It is hard enough to get participation in large meetings of, let’s say, more than 15–16 people. When these meetings become virtual, it gets even harder to engage people. Too often, these large meetings consist of one presentation after another, and even if you ask for questions, what you get in return is silence. Crickets. Over time, this gives the impression that your organization is run completely “top down” with information being force-fed into people almost against their will. Worse, all the really interesting conversations happen after the meeting when you don’t get to hear them.
Here are six tips to help you improve engagement and participation in virtual meetings. All of these suggestions will take time; you can use one or several or all of them together. (The more you use, the better it gets.) If you’re willing to plan ahead and make the investments necessary to create a participative meeting, you can change your meeting culture for the better.