Every seasoned presenter and team leader knows that one of the most important parts of a meeting is the end. In this blog post we explain why your ending is so vital and share 10 fun, creative and memorable ways to end your virtual meeting positively.
- Use the end of your video meeting to land your key message.
- Try to make endings more fun with a quote, statistic, teammate shout-out or even a virtual cheer.
- Invest in the right technology so your video calls are seamless.
Why the first thing you should plan is how your meeting ends
The end of a meeting is the last thing that people will hear, making it more likely that they remember the points that you make at the end and therefore the ideal opportunity to land your key takeaways.
Did you know? Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered a phenomenon he called the ‘primacy’ and ‘recency effect’. The primacy effect is the tendency for people to remember the first few items on a list better than those in the middle, while the recency effect is the tendency for people to remember the items found at the end of the list, because they are learned most recently.
The end of a meeting is also a great opportunity to leave people feeling on a high, by praising good work or promoting group bonding.
10 Fun Ways to End a Virtual Meeting on a Positive Note
1. A killer statistic
A great way to end a meeting is with a relevant fact or statistic that captures the key point you’re trying to land. Surprising and shocking insights are the most effective, as they get people to sit up and take note.
2. An insightful quote
Another effective way to end a meeting is with a quote that captures the essence of what you want people to take away. It could be a quote from a customer or business leader. Alternatively, you can find inspiration and wise quotes from famous authors, artists and so on.
3. Ask ‘what would you do?’
A strong way to end a meeting is to ask everyone to answer a powerful question, to capture everyone’s ideas on how they might solve or improve a situation. Examples include:
- What’s the one thing we should do to solve this?
- What’s our biggest strength/asset in this situation?
- What is one thing we could do differently?
- What is one thing we could do better?
Asking people to actively participate in this way will make the meeting end more personally and memorably.
4. Leave them with a cliffhanger
You can also pose a question but give people until your next meeting to provide their response. There’s a time and place for capturing immediate, instinctive answers to a question, but it’s also useful to capture more thoroughly researched and thought-through responses.
5. Ask a ‘get to know you’ question
A related idea is to ask a fun question with more of a team building objective, so people can deepen their connection and how comfortable they feel with each other at work. Exercises like this are even more valuable for hybrid teams who spend less time together in person. Here are some thought-starters:
- What was a highlight for you this week?
- Name one new thing you’ve learnt this week?
- What would be your desert island disc / book / object?
- Share one thing you will do this weekend?
6. Give them a fun riddle
Give your team a riddle before you say goodbye and ask them to solve it before the next team meeting. You can also rotate which person brings the riddle to the next meeting to get everyone more involved. Reader’s Digest is a great source of riddles or you can challenge teammates to make their own up.
Question: Two in a corner, one in a room, zero in a house, but one in a shelter. What am I?
Answer: The letter “R.”
7. Give someone a shout out
Surprise someone by giving them the praise they deserve for a job well done. Or perhaps for the way they handled a tricky situation, keeping a cool head in a crisis. You can get really creative with your shout outs too, for instance giving the recipient a fun title that everyone has to use for the rest of the day. King or queen of the day is a good place to start!
8. Give them a moment of R&R
It’s so easy to race through the working day without taking a moment to pause, reflect or take a deep breath. Nurture your team’s wellbeing at the end of a meeting by allowing 5 minutes for a short meditation or slow breathing exercise. You can choose a relaxing piece of music for some extra atmosphere, and ask different people to choose the track for each meeting. Just 5 mins at the end of the day is a great way to prevent burn-out and get into positive health habits.
Did you know? Neat make video collaboration devices with Neat Sense, a feature which monitors air quality, humidity, CO2, Volatile Organic Compounds (organic chemicals, odors, scents, etc) and more so you can keep your hybrid team healthy when they visit the office.
9. Review and summarize next steps visually
A simple but effective way to end a meeting well is to use images, video clips or a GIF to sum up your key takeaway. An image says 1000 words, especially for visual people who will find it easier to engage with and remember a point made visually. A humorous visual can also help land your point in a light-hearted way.
10.End with a cheer
Author and entrepreneur Cameron Herold believes that getting into a team huddle and cheering at the end of meetings, though potentially a little embarrassing at first, is a closing ritual that people grow to love. It builds morale and boosts mood, plus modern video collaboration devices enable multiple speakers to cheer all at once and all be heard. Neat video devices for instance have Neat Audio Processing which enables more than one person to be heard, which makes for more natural conversation, not to mention excellent team cheering!
Watch-outs: Don’t overlook these important factors when planning how to end your meeting
1. Signpost everyone to a shared document capturing key decisions and actions
Many people take meeting notes, but not all. And even if they did, the chances of everyone interpreting everything the same way are slim! Make sure you capture important agreements and next steps in clear, concise language in a shared document that can be shared with everyone directly after your meeting. Use the end of your meeting to tell people about this document and signpost where it can be found. This will prevent things getting forgotten and flush out any potential misunderstandings.
2. Ask for feedback
You can also use the end of your meeting to ask if anyone has any questions, feedback or suggestions. This is useful to clarify information and help people to feel heard and valued. Good ideas can also be captured and acted on where they arise.
3. Give ways to get in touch
Not everyone feels comfortable speaking up in meetings, so give people the opportunity to contact the meeting lead/s in other ways in a one-to-one format after the meeting. It’s also useful to make some more confidential channels available in case there is sensitive information that people want to share privately.
4. End on time
VIdeo fatigue is real. Too many virtual meetings can sap people’s energy and focus, so do everyone a favor and don’t overrun. Finishing promptly when you say you will earn people’s respect too. They will be more likely to give you their full attention for the duration of the meeting if they’re confident it will end on time.
Virtual meetings are only as good as the tech that supports them
As important as the end of a meeting is, a virtual meeting can only ever be as good as the technology you use to host it. The most common problems people face during video meetings occur when the internet is not powerful enough to support video calls or out-of-date equipment is being used. The solution is simple:
- Contact your internet provider and check that your internet connection is capable of supporting video collaboration.
- Check that the equipment you are using was built for the purpose of hybrid working, for example:
- The webcam has a wide field of view that can capture everyone in your hybrid meeting room.
- The webcam has good capture resolution, like the camera inside Neat Bar which has 12MP.
- You have enough mics and speakers in your hybrid room that everyone in the meeting can hear and be heard.
- Or consider multi-functionality video collaboration devices, sometimes called all-in-one video devices, that are purposefully built for hybrid meetings – like Neat Board and our other award-winning video devices.
Get to know Neat
When it comes to ending virtual meetings on a positive note, don’t be afraid to use your imagination. And when it comes to choosing the right video collaboration devices be sure to speak with a Neat specialist by visiting our website today.
The Recency Effect In Psychology. Very Well Mind.
78 Riddles for Adults That Will Test Your Smarts. Reader’s Digest.
The Format of a Productive Huddle. Cameron Herold.