is an online gathering of individuals using digital tools such as a video conferencing platform or a virtual meeting platform. Ranging from small team meetings to larger business meetings, virtual meetings eliminate the constraints of physical locations, reducing the need for travel and making them a more flexible, cost-effective alternative to in-person meetings. This shift to the virtual sphere has made remote team collaboration the norm rather than the exception, paving the way for productive collaborations irrespective of geographical boundaries.

A Virtual One-on-One Meeting

Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash

Your Checklist for a Successful Virtual Meeting

While virtual meetings offer numerous advantages, they also pose unique challenges, including technical issues, communication barriers, and participant engagement. To overcome these challenges, follow this checklist for successful virtual meetings.

Pick the Right Virtual Meeting Tools

A successful virtual meeting starts with the right tools. Virtual meeting tools encompass a range of software and technology, from video conferencing tools to chat features for team collaboration and meeting management tools. The choice of tools depends on your meeting objectives, the size of the meeting, and the participants' technical capabilities. Some key factors to consider include video and voice-over IP quality, user-friendly interfaces, and additional features like screen-sharing and recording capabilities.

Define Virtual Meeting Etiquette

Etiquette is just as crucial in virtual meetings as in physical ones. Virtual meeting etiquette includes maintaining video quality, using the chat box responsibly, and respecting others' time. It is important to set these ground rules before the meeting to ensure everyone is on the same page and the meeting environment remains respectful and productive.

Create a Meeting Agenda

An effective meeting agenda is a roadmap guiding participants through the meeting. It should include meeting goals, action items, and key discussion points, and be shared with participants in advance. This not only helps attendees prepare but also keeps the meeting focused and on track, ensuring time is used efficiently.

AI-generated meeting agendas from tools like Dive can be supremely useful in automating this process and helping the entire team become more productive. You can also learn more about how to create a kick-ass meeting agenda here.

Run the Meeting

Running the meeting effectively is the responsibility of the meeting organizer. This involves introducing each agenda item, facilitating discussions, and ensuring all participants have an opportunity to contribute. It's also important to manage time effectively to prevent the meeting from running overtime, a common pitfall of both physical and virtual meetings.

Post-Meeting Roundup

After the meeting, a follow-up email should be sent to all attendees. This email should summarize the discussion, outline agreed-upon action items, and provide any additional resources or materials referenced during the meeting. A comprehensive post-meeting roundup ensures everyone is aligned on the next steps and keeps everyone accountable.

4 Virtual Meeting Best Practices to Boost Engagement

Even with the most effective planning and the best tools, virtual meetings can still fall flat if they fail to engage attendees. Here are some additional tips to boost engagement and ensure your virtual meetings are not just productive, but also enjoyable.

Engaging Virtual Meeting

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

1. Warm-Up During Breaks

Engagement in a virtual meeting can be enhanced by incorporating breaks for warm-up activities or networking sessions. This can serve as a welcome distraction, help attendees regain focus, and foster team connection, critical in a remote team setup.

2. Have a Dress Code for the Meeting

Maintaining professionalism in a virtual meeting is important. Having a dress code, while it may seem unnecessary when working from home, can contribute to a more professional atmosphere and help attendees stay in the right mindset for the meeting.

3. Schedule Time to Unwind After the Meeting

After the meeting, consider scheduling some informal time for participants to relax and socialize. This can involve a virtual team-building activity or a casual chat. This not only helps to build stronger relationships among team members but also brings a sense of camaraderie, boosting team morale.

4. Share Meeting Replays

Technical issues can disrupt the meeting experience for some attendees. By recording the meeting and sharing the replay, you ensure that nobody misses out on important information. It also serves as a useful resource for attendees to revisit the discussions at their own pace.


In the modern business landscape, virtual meetings have become a vital tool for collaboration and decision-making. However, running effective and productive online meetings requires planning, the right tools, adherence to defined etiquette, and strategies to keep attendees engaged. By following this guide, you can lead virtual meetings that not only achieve their objectives but also promote a sense of unity and collaboration within your remote team, leading to more productive outcomes in the long run.


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