zoom meetings

10 Ways To Make Online Meetings Less Exhausting (And downloadable PDF!)

“Are you giving up Zoom meetings?”

“What are the challenges you see with remote meetings & presentations?”

“I’m so done and can’t wait to meet in person!”

These are some of the comments and questions I’ve heard over the last couple of weeks regarding exhaustion from online meetings.

And I 100% get it.

Truth is Zoom and online meetings aren’t going anywhere. At least not in business. At least not entirely. Many folks I talk to, myself included (yes, sometimes I talk to myself), don’t plan to give them up entirely.

Why Zoom Meetings are Sticking Around

  • Saves time. No travel, no traffic, and no weather conditions to worry about. A one hour networking event lasts one hour.
  • Saves money. No food or space to worry about and if no one shows up, no big deal!
  • Reach more people. I’ve had folks attend programs from CA, NJ, NY, CT and EUROPE! That would not happen with local only events. It’s simply the best!

In fact, after a year of facilitating groups online, I whole-heartedly believe you CAN create meaningful experiences online, have real conversations, and make genuine human connection. And learning how to do that is a MUST.

To help, I created the following list and downloadable PDF.

Top 10 Tips for Better Zoom Meetings

Quick tip: Many of these suggestions apply to in person meetings, too!

Click here to download the PDF.

  1. Stand instead of sit. Yup, you heard me. Stand up to boost your energy. Our brain works better standing!
  2. Hide Self View. If using Zoom, put your cursor over your image, click the three dots (…) and from the list choose “hide self view”. Voila! Your face disappears. Click here for instructions.
  3. Use breakout rooms. For groups larger than 6 people, breakout rooms give everyone a chance to talk and share ideas.
  4. Stop talking AT people. Instead, involve people. Research suggests to keep attention switch things up every 7 minutes. (Yes, that’s fast!) Learn to use breakout rooms, polling, white boards, interactive games/activities, and all the functionality available on the technology you’re using.
  5. Stop multi-tasking. Not only does it not work (search online to see for yourself), it’s rude to multi-task when someone else is talking (no matter how disinterested you are). Reverse the roles. How would you feel if no one listened when you spoke?
  6. Have a clear purpose. Meetings without a purpose are a waste of time.
  7. Keep meetings short. The longest program I’ve facilitated on Zoom is 3 hours for a group of 6. My networking events are 60 minutes. Boom. Done and productive and still energized. For longer meetings, schedule lots of breaks.
  8. Check your attitude. No one likes being online all the time. So, how can you see using these technologies as a learning, growth and business opportunity? Be curious.
  9. Have fun. As humans we connect emotionally. So make people laugh, get them relaxed, and I promise you’ll have a much more productive and enjoyable meeting.
  10. Get support. Plenty of folks, myself included, offer online event design and facilitation services. Use their expertise to have a great meeting.

Your turn to talk to me

What would you add to the list? Leave a comment, I’d love to know your secrets.

Wish your Zoom/online meetings and events were more energizing? Getting support can make all the difference! Book a complimentary call and let’s chat about how to breathe life into your message or event.

Oh and remember to download your Top Ten PDF and share it with colleagues!

Until we meet again, keep shining (Even on Zoom!)

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About the blog

Insights & inspiration to make human interactions like speaking, networking, facilitating less awkward & boring and more natural & engaging.

Topics include presence, getting your message across, relationship buildingstaying poised under pressure, running a meeting, dealing with burnout and more.

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Discussion

4 Comments

  1. Deb Goeschel on April 2, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Great post, Stacey! Personally, I hope many won’t give up some form of virtual meeting. I know several networking groups I’m in are discussing moving forward with hybrid versions — some things in person, some things virtual — for the very reasons you state at the beginning. For me, living in a busy traffic area, I LOVE being able to attend events and not lost 30-60 minutes before and after an event. And love the tips to help make virtual meetings less tiring. Thanks!

    • Stacey Shipman on April 2, 2021 at 5:40 pm

      Deb, we live near each other so I hear you about the traffic. Organizations that don’t keep some remote meetings will definitely miss out. And yes, a networking lunch could be a full day affair! Now it doesn’t have to be! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Laura Foley on April 2, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    If it weren’t for Zoom I would never have become a subscriber to the Engage the Room networking series! Remote meetings afford me the opportunity to attend any number of meetings, conferences, and other meet-ups without the baseline hourlong drive from my town to anywhere.

    To keep my meetings lively, we’ll sometimes play a game. At the end of the month, I’ll be facilitating a game of Table Topics Baseball for my Toastmasters club. I’ve made a slide with a picture of the diamond from Polar Park in Worcester. The group is divided into two teams and each take turns making impromptu 1- to 2-minute speeches. Depending on their score, I move little clipart people around the bases and update the scoreboard. It’s very silly and people like it a lot!

    • Stacey Shipman on April 2, 2021 at 5:38 pm

      I agree about the driving. We have access to so much more – the possibilities are endless! And that game sounds very fun. People like silly! It’s a great way to loosen up a crowd. Good luck with it. Would love to hear how it goes. Also, so glad you are part of the networking series!!

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