Who would have thought we’d miss the office presentations?
As the world continues to close down and open up in waves, all of us have become used to the work from home model. Thus the need for work from home meeting tips. The occasional spouses and children peeking in are forgiven, and so are poor microphones and lagging internet connection.
But it is one thing to allow such mishaps with colleagues, and a completely different ballgame when you mess up in front of clients and customers. With meetings going online, people who work from home no longer have office tools and resources and the person-to-person connection to aid their presentations.
This doesn’t mean that you need to wait for everything to open up again before conducting your meets and project pitches. In fact, you can nail your work from home meetings with ease. How? Here are the 8 work from home meeting tips to help you get started.
1. Choose the Right Medium
There are plenty of video calling platforms that you can utilize for your meetings – Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom are very popular options. Be sure that the medium you chose is one that allies with your privacy and size needs, screen sharing options, or splitting the meeting into smaller groups.
When choosing your medium, it is also a good idea to go for a paid version. Ideally, the office should have such an account ready for business meetings. It removes a lot of restrictions and inconveniences – after all, it would be very embarrassing if your client gets kicked out of the meeting after the free thirty minutes.
2. Professional Decorum
Following some rules and rituals in your online meetings can be a great way of reducing tensions and making things flow smoothly.
Ask people to log into a waiting room ten minutes before the meeting starts, and use this time to address FAQs such as when to ask questions or interrupt the meeting, and preferred mic and video settings. Be sure that your account name is professional, and a proper invite to the meeting instead of just sending the link across.
These small online courtesies can go a long way in making the right impression in front of clients.
3. Be Presentable
Meetings should ideally be conducted with your video on, as it helps people to understand who is speaking about what. In order to keep your video on, you will have to make a little effort.
Of course, nobody would reasonably expect a completely flawless setting, but it pays to hold the meeting from your study table or home office rather than your bed. Be sure to clear off the background, lock the room, and wear formals when holding a meeting.
Not only would this make a good impression, but it will also help you take the meeting more seriously and feel more prepared.
4. PPTs Means Power ‘Point‘
PPTs have become an even more important way of communicating with clients and customers during the pandemic. However, many have been found to make key mistakes in making their PPT. Perhaps the most aggravating one is to simply put up all the content on the PPT and then reading off it.
This might make your clients feel that the meeting could have well been a written report and is thus a waste of time. Instead, focus on more theme and visual-driven PPTs which only contain bullet points. Learn the rest or use papers to help you conduct the meeting. This will help in retaining attention.
5. Plan for Mishaps
Work from home meetings can go south very quickly. There can be internet disruption on either side, technical issues, time constraints, or disruptive meeting members who may make it difficult for the content to go through.
In such a case, you should be able to avoid delays and waste of time and resources by having a contingency in place.
This can include switching to another platform, blocking another date and time, or simply reaching out to the most pertinent people on call and sending a report to complete the meeting process. Preparedness can thus help prevent things from getting stuck.
6. Delineate Next Steps
Due to the lack of structure and routine that has accompanied work from home, there may be some confusions about the next steps. If the client is interested in your pitch – well, then what? Be sure that your presentation closing covers all the details for a further interaction, including mode, expected timelines, and other such details.
Another good option is to follow up. If the client indicates that they will get back to you soon, politely remind them in a few days, ideally with the minutes of the meeting and the proposal attached, to help get an answer quickly.
Even if you know your way around a computer, or pride yourself on your presentation skills, it might be a good idea to practice your meeting before the real deal. Sometimes, even simple options such as screen sharing can become tricky, or there may be issues in your delivery or presentation that you might not have noticed.
So, block some time with your colleagues or friends and hop in a meeting to have a test run of how things will go, including planning for disruptions. Your actual meeting will go much better thanks to this.
8. Be Graceful
The pandemic has been a tough time for everybody. It might be possible that everything is perfect from your end – but the client side ends up having, or making issues. This can include lack of attention, interruptions to the meeting, difficulty in understanding the technology, or not grasping the concepts clearly due to all of the above.
It can be very tempting to snap or mock at such situations, but that will not help your business, nor would you be a very nice human being. Factor in some time for disruptions, allow clients breaks in between longer meetings, and brush off interruptions from children and family. You’ll make better business by being understanding.
Do you agree with the work from home meeting tips above? What would you recommend for those holding work from home meetings?