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Keeping Virtual Meetings Engaging. Zooming into 2021


Zoom fatigue has officially been adopted into our lexicon. Who knew a year ago that we’d be tethered to our computers for work, school, and entertainment? And yet, here we are.

Like any bright and shiny thing, Zoom has lost its novelty and is now embedded into our everyday life. From what I’ve seen, Zoom will continue to be an integral part of our business and social life well into 2021. Several large conferences have already indicated their spring events will be virtual next year.

For those of you who lead meetings, keeping your audience engaged and focused is crucial to its success. Here are some tips to make your Zoom meeting work for everyone.

Before anyone signs in:

· Share information, such as when to log-in, how to interact with the speaker/host, and whether or not attendees will be on video.

· Share the name of platform, the format, and any other special instructions.

· Send materials in advance and include in Chat feature at start of meeting.

· Do audio/video checks with speakers.

· Minimize distractions as much as possible.

During meeting:

· For small meetings, allow participants to briefly introduce themselves.

· For large meeting, ask attendees to introduce themselves using the Chat feature.

· Use breakout rooms to allow interaction with smaller groups.

· Encourage use of the Chat feature and have someone on your team monitor it.

· Schedule frequent breaks for meetings longer than an hour.

In addition:

· Engage your audience by asking questions and asking them to respond in Chat.

· Include some humor in your presentation.

· Make your content relatable to your audience.

· Start and end on time. Everyone will appreciate it.

· Shorter meetings are better than longer ones, 45-minutes is better than a full hour.

A combination of these strategies keeps the energy up and the flow moving.

Virtual meetings are a great way to stay connected, but we all need to take breaks, stretch our bodies, walk around and give our eyes a chance to look at something other than a screen.


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in startup and smaller nonprofits because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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