Virtual meetings are becoming the norm in many organizations with software such as Zoom and Skype making it easy to meet across geographic distance. But not all virtual meetings accomplish their goals. What gets in the way? Multitasking attendees. Uneven participation. Boring report outs and updates. Not using web cameras. Muted phone lines. Poorly planned agendas.
These common obstacles are symptoms of poor planning and weak design. Good planning requires taking the needs of participants into account. Here are twelve brain-based principles that we can apply in designing and facilitating better virtual meetings.
Active Engagement = Active Brains (Engage virtual meeting participants using all your web conferencing interaction tools)
Neurons that Fire Together Wire Together (Unleash innovative solutions to problems with multi-sensory meeting activities)
Vision Trumps All Other Senses (Develop compelling slide decks that trigger involvement)
Social Learning Fires Mirror Neurons (Make it personal, emotional, and connected by using web cameras)
No Pain - No Gain (Challenge attendees to solve real world problems in the meeting)
Practice Makes Permanent (For long-term retention, take time to practice and receive feedback)
For Knowledge Retention and Application
Prime the Pump (Send background information and agendas in advance)
Chunk it Down (Break key discussion topics into shorter segments to maximize attention)
Mix it Up (Bring variety and novelty to your meeting flow)
Sleep On It (For complex topics, hold multiple virtual meetings, delivered over several days)
Test and Retest (If you want attendees to remember and recall information, play games to reinforce what they've discussed and learned)
Use It or Lose It (Follow up with action items and resources immediately after the meeting)
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