Many of us have become accustomed to working remotely and hosting most of our meetings over some form of video conferencing tool (ours obviously being Google Meet).
BUT, have you ever been to a meeting and been frustrated at the lack of communication or engagement from your participants?
We have all been there. Ensuring you have engagement from your audience can sometimes seem trickier than we think. In this blog, we have some tips on keeping engagement throughout a Google Meet, and best practices to abide by when on video meetings.
Keeping up the engagement
By now, many of us will have experienced the deathly silence you get from Google Meet participants after you have asked for an opinion or for an answer to a question. Some people are still adjusting. There is no doubting that engagement was easier in face to face meetings, and you may have found yourself easily bouncing ideas off of one another. This may have changed as people may be worried about talking over one another when on a Google Meet. We have found a number of ways to keep your participants engaged and involved in the conversation.
Using the Q & A function
On the right-hand side of the Google Meet screen, there is now a Q&A option. Anyone in a meeting can ask questions. The questions show until they are deleted or hidden. After a meeting, the moderator gets a detailed report of all the questions. Anyone who schedules or starts a meeting will be the moderator, and there can only be one moderator per meeting.
This function helps participants to ask questions through the tool, if they may not feel confident to speak up on the video call, and will also help when there are more people on the call, as it may get harder to speak up. This feature eliminates that worry. The feature also allows the participants to vote up a question which brings attention to the more popular questions.
Ask a question
In a meeting, in the top-right corner, click Activities, click Questions. In the lower-right corner, click Ask a question. Enter your question click Post.
Raise your hand option
Ever struggled to be heard over other participants in a Google Meet?
Do you want to raise an opinion but you are not quite sure when to interject? Google Meet has you covered. By using the raise your hand option, you can easily let the moderator know that you would like to speak. Moderators can then work through the raised hands to ensure that everyone has had an opportunity to voice their opinion. Once a person has had their opportunity to speak, the moderator can “lower people’s hands”, or you can lower yours yourself.
To raise your hand: Scroll to the bottom of the screen , click Hand raise.
To lower your hand: Scroll to the bottom of the screen, click Lower hand.
How to Lower hands as a moderator
From the top right, click the People tab. Scroll to the “Raised hands” section. To lower a hand, next to the participant’s name, click Lower hand . To lower all hands scroll to “Raised hands” and click Lower all.
Another great way to keep engagement on a Google Meet, and to gain valuable opinions and thoughts from your participants, is through the Poll option now available on Google Meet.
Not only does this help keep your audience engaged, it also allows moderators to display the results. It gets your participants more involved in decision making within a meeting, and helps to avoid people talking over one another, and risking not being heard. Meeting hosts also receive a report with the tally of the results to make it easy to refer back and take action.
Create a poll
In a meeting, in the top-right corner, click Activities, click Polls. Click Start a poll. Enter a question and add options for the poll. Choose one: To post your poll, click Launch. To save your poll so you can launch it later, click Save.
As a meeting participant, you can submit a response for a poll.
You’ll get a notification in the meeting when the moderator starts a poll. Be sure to submit your response before the poll or meeting ends.
In a meeting: In the top-right corner, click Activities, click Polls. In the poll, select your response, click Vote.
Read Google’s blog for more information on the Q&A and Poll functions.
Keep your camera on
It appears to vary from business to business on whether employees keep their camera on when partaking in a Google Meet. Some companies enforce employees as standard, whilst others do not feel the need for video.
At Netpremacy we try to keep our camera on at all times. We feel that it puts a face behind a name, and keeps the engagement up. Many people feel more engaged and motivated when talking to a real image of that person, rather than just a stagnant profile picture. It is thought that video conferencing can provide better communication across teams via body language. Video also creates a sense of empathy & connection with your peers. A simple smile whilst on the Google Meet can go a long way. Something that is lost if you keep your video off at all times.
Video is what keeps some normality and personality when working remotely which is why we think it’s so important. It enables better communication across teams, regardless of where they’re located. Ultimately this improves on building ideas, problem-solving, and working together, which is why we recommend to keep your video on where possible as standard.
Here are some interesting statistics on video conferencing to provide a little more context behind what we are talking about :
82% of those surveyed in 2020, described the video as an effective tool for communicating work-related information.1
Techsmith: Two-thirds (67%) of people understand information better when communicated visually 2
GigaOM: 87% of remote team members feel more connected to their team when they can use video conferencing 3
Turn yourself on mute when not speaking
Although there is a noise cancellation feature available on Google Meet, we recommend putting yourself on mute when in a large meeting when you are not speaking. This eliminates sound from your keyboard, or awkward breathing down the mic, and means that the meeting you are running will be a smoother experience, and nobody will struggle to hear the speakers. This feature is automatically turned on when a meeting of more than 5 people. How many times in 2020 did we hear the phrase “you’re on mute!”. Avoid the awkwardness of this by checking your mic button before attempting to talk!
Don’t talk over each other
Finally, it does go without saying but can be something that causes disruption on a video call and as a result, can make it hard for participants to hear what is being said. Wait your turn, and do not talk over one another. It is good practice and good etiquette that will help your meetings to run smoothly.
As we delve into 2021 and plan to continue to work in a more mobile and digital way, our top tips and best practices should help to keep engagement in your future virtual meetings. If you would like to keep up to date and receive more tips and best practices, sign up for our newsletter here.