Hints and tips when using online meeting spaces

26 March 2020

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Virtual meetings can be a minefield for interruptions, technical glitches and frustration if not managed well.

At the Parent-Infant Foundation, we have used online meeting spaces for some time and have found several useful things to make the time together more productive. We hope these might be useful for you too.

  1. Ahead of the meeting
  2. The meeting host will provide a link to gain access to the virtual meeting – ideally for both video and phone-in options.
  3. Share the meeting agenda and any paperwork relevant to the meeting ahead to ensure everyone has the right documentation and can follow the meeting.
  1. In the meeting
  2. If an agenda has not been circulated ahead, an agenda will be agreed between participants at the outset.
  3. Decide on who is the meeting lead at the outset to help keep the meeting on track and to help facilitate participation across the group involved. It might also be worthwhile assigning someone to keep a note of actions and decisions for sharing afterwards.
  4. Please use the mute facility in the virtual meeting room when you are not speaking. This helps to keep background noise to a minimum and reduce distractions.
  5. Do open the meeting chat function so that if there are any problems with sound/visuals or if someone is needing to speak up and can’t, there is a method for doing so.
  6. If the group is three or more, please feel free to raise your hand (if using video), use the chat bar to indicate that you would like to speak or where available use the ‘raise your hand’ function within the platform you are using. This helps to reduce voices over voices which can be difficult in virtual meetings when not everyone can see everyone .
  7. Due to different bandwidths there may be a delay for some in the group. It is good practice to allow pauses between speakers and after questions to ensure everyone has caught up. This also allows others to raise their hand to speak.
  8. Where there are network difficulties, it can be helpful to ask everyone to stop using the video function and to continue with audio.
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