Meetings: How design thinking can transform virtual events

Author: Roy Sheppard

‘Zoom Fatigue’ is now afflicting hundreds of millions of workers. The truth is most online meetings are really bad. They ramble, lack relevance. And I’m not just talking about internal meetings, ‘professionally’ run virtual conferences can be the worst offenders.

The world is crying out for people to organise and design more interesting meetings. This represents a massive opportunity for anyone who wants to add value (and a lot more interest to their working lives). These new skills will become highly valued in the next few years as more meetings go virtual, regardless of how quickly the world returns to normality.

Meeting design

I’m going to share some tips and techniques for anyone who schedules online meetings or has ever been given the ‘opportunity’ to organise their company conference. These ideas are based on what I’ve learned as a BBC TV presenter and conference host.

Put simply, most meetings are organised by professionals who are brilliant at the hugely complex administrative and logistical aspects of a meeting. Yet the problem with flawless execution of a complex task is that it usually goes unnoticed!

In my experience, pre-COVID, more attention used to be given to choosing a menu, than organising the content of the meeting. And it’s this lack of meeting design knowledge that results in dull meetings and conferences. Fix that, and your meetings will improve instantly.

Virtual meetings are not about the technology anymore. You need to get more involved in the meeting design, content, meeting objectives and how to help contributors look and sound more professional – and more relevant to your audiences. Do this and you’ll stand out as someone who adds real value to your meetings.

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