Tips for effective online meeting

In general people prefer face-to-face meetings. We find them more efficient, pleasant and easier. Although, technology makes it possible to have a highly productive and connecting online meeting which again makes it possible to work flexibly remotely.

Sharing tips, experiences and opinions is important for a successful experience both in remote working and face-to-face meetings. Common rules make it easier to organize and keep online meetings and make them pleasurable for all participants. Here you can find the best tips for an effective online meeting.
  1. Be prepared - share agenda and expecations
    Being prepared with the agenda and questions is as important for online meetings as it is for face-to-face meetings. All participants need to know the agenda and goals already beforehand, and also understand their roles in the meeting. Consider whether you wish to participate on campus or whether the meeting will also work completely remotely or as a hybrid. State the nature of the meeting clearly already with the meeting invitation. In addition, think if you want someone else to write down the notes and action points. This enables everyone to be better prepared and effective from the start of the meeting.
  2. Use cameras - though during the corona situation it might be smart not to use cameras if your connection is slower
    In online meetings, use cameras whenever possible, as it helps to recognise the participants, relaxes the atmosphere and makes it easier to discuss, and increases the presence and active engagement. Many people are nervous about online meetings and seeing the other person makes working together easier. Even in a hybrid meeting, where some of the participants are in the same room and some are participating virtually, it is a proven practice that each participant is in the meeting via their own computer.  However, the microphone should be open on only one computer and the use of an external speaker is recommended (e.g. Jabra, Logitech) to improve hearing. This way everyone can participate equally.
  3. Start with a check-in round
    For the smoothest and most pleasurable online meeting experience, it is crucial that all participants know each other. A short check-in round at the beginning creates a connection and eases possible tensions.
  4. Ask questions to enhance engagement
    In online meetings, some participants might opt out of the conversation and some might feel that they are not heard or cannot express their opinions on the topic. During the meeting, it is important to hear what everyone has to say. As an organizer of the meeting, go through all participants and ask their opinions regularly. Also, the chat feature can be utilized as a tool for participating, so ask for answers there.
  5. Ask for the floor
    Especially in bigger meetings, speaking up can be challenging. In Microsoft Teams, there is always a chat box where participants can discuss and share their thoughts. If getting the floor is hard, ask it in the chat and write, for example, on which topic you have something to add. The organiser or someone else will notice your message and you can tell your opinions.
  6. Flexibility, efficiency and structure of an online meeting
    Too long online meetings get tiring quite fast. It is important to keep meetings short so they are effective and active. If you are changing a face-to-face meeting to an online meeting, plan beforehand what you are going to do with the materials; what information should be sent to participants before the meeting, what issues are discussed together, and what points can be discussed after the meeting. If online meetings are starting to feel boring, inefficient or tiring, brainstorm new ways of working together.
  7. Before ending
    Ask if anyone has anything else in mind they would like to share regarding the topic and make sure that everyone knows what is going to happen next. 

Let’s be creative and have the courage to try boldly new things. When you come up with a new tip share it with others, for example, in #timetolevelup community in Teams.

Join the #timetolevelup community!

Online meeting tools


Online meeting tools - Teams and Zoom

Teams and Zoom are tools for video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. Panopto is a software and media service that is designed to capture, edit, stream, and share video presentations and recorded lectures. You can not use Panopto for online meetings.

Microsoft Teams logo

Microsoft Teams Meetings Guide

Microsoft Teams can be used for online meetings, live events, and audio and video calls. It supports persistent chat and content sharing in the calls and meetings.

Zoom software logo

Zoom Quick Guide

Quick Guide to using Zoom for online meetings and video conferencing.


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