Tips for hosting meetings online #Trusteehour

April 2020 #Trusteehour focused on ‘tips for hosting meetings online’. Here is a list of what came up:

Hosting:

  • If you’re the host (or planning to share your screen or anything like that), give yourself some time beforehand to test it out and get familiar with where everything is @TrusteeLeaders

Chairing:

  • Get participants to commit to some ground rules and expectations for the meeting @traceymbird1
  • Important to recognise the challenges of chairing a remote meeting @traceymbird1
  • Important to check you’ve got the necessary quorum to proceed and remember to accurately record actions and circulate minutes quickly afterwards @traceymbird1
  • Doing a quick check in round the room can help trustees get into the same headspace and check everyone’s audio is clear (the ’round robin’) @johnfitzg

Participation:

  • Ask questions in the comment box – the chair can read these out or can invite the person to speak. This could bring about a more inclusive meeting style. @weavermiles
  • Encourage participants to use the ‘raise hand’ function if you want to come in (ensuring mics muted at the start) @weavermiles
  • long meetings: a big shout-out for scheduled comfort and coffee breaks! ☕️ @CEO-CarnegieUK
  • Remember videoconferencing is extra tiring @MairWCVA (due to it being unusual in terms of reading body language and feeling like you need to be super alert @TrusteeLeaders)
  • Note: Zoom and Webex allow 40+ faces to be seen. Teams seems to allow 4 (MS say ‘9’ and that this is a priority). This seems to be popular with Zoom.

Running a good meeting:

  • Nominating a ‘tech steward’ to mute/unmute and liaise with folk having tech issues helps the chair focus on the meeting @johnfitzg
  • Well-structured and clear agenda, shared with everyone in advance. Good, confident facilitation has worked well too @CEO-CarnegieUK
  • Important to allow some time for a chat at the start and end. There are always technical difficulties (less so now). We are social creatures and many will miss this interaction. @weavermiles

When things go or can go wrong:

  • No one wants to replicate the “zooming-from-the-toilet” moment… @TrusteeLeaders
  • Make sure the resident teenager doesn’t barge into the room with ‘sick music’ blasting out the phone mid webinar.  That was last week.  @ian_mcl
  • It’s more the unexpected entrance of children in swimming costumes or the noise of a tantrum for me @TrusteeLeaders
  • I do prefer to see people, personally, but it’s also quite distracting! Especially when I keep spotting my own feed and seeing that I’m not actually looking at the camera! @TrusteeLeaders

Other Advice and caution:

  • On suitable attire: Afraid so – have had to maintain a routine for on-line meetings in the same way I would for meetings face to face, so up, dressed, makeup (obviously!), favourite earrings, squirt of perfume (I know!) and ……wait for it…………fluffy socks! @traceymccillen
  • Buy a data cable for a better connection (don’t rely on wi-fi) – I did this and now everything is running lovely and fast @weavermiles
  • Show some good humour and understanding in these times, we did not expect to be working from home. Home schooling … dog barking and views from the kitchen table etc., @weavermiles

Note: These were compiled during #Trusteehour and placed into likely categories. No other sorting has been done and note that these are the tweets of #Trusteehour contributors.

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