Are they still there? Assessing if attendees are engaged
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Are they still there? Assessing if attendees are engaged

18th July 2018
By Tom Ladle

Meetings are part of daily life for most people at work, but with more and more people doing the 9 to 5 from various different locations, video conferences have become just as important as the face to face. Although they are a great way to keep the lines of communication open for businesses with global offices or with a flexible workforce for example, there are still some limitations compared. One of the main problems with meetings over the web or phone is that it can be difficult to know whether people are actually engaged or whether they have you on mute whilst doing something completely different with the browser minimised. Sometimes, as a Host, you can be talking for what feels like hours without anyone saying a word and talking to the abyss isn’t exactly what most people would call “a productive meeting”.

So how do you actually know people are listening? With that question in mind, here are 5 tips to ensure your Guests stay engaged throughout your meeting:

1. Check that your guests are actually in the meeting and have connected their audio

This might sound obvious but problems can occur for Guests when entering a meeting, including bad Wi-Fi connections, misunderstanding joining instructions etc. Therefore, as the Host, it is always a good idea to do a sound and video check to ensure everyone can hear/see you well. This will save someone piping up mid-way through the meeting having missed the most important points.

2. Ask your Guests to use the chat feature

By using the chat feature, your Guests can ask questions without interrupting you, meaning that you can have a list of questions or points to discuss at the end. As the Host, it is important to make sure your Guests are aware of this feature, especially if they have not used the tool before.

3. Ask your Guests to bookmark points they are interested in

With Powwownow’s video conferencing tool, Hosts and Guests can bookmark important points in the meeting. If you can see your Guests are using this feature, you will know that they must be paying attention to the conversation. A bonus is that you can then follow up on these bookmarked points after the meeting has ended.

4. Ask your Guests to give sentiment

The sentiment feature is a way for all attendees in the meeting to let you know how they feel at certain points in the meeting. Therefore, if someone is talking and you do not want to interrupt to agree or disagree with their point, you can use the feature to show them your thoughts.

5. Share a document or whiteboard

Sometimes simply talking about a point just isn’t enough to keep people engaged and you may need some visual support to explain exactly what you mean. With PowWowNow’s video conferecning tool, both Hosts and Guests can share and annotate documents and whiteboards as much as they want, ensuring that nobody gets confused and drifts off. The annotation tools mean that everyone can get involved and stay engaged.

How to keep your Guests engaged

Now that we’ve offered tips on how to assess engagement, it’s time to look at tips on how to hold engaging team meetings.

1. Outline an agenda for your meeting

To increase the changes of having engaging meetings, your Guests need to know what the meeting will be about. Make sure you share a meeting agenda before the meeting and also use our video conferencing tool to upload an agenda during the meeting.

This will increase the chances of everyone contributing as they know what the topic of the meeting will be and what is expected of them.

2. Ask your Guests plenty of questions

No one wants to attend a meeting where one person drones on for an hour. Meeting are meant to be about collaborating. This is something to bare in mind when you want to have an engaging staff meeting.

Ask plenty of questions that will get your Guests thinking and sharing their ideas. If you want your meeting to result in something productive then you’ll want people offering up solutions and ideas.

3. Sum up the information at the end

A good habit to get into when you want to have engaging team meetings is to dedicate some time towards the end to wrap up what was spoken about. It’s all to easy to forget about what was discussed in a meeting, especially if you’re someone who attends loads.

Use this time to just go over the main points and actions that need to happen after the meeting.