Tips For An Effective Online Meeting

In the current context, in which the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economic world, Onlineconferencecalls and video online conference calls are becoming more frequent, due to limitations in contact and travel – especially in work through screens. Our work habits have had to adapt to a great extent to this transformation process; Many people have been familiar with this form of communication for a long time, both inside and outside their own company because until now they did not find it convenient to have a frequent personal meeting of the meeting participants.

At international meetings, participants often do not speak the same language. The very important face-to-face understanding factor, such as “face-to-face” communication, is severely hampered by technological communication, making it difficult to plan a meeting in a foreign language.

In order to maintain a robust and therefore successful telephone or video conference in different languages, the support of an interpreter is often essential, so that the reciprocal flow of information meets the expectations of the participants and is useful for your company. For this, it is essential to comply with specific rules.

Recommendations for organizing an effective multilingual online meeting:

  • First, the organizer of a conference call or video conference must set the source and target languages.
  • In addition, it is advisable to make an agenda or agenda as detailed as possible for the appropriate personnel and the satisfactory intervention of a (specialized) interpreter.
  • Naturally, punctuality is necessary. For this, an email is sent to the participants informing about the date and time of the event and in which confirmation of participation is required. In addition, if a video conference is held, a connection link to the URL or participation link must be sent to each participant.
  • As a fundamental requirement for service quality, we provide our own virtual conference rooms for telephone interpretation. For video conferences we use the means of two market leading providers in this field: Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
  • Occasionally, in an online meeting with an interpreter, there may be attention deficits and/or indiscipline on the part of the participants. For this reason, the moderation of all events requires a certain authority to impose the necessary rules and, thereby, ensure the regulatory development of the conference. Moderators act as referees during discussions, in order to ensure consistency.

Other Criteria To Maintain Successful Online Conferences

For technical and economic reasons, simultaneous interpretation is less and less suitable for small group meetings. However, it has proven to be very effective for large (online) conferences and ensures the necessary professional conduct of negotiations.

These large events are structurally digital, since there is no direct meeting of the participants, despite the fact that it involves considerable costs, especially in terms of staff dedication and technical implementation.

For this reason, such an (online) meeting should be organized in such a way that the consecutive interpreter has enough time to translate the content of the conversation correctly and accurately. For the rest, it is recommended not to make sentences too long, to facilitate translation, and not to make parallel comments to guarantee the understanding of all the participants.

In order for the meeting to develop productively, the intervention time granted to each speaker must be respected. For example, if participants repeatedly interrupt each other, the interpretation quickly loses transparency and thus efficiency.

In addition, it is advisable to remind the participants, at the end of the meeting, of the most important points that have been discussed and summarize the agreements reached, as well as the ideas discussed, so that all the participants have them in mind from that moment on regarding the results.

If requested and after obtaining the approval of the participants, the (online) meeting can be recorded and fixed in writing, strictly adhering to the rules of confidentiality.

If you follow these principles, you will be able to organize your online meetings in an even more productive way.

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