The structural issues that hold Virtual Team Meeting Agenda

Virtual Team Meeting Agenda
We all know how distasteful bad meetings can be: a nonexistent agenda, the meeting starts late or overruns way beyond the allotted time, people jump from the first point to the last one and back again to the middle, etc.
When a bad meeting is a virtual one, the signs are much worse and are accompanied by apparent symptoms of subtle disorder. And when people start questioning why they even turned up, it’s easy to tune off to what they are anxious about and get off track for a significant portion of the meeting.
The right way to handle a virtual meeting is with a clear virtual meeting agenda. Think of it as a guide that saves everybody time and keeps people focused on the reason for the meeting. We prepared this virtual meeting agenda template to simplify things for you.
Prepping for the Meeting
It’s best to prepare for the meeting before coming up with an agenda. For example:
Send any Pre-readings before the meeting
Everyone needs to know precisely why they are attending the meeting and how they can contribute. It’s also helpful to let everyone know how they can get involved. For instance, can participants send comments before the meeting day, how they use the features on the meeting app to participate, how do you choose who to speak and how much time each speaker has, etc?
Write and Share the Agenda on an Online Platform
Write your agenda and put it an online document to make it easy to find. Google Docs makes a great online document option because it allows for comments and answers that can help have a more fruitful meeting. The best virtual meeting agenda contains these parts:
1. Start with Fun: Icebreakers
Start the meeting on an exciting note by allowing people to exchange pleasantries and fun questions to boost their creativity. Encourage people to put on their cameras too to make it as authentic as possible, and be personable to encourage participation from everyone. Modern meeting tools have tons of features -backgrounds, voice changing, etc. – that your team can use to make fun for a while.
Remember, ice breakers should be short and straightforward. The goal is not to stretch the participant’s mind too much but to remove the ‘serious and boring’ narrative that dons regular meetings. Also, mind the audience. Some icebreakers are not appropriate for clients and customers.
2. Updates
Segue into sharing essential updates to create the context of the meeting for participants. These include important announcements, upcoming internal changes, and changes in the industry. These updates are also crucial in helping employees and stakeholders to manage their emotions, especially when there’s an unpleasant change ahead.
3. Goals
This is where you align the team with the goals of the meeting. It helps tame digressions and helps participants know what to expect from the forum. Common meeting goals include brainstorming, decision making, planning, problem-solving, and more.
Consider including the meeting objectives in the calendar invite. For example, use statements like ‘To plan on how to meet weekly employee goals at the end of the year.’
4. Priority Goals
The deliberations on the goals should birth the priorities that dictate what everyone will work on. One of the pitfalls of coming up with priorities is having many broad goals. That’s why it’s crucial to find the priorities from the deliberations of the goals.
You can identify priority goals in several ways. First, the participants can come to a consensus if a few items emerge as clear priorities from the needs assessment.
But if you end with a laundry list, you can split the participants into groups and then have each member identify their top priorities. You can then combine these priorities and get a shortlist of priority goals.
You may also want to keep a list of goals or objectives that are not priorities to revisit them as you accomplish the priorities you set.
5. Barriers
Next, identify the roadblocks that would hinder you from achieving your priorities. Even with laser focus planning, roadblocks come up, and you’re better off preparing yourself to deal with them by identifying them first.
These questions will help your team to come up with a set of roadblocks they may encounter:
What issues exist that will hamper the tasks assigned to you?
Are there any difficulties in liaising with colleagues?
Are there any structural issues that hold you or your colleagues back?
6. Action Items
This part concludes the meeting by writing down the actionable items from the deliberations. Write down the steps you’ll take after the meeting and the things you hope to accomplish between the end of the meeting and the next meeting.
Make time for everyone to share their takeaways too. These takeaways help draw action items for everybody else.
7. Commendation
End the meeting on a high note just as you did initially. But instead of icebreakers, ask participants to commend each other for their contribution to the meeting.
This action has two advantages: One, you can build a positive work culture where employees genuinely commend each other for great work. Two, it helps you reap the benefits of employee recognition, such as retaining top talent, increasing employee engagement, and encouraging high performance.
These agenda items promote a cohesive, well-planned meeting that is more likely to be productive.
To Conclude
Great meetings start with equally great agendas. Plus, because you’re dealing with an online meeting, think of ways of keeping the meeting engaging from start to finish while keeping the relationship you have with participants in mind, so you don’t overdo it.
For example, your icebreaker for one meeting could be a quiz and a captivating poll for the next one. It’s a great idea to have breaks if you’re having a long meeting and always strive to make participants feel like they’re together physically. The best advice is not to have any meetings unless it’s vital and well planned. It only adds to why people hate meetings and are rarely successful.
But if you must have a meeting, improve your chances of having a well-structured, well-planned virtual meeting using meeting templates from Hugo. Hugo has a rich library of free templates to help you create an agenda with just a click, share it with participants, take notes during the meeting, and capture outcomes. Get a demo.

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