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6 Easy Steps to Defeat Virtual Meetings Fatigue

April 12, 2021
John Chen presenting to a virtual audience

The Zoom Fatigue struggle is real! Let’s face it: Many people are turned off by having to attend yet another meeting on what’s become the ubiquitous online meeting app, or—fairly or not—really any virtual platform.
If you want truly engaging virtual meetings, then learn the “ENGAGE” method. This method has actually been refined over the past 35 years and offers a remedy for the most common virtual meeting problems. 
ENGAGE stands for:

  • Engage and interact with every attendee.
  • Never lead a meeting alone.
  • Good looks.
  • Air traffic control.
  • Get productive with virtual tools.
  • End your meeting on a high note.

Following are six simple steps any virtual meeting organizer or host can use to keep attendees at attention and engaged.

6 Ways to Keep Virtual Attendees Engaged

1. Engagement Is Simple

It’s essential, and relatively simple, to engage and interact with every attendee. Greet all of your attendees as they arrive; have every attendee check in; ask your attendees to chat; and keep track and check in with the attendees who haven’t said anything and give them the opportunity to pass if they don’t want to contribute.

Go to bit.ly/evmengage to see a video of a professional host giving a demonstration of engaging and interacting with every attendee.

[Related: Key Considerations for Planning a Virtual Association Meeting]

2. Never Lead a Meeting Alone

If you want engagement, assign an team member, or even an attendee or someone you invite, to a role in the meeting (after you have trained them). Roles include chat engagement, muting and unmuting, renaming and security.

Any or all of these roles can be delegated. They must be engaged to do their job and it allows you, the host, to focus on connecting with your attendees.

Go to bit.ly/evmnever to see a video of a professional host working with a producer as an example of never leading a meeting alone.

3. Good Looks

If you want engagement, look good. Take a shower. Dress up. Frame your face. Clean up your background. Turn on your lights. Wear your company gear. Wear bright colors. Like Bruno Mars says, “If you want to show up, then show out.”

Go to bit.ly/evmgood to see a video of multiple backgrounds evaluated for good looks.

4. Air Traffic Control

If two or more people talk at the same time, no one can hear. An engaging meeting is when you understand what is said. You can help by creating air traffic control.

From physical to virtual hand raises or other types of talking sticks, help find a way for attendees to communicate without stepping on each other’s auditory toes. Until a video conferencing platform perfects simultaneous audio, use air traffic control.

Go to bit.ly/evmair to see a video of a professional host demonstrating air traffic control.

[Related: Key Considerations for Planning a Virtual Association Meeting]

5. Get Productive With Virtual Tools

A virtual meeting is about getting work done. We all have to meet to get our job done. As the host, you need to value the time even more, because as soon as you log in, you start an invisible timer set to each attendee’s “I’m done” factor, or when they cease to be productive.

Virtual meeting fatigue is real and you’re doing everyone a favor if you can get your collaborative work done and get back to nonvirtual meeting work. Arrive on time. Plan. Value each other’s time. Make decisions everyone buys into. Document your decisions. Get out. Your attendees will feel valued and more engaged if you can host productive virtual meetings.

6. End Your Meeting on a High Note

You want your attendees to have more energy after your meeting. Product teams have done research on product demonstration meetings and discovered that if you end your meeting on a high note, customers are more likely to buy your product.

If you can find a way to end positively, your attendees are more likely to come back and they are more likely to be engaged. Ask for feedback. Do a cheer. Play a video. Celebrate success. Say thank you. Then log off.

Read Next: Discover Which Virtual Events Software Is Right for You

Profile picture for user John Chen
About the author
John Chen

John Chen is the author of Engaging Virtual Meetings and has been virtually meeting for over 35 years. He can juggle 10 screens of information at a time. He has planned an international conference for 200 for Microsoft. He’s produced a quad-language virtual webinar. He is a recognized thought leader on engaging virtual meetings. He is the Wiley and Sons author of Engaging Virtual Meetings and 50 Digital Team Building Games, both top-selling business books. His work has earned him multiple awards and his more than 230,000 clients across the U.S. and in countries including Spain, France and Taiwan have experienced breakthrough results. 

Geoteaming's website is https://geoteaming.com.