I’ve been part of a LOT of hybrid meetings lately (onsite and Teams). They stink. Here’s how you can make them better…
1. Have a room setup that is optimized for hybrid, such as a Surface Hub, where it naturally works with Teams without a lot of screwing around. I’ve seen a TON of terrible room setups in the last year and they always make it terrible for remote attendees and the ones in the room alike.
2. If you are NOT handling AV and are “in the room”, join the meeting using the “without audio” button (see below). This will prevent the annoying echo effect we’ve all come to know and love about hybrid meetings. The wrong approach is to get into the meeting, realize this is a problem, and then struggle to mute yourself and your speakers.
3. Turn ON your video if you have your laptop with you in the meeting. This makes the remote attendees feel part of the meeting. Otherwise, there is a feeling that the people “in the room” are the only ones who get the participate
4. Leverage the “raise hand” feature more assertively. It’s difficult to participate with people “in the room” otherwise
5. Choose your collaboration tool carefully. If you CAN use a smart board experience that everyone can use, do it, especially for whiteboarding
6. Respect both onsite and remote attendees by ensuring they have openings for participation. This is a key responsibility of the meeting facilitator
7. Have the room AV setup ahead of time to prevent audio/video issues for the first 15 minutes of your meeting. Nothing is more frustrating than wasting time trying to get the room setup
8. Use the chat features to ask certain questions, make complementary comments, or engage and broaden the audience
9. In general, turn on your video or be in-person. Yes, there are times when you need to eat lunch, take a walk, are driving, etc. BUT, if you want to be highly engaged, usually video is where it’s at
10. Have an agenda in the meeting. This will let attendees know and self-regulate onsite vs. remote, as well as focus vs. multi-tasking
11. Have strong next-steps from the meeting. This is actually a general meeting tip, but don’t wait until after the meeting to organize what you do next. If the meeting was meaningful, agree on those steps before its done
12. Organize meetings with 25 and 50 minute lengths. This was a good learning a few years ago and should stick with us now