Effective Online Meetings

Since lockdown we have seen our meeting sphere expand into online spaces. This has been a steep learning curve for many of us, navigating the pitfalls of talking over each other and awkward silences waiting for someone to speak. This pop up session was designed to give an overview of how to have effective online meetings.

Access to the session recording and Session slides

New! The University has produced an excellent guide to its new Online and Digital Events Service. Includes a “Which Tool to Use?” questionnaire, great advice and guidance and links to all the digital tools the University supports.

As this was an overview we didn’t focus too much on specific platforms and what they offer for different types of meeting but instead provided a useful framework which can be customised depending on your meeting size/style.

The basic framework:

  • having defined roles and responsibilities
  • a detailed agenda that everyone had access to
  • clear logistics
  • rules/conduct guidance

You will understand more about this framework after listening to the recording and following the slides.

Questions that we received from participants:

How to deal with people who aren’t familiar with online meetings/managing nerves of using online platforms?

  • provide thorough and detailed instructions
  • give uncertain users the opportunity to practice/join the meeting early to test equipment

How to manage break out rooms?

  • manage break out rooms in much the same way you would the main meeting: ensure you have a facilitator and a minute taker so that everyone is clear on what they’re doing and there is someone able to feedback to the main room

How to manage people who are either too chatty and dominate or don’t say anything?

  • the meeting facilitator should be directing questions to different people to ensure there are opportunities to speak
  • using raised hands or other indicators to take turns to speak
  • discourage interrupting
  • for larger meetings you may find strict time limits on speaking are helpful which can enable you to prevent people having long monologues

In delivering this session we also were able to practice many of the things we were preaching, I was facilitating with Sara taking notes that we used for the blog and Theodora was on hand for any technical support. Quite the meta-session!



This training was developed to support our research staff including our Train@Ed cohort of fellows. Train@Ed has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska‐Curie grant agreement No. 801215


Katie is employed on our EPSRC Inclusion Matters project: Evidence Base: Growing the Big Grant Club.

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