Can you imagine what the work experience was like several decades ago? No emails, no technology, no PowerPoint presentations. Fortunately, times have changed and our generation has been introduced to a stimulating environment when it comes to work. The field most affected is how a working team can share their knowledge and pass on experience to the young members.

Still, being at the top of a group, managing time, conducting a conversation, and making sure everyone is on the same page isn't easy. Imagine that all of this must also be done online. We are all familiar with online meetings, but if this is the only way to meet your colleagues, the landscape changes somewhat. It's easy to lose control, and some members of your team may be left behind.

The results will be reflected in their work and you, as the manager, are responsible for any errors at the end of the project. To avoid disappointment, try to follow some ground rules that will help you and your team stay on top.

  1. Prepare your audience
    Even though you are probably the person everyone in the group knows, it's a good idea to start by introducing yourself and breaking the ice. The things you want to include in your introduction will help the rest of the participants determine what to say about themselves later. Encourage each group member to do the same, and make sure that they all feel less stressed after this connection. If there is someone whose job it is to give the presentation for the day, you can say a few things about them, emphasizing the positive qualities so that they feel confident.

  2. Set the Goals
    As a leader, it is your job to inform the team about the goals of the company and your expectations for the meeting. First you can start with a small PowerPoint, in which you visualize your strategy and agenda. Avoid too many words and try to use pictures and blueprints to help the audience absorb the information you provide. It is necessary to be absolutely clear to everyone what the plan is for you as a team and not as an individual. Explain to your team that focusing on this small amount of time on the project will save you and them hours of work later, when they come up with questions because they don't understand it properly.

  3. Interaction
    Online meetings are often incredibly boring. People think there are elements in the meeting that do not concern them. This is a big mistake or else the meeting would not take place and you would also be sending emails. As a host or leader; however you want to mention this feature, you have to get people to communicate with each other. Make it clear from the start of the meeting that there will be a series of questions from time to time and that all will need to make their presence known. This will prepare the team to be on the alert and keep up with the rest of you, knowing that the attention will fall on them at some point.

  4. Conclude
    People who play leadership roles in meetings are experienced and familiar with all the important hacks they need to know to hold a meeting. The applications such as zoom, skype and slack or mind maps are all expected to be used, but if you don't include the essentials in your mindset, nothing will set you apart from other peers and, finally, the competition. The moment when the meeting ends and it is time to conclude is the most crucial part. It is the time for the audience to wake up to make sure they understand their duties. Don't skip this step for no reason.

  5. Treat online meetings like real meetings
    For some of your team members, the fact that they can work remotely and appear in an online meeting with their flip flops is distracting because you can't see them. In order to engage your team, prevent them from multitasking and let them know about the consequences of a low-quality delivered project. Apply a firm multitasking policy and don't allow the team to mute the microphone. In meetings where physical presence is required, no one is expected to leave the room or do other things during the process – should be treated in the same way as online meetings. Follow a few rules and don't accept disrespectful behavior.

Written by Anna Siampani .