Online meetings, love them or hate them, have a central role in building cultures where engagement is at the heart.
In the last few years it is no surprise that there has been a much greater focus on the details of excellent execution in online meeting facilitation. With good reason – people can easily become disengaged through poorly managed online meetings. I know for myself it only takes a few bad online meetings to disincentivise my involvement.
On this podcast episode I had an illuminating conversation with Heather Levitt Martinez, change management expert and founder of TechHost Academy, about how to make online meetings engaging, productive and exciting.
With Heather’s unique insights as a visual practitioner-turned-online sessions specialist, we covered the core issues faced during virtual meetings.
Heather talked about what distinguishes an approach that creates a ‘fail’ on these counts and one that fosters engagement and productivity. She shared some tactics that increase engagement, including breaking groups into smaller units and giving quieter members a voice.
Heather outlined the pivotal role of a TechHost in ensuring smooth and inclusive meetings, from managing technology to facilitating diverse contributions.
We also dug into the tangible aspects of tech hosting – which platform is her favourite and what needs to be organised before a meeting.
Heather underscored the significance of a strong organisational culture for creating the best meetings, and the impact of leaders modelling the behaviours they wish to see.
You’ll enjoy this episode if you’re a leader of any description who is trying to get your head around online meetings.
“It’s at the grassroots level, especially in online meetings, where people really need to be able to build trust with each other”
Heather Leavitt Martinez
- 00:01:50 – Heather’s journey from a visual practitioner to an online sessions expert, or ‘TechHost’
- 00:04:00 – Heather highlights the necessity of creating efficient and equitable online experiences in virtual meetings
- 00:06:00 – We consider the importance of promoting equity in online meetings. Examples of how to do this include using breakout rooms and encouraging participation from all members.
- 00:09:00 – Heather explains the critical role of a TechHost in ensuring smooth and inclusive meetings.
- 00:11:00 – Practicalities of tech hosting, including necessary equipment, and Heather’s preference for Zoom as a hosting platform.
- 00:13:00 – Heather discusses previous issues with MSTeams, now resolved.
- 00:14:00 – We discuss what happens when leaders model desired behaviours for successful meeting leadership.
- 00:15:00 – Heather talks about the significance of fostering a strong culture for running successful online meetings.
- 00:17:00 – Heather introduces her TechHost Academy