A third practical tip for a successful video call — purpose and agenda

Many offices remain closed due to Coronavirus

Communicating effectively on-camera is challenging for groups

  1. Awkward: someone said something completely inappropriate (e.g., yelled at their kids) that everyone heard. What do you do next?
  2. Boredom: no one is talking because they are distracted and not paying attention. Hard to get stuff done if everyone is zoned out.
  3. Confusion: multiple people talking at the same time. Hard to hear much less understand what is being said when this happens.
It is easy to get bored if the meeting has a lot of participants.

What can you do to improve your performance during video conference calls?

It is tough to sit through a meeting with no purpose.

Kick-off your call by explaining the purpose to everyone

Avoid becoming a Dilbert cartoon.

Participants will drift if there is no clear purpose and agenda

Avoid boring participants during your meetings.

Send out the purpose and agenda beforehand if you can

Include an agenda in your meeting invites — not like this one.

Guiding the agenda with slides may be appropriate

A simple agenda slide may do the trick.

A few cautions about using slides

  1. Too many slides — no one wants to sit through thirty slides for a thirty-minute meeting. Basic math — take the total number of minutes available and divide by three or two to calculate the number of slides to include.
  2. Too many words — everyone can read faster than you can talk. Don’t include too many words on your slides. No one wants to read a book. Never ever read the slides to others. It is not kindergarten.
  3. Worthless slides — if you are in doubt whether or not to include a slide, then get rid of it. Slides that do not communicate the point are worthless. Participants will not complain if you go light on the number of slides.
Your audience will spend too much time trying to read this paragraph instead of listening.

Be timely and follow the agenda when leading your video calls

End on time, or early if you can

Start with purpose and finish on time.

Last words of warning

A friendly reminder — people will avoid useless meetings.

ATW! is designed to make you a better leader

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Doug Keating

Doug Keating

Leader and learner. husband and father. Novice blogger, www.lettertosons.com, Founder of All The Way Leadership! http://www.allthewayleadership.com/