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Best Practices When Running Remote Meetings

By Paul J. Zak on May 18, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Topics: Training Events

The global pandemic has forced meetings, teaching, and training to be remote.  Running a remote event, as we have discussed before, is not like running an in-person meeting.  It needs to be structured to keep people immersed when the social pressure of being in a room together is missing.  Immersion's scientists combed through client data who are using our Distributed NeuroscienceTM platform and spoke to users to identify best practices when running remote events. Here's what we have learned.

  • Have all attendees turn on their cameras
  • Summarize ground rules for the meeting, including when discussions will occur, how group work will be done, and when projects are due
  • Call attendees by name
  • Measure psychological safety to assess readiness to absorb information; if psychological safety is low, lead a short meditation or breathing exercise
  • Presenters should speak for no more than 15 minutes before getting feedback from attendees
  • Vary media types and talk less
  • Improve presentation flow by using virtual learning software such as iSpring
  • Show fewer static slides and instead write key points dynamically on a virtual white board
  • Create virtual breakout rooms where attendees can apply new knowledge in small groups
  • Use the Immersion Leaderboard to identify Immersion Champions who have mastered the material and can best facilitate peer discussion
  • Gamify meetings using virtual badges for the most immersed attendees
  • Use more frequent shorter meetings, for example, 30 minutes twice a day rather one hour a day
  • Get feedback from larger groups using mobile apps such as Menti
  • Leverage the consolidation of information during sleep by giving attendees a task to do the next day
  • Record meetings and use the Immersion platform to overlay neural data to identify presentation techniques that sustain immersion or that cause frustration.

Eventually, offices will fill and meetings--at least some of them--will ask people to congregate together.  Even so, distributed work groups, telecommuting, and travel are making blended meetings the norm from now on.  Why not drive up teamwork and productivity by measuring Immersion in your meetings?  Or, you can just hope they work.

 

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Paul J. Zak

Written by Paul J. Zak

Paul’s two decades of research have taken him from the Pentagon to Fortune 50 boardrooms to the rain forest of Papua New Guinea. All this in a quest to understand the neuroscience of human connection, human happiness, and effective teamwork.