Utilizing remote meetings such as secure conference calls and web conferences is a great way to keep the company moving. Even with employees in different states or countries, you’ll be organized, informed, and motivated by these meetings.

Unfortunately, not every remote meeting goes great. If not done properly, your meeting will more than likely succumb to awkward pauses, uncomfortable glances, and even uninterested participants. Meetings like this are unproductive and will not benefit you, nor your employees, and most importantly, the company. You must know how to avoid uninspiring sessions. 

Here are 5 simple tips that will keep your remote meetings engaging: 

1. Use a reliable conferencing and collaborative software

The proper tools can make sure that your remote meetings will never go dull. With a reliable conferencing provider and their collaborative software, your employees have more chances to be engaged and the meeting has more chances to go smoothly. 

You can use tons of features that will keep your meeting interesting like webcam feeds, document sharing, polls, and even fun background noises. These features can encourage members to participate and collaborate more. 

2. Plan and send out the meeting agenda

The meeting agenda has a lot of significance that should never be ignored. Most CEOs and secretaries will leave the agenda out not knowing it will keep the meeting organized and the participants involved. 

Take the time to plan out your agenda. List down the current items that need to be discussed, and talk to your subordinates to find out if they have any concerns that should be brought forward. When that’s done, send it to the participants before the meeting so they know what to expect and they can prepare for it.

3. Have small talk at the start

You may not be seeing each other in person, but that should not stop you from getting to know your colleagues and subordinates better. Have some small talk before you proceed with the meeting. Ask about their day, their current tasks, what they did at home, or ask them to share anything good that happened. The more you know them, the more you can connect with them and the more you can be comfortable with each other during the meeting. 

4. Get everyone involved

For your meetings to be engaged, your participants should be engaged as well. They should be listening attentively, providing opinions and suggestions, and voicing out concerns. A way to make sure this happens is to encourage them and give them a reason to be involved. Break up the agenda items of the meeting and assign a leader to each one of them. When it comes to long presentations, you can also assign multiple presenters instead of one. 

5. Break the ice

Another way to keep the meeting engaged is, of course, to break the ice. Take a break from talking about the corporate concerns, especially if it happens to be a long meeting. Otherwise, the session will get tedious and participants will lose focus immediately.

There are several fun ice breaker questions or ice breaker games that can get a conversation going and will ease the tension or the stern environment.