How you can start your online meeting like a PRO 2/3

Part 2: THE FIRST MINUTE

Yesterday, I wrote “How you can start your online meeting like a PRO”. Now, here is what PROs do when they admit the participants from the waiting room into the meeting. This is their portal sequence.

When it is a more formal event, use a start screen. Have your intro slide visible via the “share screen” functionality before everyone arrives. Your first slide should contain title, date, time, and your brand logo. It lets people settle in – and if you record the meeting, you already have your title shoot captured.

If people are new to the meeting software, add a short section to explain the task bar. Where to find the chat, the participant list, how to mute/unmute, and how to turn the camera on/off. Let them know that they can raise their hand and react with emojis.

What works especially well is to have one question and one writing prompt on the slide. This gets people into the right vibe of interacting and using the chat. A good prompt allows participants to share experiences. Or you can collect audience reactions on a second platform. Then provide a link, access code or QR-code that they can scan with their phone. I’m a sli.do poweruser, and I like their solution, but there are hundreds out there with similar features.

For a next level portal sequence, add a countdown timer like bigtimer.net to let people know when you actually start – 3 minutes is a good grace period. Participants can get their coffee, visit the bathroom, or finish that email. A few always trickle in later, so you don’t need to repeat yourself.

In a more casual setting, welcome everyone who is arriving by name. Moderate the social small talk to set the tone for the interactions. You create the atmosphere. PROs are good with this step. Warm up participants to your personality and get a finger on their pulse. Be a good listener and pay attention before you start to speak.

Get ready to enjoy the ride. And then, you start to speak.

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