When you think about a presentation, meeting or webinar that went well, what attributes did it have? What made that Zoom session valuable and not a drag?

Employees are spending a lot more time presenting to clients and each other since so many businesses have begun operating as a remote workforce. The skills that make pitches and presentations a success when face-to-face are crucial. Even more so are new skills we have to learn as we try to communicate effectively through a screen.

Our team is embracing this new challenge. Take a moment to read how our digital strategy team and their producer experts are making each presentation and meeting a great experience. 

Set Things up in Advance for Success

Firstly, the key to a great marketing meeting is being prepared for that meeting. With attendees in different timezones, spotty internet connections, and constantly evolving marketing strategies, it’s even more important now to prepare prior to your meetings.

virtual marketing meeting

  • Send the right information in advance. This should be more than just the agenda. Include the objective of the meeting, supporting documentation and any questions you plan to ask ahead of time.
  • Have a backup plan. Designate a back-up presenter or co-leader prior to the meeting in case you lose the connection or have technical issues. 
  • Prepare your team. Sync up with your team members who will be on the call with you and make sure you are aligned. Identify who will lead the call and kick things off.  Give space for everyone to speak and ask questions to provide contrast and variation on the call. 
  • Prepare yourself.  Know your agenda, and who you are speaking with. Set yourself up to speak to whatever may come up. Have reports, tabs and supporting information up and easily accessible prior to starting the meeting. Being able to answer related questions quickly helps you look like a rockstar and avoids future emails or meetings. 

Kick the Meeting off on the Right Foot

People are in a lot of virtual meetings these days. Your clients and marketing team members want to enjoy and appreciate the time they are giving to the conversation. Make sure you are starting things off with clarity and empathy for everyone. 

person on small video call

  • Set the upfront contract. Start the meeting by stating the expected outcome and ensure alignment. Confirm the time allotted for the meeting as well. It may feel awkward, however, this is the best and fastest way to an efficient and clear meeting.
  • Read the room. Starting a meeting with a one-word open or a simple, how is everyone feeling? helps you understand the tone best suited for the meeting. Are your participants and fellow teammates wanting to get down to business or does everyone need a moment to talk, vent or share before they can address the agenda with a clear head?
  • Confirm logistics. The meeting leader should confirm everyone has the agenda and materials before diving in. They should also confirm everyone can hear clearly and no one is having any glitchy connections. A quick, “Can everyone see my screen okay?” lets you know that everyone is ready to go. 

Facilitate a Productive Meeting 

Getting the most out of a marketing meeting requires all the up front work we have described. It also requires active listening and full participation. Leading a productive meeting virtually requires more attention to detail and purpose from everyone than a typical face-to-face meeting. 

  • Embrace pauses. It is easy to just plow through presentations and discussions. Don’t assume silence means acceptance. More so, in a virtual meeting, it is important to wait as people may be trying to avoid talking over each other or going off mute. Be comfortable with giving time to allow people to think about your question or what you have said. Count out 5 seconds after asking “Does anyone have any questions or anything to add?” and be comfortable in silence.
  • Guide the conversation. Leading the meeting means making sure everyone is coming along with you. Take a moment to let people know what you are doing as you transition in your pitch or presentation. Don’t be afraid to drive the meeting using cues like, “I’m going to share my screen,” “I’m going to move to the next slide,” or “Give me a minute while I pull up the content strategy to review.” 
  • Get people involved. Don’t be afraid to ask people by name to answer a question or give feedback. If your marketing meetings are truly collaborative then everyone should be ready to give their input or agreement on a topic. Encourage everyone to weigh in and give time for each person to share. 

Send Everyone off Feeling Good

taking notes

You’ve led a great meeting and folks have actively shared and discussed all the strategy pitches and design ideas brought forward. Make sure your clients and colleagues don’t just hit that Leave button and forget the meeting existed.

  • Summarize and clarify. Go around the room and let everyone confirm what actions they took or understood others to be taking. This is the quickest way to make sure everyone is aligned and accountable to what they said in the meeting. 
  • Document outcomes. Lastly, determine who will be updating the action items and communicating the decisions via email, Asana or whatever project management system you use. 
  • Circle back to the individuals. Take a moment to check in with people again. Ask if everyone feels good about the meeting. Sometimes ending with a one-word close can help people put words to how they are feeling. 

Got tips of your own? Feel free to share them with us through our contact form or on social media. May your internet connections stay stable.