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What it takes to run a great virtual all-hands meeting

This post was originally published on the Prezi Blog on 12 June 2020.

Even before the pandemic pushed most office workers to work from home, Prezi ran hybrid all-hands meetings. Most of our workforce is based in Budapest, with other offices in San Francisco, Riga, and Berlin. People gathered in the event spaces at their offices and dialed in to meet with the rest of the company. 

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We’ve always been pretty comfortable speaking through video with one another, but since the switch to fully remote work, we’ve taken special care in holding engaging virtual all-hands. No one at Prezi understands this better than our CEO and co-founder Peter Arvai. Watch his take on the importance of virtual all-hands meetings here:


Hold your all-hands live

Your company builds a lot of culture by just seeing each other each day. Working from home can take away that sense of connection you get at the office. One of the benefits of congregating in video for your all-hands is the ability to see each other again. 

Encourage everyone attending to put their cameras on, and make sure all speakers have theirs on, too. By using Prezi Video, our video presentation tool, the speakers can overlay their content right alongside their face, so they can stay on camera while covering any subject and never lose that face-to-face connection with their audience.

This is key in a virtual all-hands, when you’re celebrating team wins, product updates, and making announcements that affect the whole company. You want people to see your excitement and you want to be able to see your audience’s reactions as you speak.

Record and publish right away after the meeting

While it’s ideal to meet with people live, the reality is that a lot of people working from home are leading hectic lives — they’re now watching their kids or pets or handling household emergencies during the workday. You can ease up on these folks and give them the option to watch the meeting later when they’re free. 

At Prezi, we love an asynchronous meeting. The ability to cover the same material remotely and at different times of the day is why we routinely come back to this meeting format. Make sure to record your virtual all-hands and share it with everyone at the company. 

Give people the option to ask questions or respond to the material after the meeting has ended, too. We have a shared #announcements Slack channel that works well for us.

Use visuals to support your message

As Peter notes, audiences understand information better when the speaker uses a visual element to support their message. This is why newscasters usually have images next to them on screen. Prezi Video helps you recreate this broadcast style of presenting. You can even interact with those graphics since they appear right next to you and don’t need to be edited in later.

If you want to learn more, watch this video of tips for virtual all-hands by Spencer Waldron, the Global Communications Director at Prezi, for practical advice. Or, get started with creating your own video template for your next all-hands meeting.

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