Remote meetings have become the backbone of many parts of the global economy. These meetings allow workers to stay home, remain productive, and meet as a team. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many workers inside, and remote conferencing programs have allowed groups to meet via video without missing a beat. However, these meetings must be structured properly. Continue reading to learn how a meeting agenda can make it easier to work from home and potentially host virtual meetings all day.  

Why Is Remote Meeting Management Important?

Remote meetings are a powerful way to bring a group together. However, these meetings can be very disorganized as everyone joins the call, is in the middle of something, and does not know what is happening. There should be some guidelines for these meetings that make them easier for everyone.

The Meeting Needs An Agenda

A meeting needs an agenda that makes it easier for everyone to know what is going on. The agenda should be managed by the person who has been chosen to run the meeting. This means that all the people who come into the meeting know who is running the meeting. The agenda should have been sent ahead of the meeting, and everyone in the meeting can expect to go through each part of the agenda in order.

Some parts of the agenda do not apply to everyone, and these participants can wait until they reach the part of the agenda that they need to speak on.

Even though a meeting has an agenda, the leader of the meeting must guide that meeting to ensure all the items on the agenda are addressed. The group could have extremely meaningful discussions outside of the meeting structure, but the leader of the meeting should bring everyone back to the original topics on the agenda.

An agenda should have a:

This agenda should be added to any plugin or add-ins for meeting software that the company uses. This could allow everyone in the meeting to see the agenda as they are talking. There should also be a place for meeting minutes and summaries.

The Meeting Needs A Summary Or Minutes 

When you are hosting a meeting, you need to end that meeting with a summary or minutes. Certain people cannot attend, and they need to know what happened in the meeting. The people on the call do not always have time to take notes, and they can review the summary or minutes after the meeting. These summaries can be sent to people across the company, and there is no confusion about what has happened in the meeting.

These summaries also help executives who need to make decisions in the future. For example, an executive can read the meeting minutes from a meeting they did not attend. “I understand Rob wants to increase investment at the Forest Hills property by 5%. Do we still agree with this plan?”

There is no need to bring Rob into another call because his opinion has been recorded.

What Should Be Included In A Meeting Minutes Or Summary Document?

When a meeting minutes or summary document is written, it should have some basic components. You can learn to write these documents and even volunteer to write them for each meeting. Some plugins or add-ins can be used to collect these notes, but they should have the same basic components so that they are easy to read:

  • The dates and times of the meeting including when it began and ended
  • The host or leader of the meeting
  • Attendees
  • The purpose of the meeting (meeting goal)
  • Important ideas or discussions during the meeting. Write these ideas like notes from a course so that they can be easily skimmed by others.
  • all assigned tasks

When completing these summaries or notes, it is important to listen without trying to write down every word. Instead of writing a paragraph about why Kelly wants to bid on the Anderson property for $41.5 million, the summary should say, “Kelly encourages a bid of $41.5 million for Anderson property.”

Everyone at the company will know what this means, and it is easy to review those notes at any time. As mentioned above, these summaries can be used for subsequent meetings or calls. An executive who reads these notes can ask Kelly why they should spend $41.5 million on the Anderson property instead of asking her if she actually said that.

Use A Template For Summaries Or Minutes

Using a template for these summaries makes them much easier to use. The company can use a specific template that has been designed for the industry in which you work, and everyone will grow accustomed to seeing summaries that have been written on these documents. The minutes or summaries are easy to read, and they can be shared throughout the company with no confusion.

A template can even be added to an add-in or plugin that will be used during video calls. The structure for each meeting must remain in place because everyone knows that the meeting minutes or summary will be hard to read if the meeting is “all over the place”.

The template should be created by managers who write these documents often, and the template should be standardized so that it is easy to fill in. Allowing each person who records minutes to do it differently is a waste of time for everyone.

structure for virtual meetings

How Should Meeting Minutes Or Summaries Be Written?

Meeting minutes should be written by managers or a selected person on each call. For example, a management call should include minutes from each manager that will be shared with their division. The summaries should be written in the “notes” style, and the summaries should try to remain on one page. The summaries need to be easy to read, and they should allow people to learn everything they need to know as if they were at the meeting.

Use Software To Make Meetings Easier To Manage

Using software (e.g. yoyomeeting for Microsoft Outlook) makes it easier to manage meetings. Meeting structure helps make the meeting easy to run, and the software will make it easier to write the minutes or summary. The agenda can appear on the screen, and all the people for the call can be pulled in based on the agenda for the meeting.

Conclusion: How to Structure Your Remote Meetings

There are a lot of companies that hold meetings and do not record any information from these meetings. Minutes and summaries should be written in a “notes” style that will make them easy to read. Someone should be chosen to write the minutes for each meeting, and someone should be chosen to lead the meeting. Virtual meetings can make the workday hard to manage because managers and executives are on these meetings all day. Busy workers can skip these meetings because they will get a summary, and the summaries can be used to easily skim for information that can be used to make business decisions.

yoyomeeting is a meeting management software used with Microsoft Outlook that helps manage meetings more easily. Whether it’s an in-person meeting or a virtual meeting, our platform helps you schedule, structure and run meetings. From meeting planning to meeting recording, to meeting recaps, our meeting management tool is here to help run better meetings for your organization. Learn more.

Easy to use, easy to install: Just download yoyomeeting from Microsoft AppSource.