Tips for Fun & Effective Video Meetings: Student Organizations
While students are practicing stay-at-home and social distancing policies, many student organizations are looking to video conferences to maintain communications and continue programs. We’ve put together a list of tips to help make the transition to video meetings fun and effective for your student organization!
Basic meeting facilitation reminders:
- Set an agenda and share with group ahead of meeting. Make sure to include any goals and outcomes for the meeting.
- Take attendance and consider having someone take notes.
- Send out the meeting link in advance with a date and time.
- Set aside 10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting to let each other check in and vent if necessary. Consider using a quick icebreaker!
- Before the meeting begins, establish some best practices for how you want to handle interruptions and allow everyone the chance to be heard.
- In collaborative situations, assume best intentions! Everyone is stressed during the COVID-19 outbreak and it’s important to be compassionate to each other and ourselves.
Tips for keeping your video meetings safe and secure:
- Build some extra time in for technical difficulties
- Require a password if possible
- Enable a waiting room if possible
- Change settings to only allow the host to share screen
- Make your meeting invite-only
- Lock the meeting once all expected participants have joined to prevent unwanted strangers from entering
- If you have to step away for a call or have a lot of background noise, make sure to mute your audio to avoid interrupting the discussion.
Alternatives to Zoom:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Hangouts
- Skype (has new Meet Now feature)
Advice for refocusing your organization’s work:
- Think creatively about how you can still have an impact:
- Are there research needs that you now have the extra time for?
- Are there organizational tools you could take time to be developing?
- Are there old projects you could share with new members?
- Take this time to go into planning mode:
- Develop officer manuals
- Develop hand-off materials so that new members can easily learn about ongoing initiatives
- Update your website or social media platforms
- This can be a great time for peer learning! Hear from the experts in your group or do some networking outside your organization.
Fun virtual activities besides meetings:
- Set up a virtual social hour to give everyone a chance to talk about life outside of work/school.
- Have a game night with online collaborative games or competitive apps!
- Host a virtual potluck! Have everyone share their recipes and enjoy eating together.
- Dance party! Assign a DJ and get your groove on.
Bonus Tip: Using video is likely to be much more engaging than audio only. We highly encourage you to take advantage of video options on your computer or phone if possible!