Posted by Marty Helman on May 01, 2020
Best Practices for Zoom Meetings

By PDG Marty Peak Helman, District 7780 Growth Chair

We’re all getting to be experts at Zoom and GoToMeeting, but an informal poll suggests that some clubs are having a more successful time with online meetings than others. At a recent Growth meeting in District 7780, Rotarians shared best practices for virtual meetings, and we all learned a lot! In fact, some clubs are getting better attendance at their virtual get-togethers than they did before COVID! Here’s how they are doing it:

Provide the Zoom info/call in data three times. Announce the call/speaker/agenda at the beginning of the week, repeat it a couple days in advance, and also an hour or two in advance. Each time provide the call-in info.

Consider a (slight) change in meeting time. There’s no point in having a Rotary meeting at mealtime if Rotary is not providing a meal - it just keeps the Rotarian away from his/her family meal. So consider running your breakfast meeting at 8:30; your lunch meeting either at 11:00 or 1:00, and a dinner meeting at 5:00 pm. or so.

Keep all electronic meetings to one hour.

Learning curve:

Some of your members use Zoom and other teleconferencing platforms in their work life. For others, it’s brand new technology. Offer a primer session during which a seasoned Zoom user can help newbies through the basics – logging on, finding the video, finding the audio, screen sharing, hand raised, et cetera. Explain that there is a first time for every-thing.

If problems persist, "pair" a member having technology issues with another Rotarian who can guide them through the process. This makes the people for whom technology is an issue feel valued, and it doesn’t overload a few (generally younger) members with everyone asking them for help.

Urge members to log in on computer with video so they are not a disembodied voice. That said, members who are having continued trouble logging on – or who do not have a speaker or camera on their computer – should be made to feel that the phone-in option is a welcome choice.

Security. Zoom has its issues, as recent headlines have indicated. Consider using a security code for your meetings.

Record meetings and post them on your website. This will keep involved the members who miss the meeting and may let others know that your Rotary