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The Key to an Effective (and Productive) Virtual Meeting on Zoom

As an accounting and finance leader during this time of COVID-19, you are navigating a path to keep your team connected and productive while moving the company forward. Along with other ways you have adapted how you conduct business, you most likely have replaced in-person meetings with virtual ones. Although apps such as Zoom make it easy to engage during a time of social distancing, successfully managing a virtual meeting takes a different set of skills than you may be used to. Follow these guidelines to conduct an effective, productive virtual meeting. When you are in the market for an accounting executive, get in touch with Alliance Resource Group, a leader in Executive Search Support in the Accounting Industry.

Send an Agenda

Email an agenda the day before your Zoom meeting. Let everyone know what will be talked about so they can prepare their contributions. Ensure each topic is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART). For instance, instead of “Updates,” include “Updates Roundtable: What are your top three priorities right now?” This keeps the Zoom meeting more focused.

Limit the Timeframe

Keep each Zoom meeting short. Stopping after 20-30 minutes encourages participants to remain engaged in the discussion. Because many have family members, pets, and other distractions at home, remaining focused for longer than a half-hour may be difficult.

Assign Tasks

Keep participants engaged in the Zoom meeting by handing out small jobs beforehand. These may include taking minutes, writing notes, or controlling presentation slides. Maintaining interaction keeps participants’ minds active and focused on the discussion.

Open with Casual Conversation

Spend a few minutes making small talk. Build rapport while waiting for participants to join the meeting or resolve technical issues. Find out what everyone has been up to during self-quarantine. They’ve probably been getting creative with ways to spend their time at home. Share fun stories about your own experiences.

Call on People

Ask participants for their input on discussion topics. Clarify how people can virtually raise their hand through the chat function and wait to be called on. Since extroverts will voluntarily jump in with their insight, be sure to call on introverts to share their ideas. Keep a list of everyone present so you can check them off once they’ve spoken. At the end of each virtual meeting, ask participants to voice final thoughts.

Summarize the Meeting

Recap the meeting when the discussion is over. Make sure everyone understands what was talked about and knows what their next steps are. Remind them that their action items will be followed up at the next Zoom meeting. Ask the person recording notes to share them with participants in the next few days.

Find Your Next Accounting Executive

When you’re in the market for an accounting executive in Southern California, partner with Alliance Resource Group. We provide a variety of executive, senior-level, and support staff recruitment services. Find out more today.