It doesn’t matter if it’s a Zoom (image source) or MS Teams meeting – our online attention is lagging. People get bored easily, check out, or worse, even fall asleep!
Meanwhile, you’re left feeling frustrated, and embarrassed with a pile of colossally wasted time in your lap
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are three ways to get people engaged, paying attention, and involved in your online meetings.
1. Prep for others
- As much as possible, know your audience and try to put yourself in their shoes. There are endless reasons why people might be struggling to pay attention including the fact they’re:
- Worried about worrying and wondering if their anxiety is spiking …. again.
- Focused on a doctor’s appointment next week and are concerned about what the test results might say
- Trying to remember if they walked the dog, if they sent a card for their sister’s birthday, or if they paid the bill that was due this week
- Focus is drawn by all the stuff around them while working from home that needs doing – that overflowing pile of laundry, the windows that need fixing, the wall that needs painting, the closet that needs organizing, etc., etc., etc.
- Have some empathy and assume that people are trying their best. Brene Brown talks about this beautifully and calls it being ‘generous.’
“Extending the most generous interpretation to the intentions, words, and actions of others.”
2. Prep yourself
- Create a hook for your meeting. Something that draws people in and makes them want to satisfy their curiosity.
- Take care of yourself. It’s tough to run online meetings so make sure you’re on the list for some sweet, simple, self-care so you can be at your best.
3. Gently push yourself
- Engage folks in your online meetings by using some spiffy, simple tech tools. Gently challenge yourself to try a new one each meeting. Practice ahead of meetings and feel more comfortable. Need some inspiration? Here are a bunch of tech tools I’ve written about.
- Too often we unwittingly default to yammering lectures – people droning on and on and on, which is the best recipe for being UNengaged. Flip that by making sure you’re giving people a chance to see, hear and do things. Include great visuals, infographics, memes, etc.
- Ensure everyone is given a chance to speak. And make sure you get participants to do things – have checklists, chats, whiteboards where people can contribute, etc.
With a little focus on prepping for your audience, prepping yourself, and gently challenging yourself (to make sure you’re using some spiffy tech tools and giving folks the opportunity to see, hear and do things during your online meetings), you’ll have engaged, curious, participating folks in no time.
Psst! Want to win free access to my course on how to make online meetings engaging and fun?
It’s called “Ban boring online meetings; a quick-start, step-by-step approach to making your online meetings engaging, appealing, and actually effective.”
Simply leave a comment and I’ll pick 10 random winners. Good luck!
Cheers. Stay well & safe. Stay creative.
Now go on and learn, laugh and lead
- Try your hand at one or more of the three tips now – prep for your audience, prep yourself, and/or gently challenge yourself.
- Just look at the electricity you can generate!
- Remember, simply leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick 10 random winners who will gain free access to my first online course- Ban boring meetings. Good luck!
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