Keeping Engagement in Remote Meetings

Over 70% of meeting attendees admit to doing other work in a meeting (according to a recent Verizon study).

When your meeting is not in-person, we can only imagine that this number gets worse!

How can meeting facilitators keep people present, especially in the remote setting? Well – Share valuable and interesting information – duh.

But here are some other suggestions that will help.

Start and end your remote meeting on time.

When meeting start times lag, it gives attendees just enough time to pull up other work and dive into it. On the contrary, starting right on time shows your attendees that you value their time, and gets them drawn in before they get distracted. Similarly, ending on time let’s people know their time is respected and reduces the opportunity that they will activate their contingency plan for meetings going long by starting other work they brought.

Share upfront why their input/attention is so important.

When people understand their value and feel they matter to the meeting, they’re more likely to want to participate. A simple statement at the meeting’s start is all that’s needed. Make it genuine and clearly demonstrate the reason they’re there. If there are very different reasons for each attendee, send those individualized messages to each ahead of time as an effective personal touch.

Weave in check-in points throughout the meeting.

When meetings incorporate attendee feedback throughout, attendees are more likely to stay present. Build in check points every 15 minutes to re-engage shortening attention spans. You can ask for questions or comments (requesting a verbal yes or no either way, not just silence if there are no questions), or ask for votes or show of hands throughout different topic points to build in interaction.

Leverage the video camera.

The camera creates a sense of connection and builds in accountability because all can see if you’re focused or doing other tasks. Make video share a part of meeting culture by leading the way and sharing your camera first, then requesting others do the same (give a head’s up in the meeting invite).

Your meeting doesn’t have to become another victim of that 70% distraction rate.  These suggestions can draw your meeting attendees in.

Questions about how to apply this to a specific meeting you have coming up? Send us a note at and we’ll be happy to offer some guidance.

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