NetSpeed Learning Solutions September 2019
Use Your Noggin for
Better Virtual Meetings
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.
For Engagement  
  • 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) 
To explore some of these cognitive principles more fully (and experience an interactive online meeting), join us for our next complimentary webinar That's Using Your Noggin: Brain-based Principles for Better Virtual Meetings on Wednesday, September 11, 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT.
Cynthia Clay signature
Cynthia Clay
Virtual Trainer Tips:
Why Do We Do What We Do?
Earlier this year we held our company's annual Virtual Team Retreat. We reviewed our accomplishments and identified goals.

In preparation for our time together, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about my purpose, why I do what I do. In a normal week, I may deliver a web workshop, write an article or blog post, present a sales demo for a prospective client, create an infographic, and prepare for a speaking engagement. Those are activities I love! I also might analyze financial reports, negotiate a contract with a vendor, manage our cash flow, book a flight, and problem-solve an unexpected glitch with our telephone bridge. These are tasks that I'm less interested in, though they are certainly important.

How do we benefit from understanding our underlying motivational drivers? I know that I am motivated by communicating and connecting with others. I love thinking creatively and strategically about our company's future. I also know that I love to help people discover what they are capable of and develop to their highest potential. It's a theme I see in my parenting, my training and speaking, my work with our clients, and my work with my team. Because I know what my deeper purpose is, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that NetSpeed Learning Solutions succeeds. Even the grunt work has meaning when it serves a higher purpose.

At our retreat, we celebrated our successes and discussed the positive client feedback that we received. We also connected what gives us pride about our client work to our underlying motivation and purpose. With that context, we set our goals. Goals come to life when we understand why we do what we do. With that deeper sense of purpose, it's easier to persevere when challenges arise.
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