With more people working remotely, you might be using RingCentral Meetings (Zoom’s smaller cousin, and our favorite video conferencing platform) to organize your daily or weekly meetings. Because these meetings are becoming the new normal, you might want to take advantage of these tools that are available as a meeting host to help create order in the chaos. Let’s take a look at what you can do to flex those meeting managing skills.
Privacy and Keeping Meetings Private
First, let’s start with the basics: you may have heard about Zoombombing, a new trend that involves people dropping unexpectedly into random conference calls with the intention to wreak havoc. Luckily, there are ways to guard yourself against intrusions like this.
First off, you have the option to create a Waiting Room. Setting up a Waiting Room allows you, the host, to determine who gets into the meeting. This provides a buffer to allow more public meetings while still having the power to deny entry to unwanted guests. To help sort your participants, you can enable the “Identify guest participants in meetings/webinar” option to provide a quick reference to you and your staff that someone in the meeting is not from your internal group.
The second privacy option you have is to password-lock your meeting. This is a simple checkbox you select when scheduling any meeting. A password is then generated, which you then distribute to your participants.
Adding a co-host to a meeting gives you the ability to run the meeting with multiple focuses. An effective co-host can help track participants’ questions, deal with chats and feedback, and see the things that the main presenter might miss. This is especially effective when getting into larger groups.
Consider allowing chat in parallel with your meetings. This allows people to communicate without interrupting the conversation or presentation. This can come in handy when a participant has a question but doesn’t need an answer urgently, or when a user has a weak connection — this way they can still participate via text, even if their video or audio is cutting out. Private Chats are an option as well — this allows participants to have conversations out of view of the rest of the group. While this may seem potentially distracting at first glance, private chats can be helpful in that they allow people to communicate questions or concerns to each other without derailing the conversation. This way, the rest of the group can remain focused on the topic at hand, but participants have an outlet for quick side-questions or comments.
Getting feedback from participants is key to improving larger meetings. You can use multiple tools in the meeting to get active feedback from participants. Polls can be sent out during the meeting to get a quick vote from everyone with real-time results, which can help with decision-making or give attendees another way to provide input.
Another form of feedback that may seem odd in the remote meeting world, is non-verbal feedback. Using buttons, you can allow people to respond with a simple yes or no, slow-down, speed up, and several other options. With these features turned on you allow people to respond and participate in the meeting without having to wait for that input from each individual participant. Finally, you can set up an end of meeting survey for feedback from participants. It’s a simple thumbs-up/down response. If they provide a thumbs-down response they will be prompted to provide feedback about what can be improved.
When you’re giving a presentation in person, you are able to read the audience and make adjustments based on their engagement. When doing this remotely, it’s almost impossible to gauge how much attention people are paying. After all, they have the entire internet sitting one click away. Attention tracking allows you to see when people are moving away from RingCentral windows to allow you to know when they are focused on something else. Using this tool allows you to adjust your flow, plan breaks, and make sure that those attending are engaged and paying attention.
When you’re working in large groups, you’re bound to have multiple conversations start up at some point. In a virtual space, this can be difficult to manage. By implementing breakout rooms in the virtual meetings, you can allow for multiple parallel conversations to take place. The host of the meeting can create the rooms and assign users to the rooms as needed.
If you’re a Zoom host, many of these tips and tricks apply there as well – RingCentral Meetings and Zoom use a similar platform and interface. Working from home may be mandated for many of us right now, but these tips should at least help improve your experience and keep your team engaged, even after the era of Covid-19 comes to an end (hopefully in the not so distant future).
For more information or advice on this and other work from home topics, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here for you, and happy for an excuse to discuss anything tech related.