Being heard in remote meetings.

Last updated Nov 27, 2020 | Surviving meetings

Being heard in remote meetings.

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In a remote team meeting (or do you prefer virtual team meeting?) it’s important to be heard and even easier for an introvert to fade into the background. How can you, as an introvert, make your mark in remote team meetings? You need to make all your relevant points in meetings if you want to be well thought of, demonstrate gravitas and influence what happens.

For a meeting to be successful it’s important to use all the expertise in the room. This is true for remote and face to face meetings. As a meeting organiser how can you encourage introverts to be heard?

Virtual meetings work in the same way as face to face meetings, except its even easier to keep quiet. Think of how you would plan and act in a face to face meeting and apply the same actions.

4 tips to help to being heard in a remote meeting.

The following points will be even more important as the meeting is virtual:

  1. Prepare: Read the agenda and consider what points you would like to make during the meeting. This makes it easier for you to “get them in early”. As it’s a virtual meeting you could be making the host’s job easier if you sent the points to them before the meeting. That will allow the host to introduce them, credit you and call on you.
  2. Help: Ask the host what you can do to help them run the meeting. Maybe manage the chat box (working with the host to ensure the points raised get discussed) or summarising each section of the meeting (giving the host a break for a second), or even running the meeting for them. What would help your host? By helping in this way you are more likely to be heard and (more importantly for most introverts) you are adding real value to the session.
  3. Software: Check you’re familiar with the software. If you want to interrupt and can’t find the “hands up button” for 3 minutes, it may well be too late to make your point.
  4. Responding: Be ready to make a holding statement. If you’re asked something and not quite ready to answer (thinking it through in detail like most introverts), say something like “That’s a really good point” to help buy you time and possibly adding to it with “can I come back to that in a moment, as it’s really important)

Introverts in remote meeting

Helping introverts be heard (notes for hosts)

Whether you are introvert, or extrovert, the following will help you run a better online meeting.

  • Get the agenda, and any pre-read, data, information etc. out well before the meeting. It’s much harder to share things like this and get responses in a remote meeting.
  • Encourage people to send in their questions first. That allows you to control the structure of the meeting, making it more effective. You’ll be able to unmute/ call on people where appropriate, rather than just having a free for all.
  • Leave a gap between each issue being discussed, so that people can process their thoughts before contributing. This is more important for introverts who tend to process their thoughts internally (click for more on this)
  • Keep the meeting short and focused on the most important points. It’s easy to lose focus in online meetings, but even easier when the meeting is rambling. Introverts will often turn off at that point and it’s harder to get the focus back again.
  • Read 22 tips to improve your remote team meetings.

You may also like to read:

Or listen to: 

An interview with Helene Jewell of the International Association of Facilitators on how to improve your meetings.

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