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How to run a great virtual meeting

3-minute read

Navigating the world of remote work for the first time? Here are six tips for making the ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’ of virtual meetings a success.

Key take-outs
  • Ensure everyone is familiar and comfortable with the technology involved
  • Set a clear agenda and expectations for the virtual meeting
  • Invite everyone to participate, ask questions and provide feedback
  • Assign tasks to do or topics to talk about to involve everyone

As businesses and employees adjust to life during the COVID-19 crisis, they’re also adjusting to new ways of working. While the situation may not be ideal, it’s a great opportunity to build engagement, trust and even boost productivity through well-planned and executed virtual meetings. Here are the top tips for running a great virtual meeting. 

Before the virtual meeting:

1. Test the tech

Whether at work or home, most people know the frustration of technical glitches and connectivity issues. Prior to a virtual meeting, test the technology and familiarise yourself with all the major features of the software you’ll be using to run the virtual meeting. It’s a good idea to ask meeting participants to do the same.

2. Share the agenda and expectations

Just like an in-person meeting, setting a clear agenda is helpful in getting the most out of a virtual meeting. Talk to your team about what’s going to be covered and what you expect from everyone, including:


  • Topics to cover
  • Who’s expected to contribute
  • Meeting etiquette, such as whether participants should keep their video on
  • What you hope to achieve from the meeting

During the virtual meeting:

1. Start with a check-in

These are uncertain and unfortunately stressful times for many people. Before you get into the “why” behind your meeting, take a few minutes to ask how everyone is doing and give people an opportunity to share what’s going on in their lives. 


Depending on who’s attending and how well they know each other, this could be a quick update or a lengthier conversation depending on how much the participants want to share. 


In any case, this is a chance to demonstrate empathy and encourage camaraderie within your team whilst working from home.

2. Make it a conversation, not a presentation

Although there might be times when you need to run through presentations or reports, aim to get everyone involved and make the meeting as collaborative as possible. Give every attendee a chance to ask questions and share their opinions, helping maintain a level of engagement. 


Remember that people may find it harder to speak up in a virtual meeting, especially if everyone but the organiser has their microphone on mute to prevent functionality issues. With this in mind, structure the agenda so that multiple people have the opportunity to contribute, ask attendees for their input during the meeting, seek confirmation that all information has been understood, and leave them sufficient time to respond before moving on.

3. Assign tasks

In a virtual meeting environment, it’s easy to get distracted by email, phone, or even pets or kids. Help participants avoid distractions and stay present by giving everyone a task to do during the meeting. This could include:


  • Recording the meeting minutes
  • Taking down actions for every participant
  • Making sure the meeting is following the agenda
  • Talking about a specific topic
  • Recording questions that need to be followed up

After the virtual meeting:

1. Invite feedback and debrief

Many of us are still getting used to working and meeting remotely, and like anything else, practice makes perfect. At the end of a virtual meeting, spend a few minutes gathering feedback from participants about how they feel it went. Aim to implement suggested changes so future meetings are more useful, productive and comfortable for everyone involved.


Not being able to work in the same room as your team can be challenging, however, is a great opportunity to test and refine the world of virtual meetings, that may even help your business in a post-COVID world. 

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Things you should know

This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general. It is an overview only and should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon. Consider obtaining personalised advice from a professional financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed in this article, including when considering tax and finance options for your business.