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29.03.2020

Icon's Top Tips for Remote Meetings

Last week, the Icon Board of Trustees meeting took place remotely on Microsoft Teams and to great success! Despite the fact that many Trustees were talking together for the first time, discussions and ideas flowed smoothly with good humour and streamlined tech.

In light of the meeting's success, we've put together our top tips for running a large meeting on Teams and for making the most out of the platform.

Download a PDF of our tips here.

  • Planning – Break long meetings into smaller bites and take physical breaks between agenda items. Don’t schedule sessions for longer than one hour at a time.
  • Preparation – Encourage participants to log in to the online meeting space 10-15 minutes before the start if it is their first online meeting. This will give new users time to customise their settings and to settle in.
  • Privacy – the “blur background” setting in Teams is useful to hide your background – and prevent people commenting on your choice of wallpaper!
  • Listening – Everyone taking part in a meeting has to be rigorous about using the Mute function when they are not speaking
  • Accessibility – Remember to use video whenever possible as visual clues help those who have a hearing disability and need to lip read. It’s also friendlier!
  • Slow down and pause – Leave a few seconds before you respond to the previous speaker. There is sometimes a time lag over broadband connections so it helps to slow down your delivery and pausing eases the problem of people talking over each other.
  • Clarity – When sharing your documents or screen, zoom in to help participants see what you want to show them.
  • Courtesy – the Chair of the meeting has the responsibility to ensure that all voices are heard. They should pay attention to who is speaking and who has not spoken and then seek the views of those who haven’t yet contributed.
  • Chat – Only use the chat function for voting (agree or disagree) or to let the Chair know that you want to speak. It can be distracting to have a parallel meeting running in the chat yesterday and valuable points of view might be overlooked.
  • Record – Consider recording your meetings for future reference and for people who weren’t able to attend, but make sure that you seek permission from your participants first!

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