10 Ways to Host Hybrid Meetings Like a Pro
Nothing costs your influence quite like an ineffective meeting. The introduction our new hybrid workplace challenges what we’ve ever known about meeting facilitation. Many struggle enough hosting in-person meetings, only to find virtual meetings more difficult. Technical mishaps, over-filled calendars and unproductive conversations result in immediate frustration for our listeners. Hybrid meetings add an extra layer of risk as meeting facilitators juggle both in-person and online listeners. Grow your influence by facilitating hybrid meetings like a pro. In 10 simple steps, attendees will trust your meetings are a productive and valuable use of their time.
The larger the meeting, the greater the chance mistakes will occur. Hybrid meetings are challenging enough to facilitate. By over-inviting attendees, your listeners will struggle to hear everyone speaking or even participate themselves.
You never want someone leaving your meeting feeling it was a waste of their time. Take time to prepare your message, no matter the audience. Write down what you need to cover, and in what order. This will keep your thoughts, and the conversation on track.
No one appreciates long-running meetings. An agenda will prevent discussions from going down the wrong path, eating valuable time.
Everything competes for your listener’s attention, challenging your ability to be heard above the noise. Short meetings encourage listeners to pay close attention while reinforcing the need to keep the conversation on track.
Virtual attendees miss the opportunity to make small talk with other meeting attendees, often leaving them feeling like second-class citizens. By opening the Zoom bridge early, you give virtual attendees a chance to engage with others, reinforcing their valued presence.
Explain to attendees how you will facilitate the meeting and take questions in both settings. Invite virtual attendees to utilize the online chat platform, then assign an in-person attendee to monitor the questions posted.
If you are presenting in person, attempt to project the virtual meeting so in-person attendees are reminded of their presence and participation. If a projection screen is not available, set up multiple computers around the table allowing all attendees to connect and engage with each other.
We’ve all been in meetings where one or two attendees attempt to dominate the conversation. It’s up to you to guide the conversation, ensuring everyone has an opportunity to speak. Interject when interruptions occur. Let the offender know you’ll come back around to their thought as soon as the speaker can finish what they were sharing.
It is easy for in-person meeting facilitators to forget their virtual attendees. Every few moments, check-in to ensure they can clearly hear and see. Call on them by name, inviting them to contribute to the conversation. This will help everyone feel better connected.
Nothing feels as cold and abrupt as attending a virtual call that immediately ends. Allow yourself a few minutes to wrap up your meeting, inviting others to provide final thoughts or questions. Recap the discussion to reinforce what your meeting accomplished.
Each hybrid meeting facilitation provides you the opportunity to grow your influence and build trust among attendees.
Next time you host a hybrid meeting, implement these 10 tips to ensure your listeners time is well spent.
Host: Carey Nieuwhof
If you missed one of Stacey’s previous blogs or tips, visit her online.
Check out our Research on Influence in conjunction with the University of Northern Colorado HERE.