Virtual meetings have become an integral part of how business today maintains productivity and continuity. They’re easy and cost-effective to host and keep your remote employees engaged and connected!
It is imperative that virtual meetings remain productive and professional. To help you, we have put together 10 virtual meeting etiquette tips.
If you’re the organizer, prepare an Agenda beforehand and distribute it to those who have been invited to attend the meeting.
If you’re an attendee, review the Agenda ahead of the meeting and get all the relevant documents you may need ready in advance. By reviewing the agenda pre meeting, you can prepare questions and concerns you have in advance.
Stick to the schedule
If the meeting is scheduled to commence at 3pm and end at 4pm, then as the host, you need to stick to that time. Don’t be late – hosts should start the meeting five to ten minutes earlier than the scheduled time to allow people to start checking in. If you’re an attendee, be punctual and join before the scheduled start time so that the host can start promptly at the allotted time.
Use a laptop as far as possible and not a cellular device so that your hands are free to take notes. Have a neutral background like a subtle coloured wall – not a wall full of photographs behind you that could be distracting to other participants.
Turn off your phones and computer notifications, mute the mic when not speaking and look at the camera if it is in use
Start the call well
Spend some time at the beginning of the call having everyone quickly introduce themselves. A good way to start after introductions is to remind everyone why the call is taking place. Also inform participants if the session will be recorded. Ask participants to mute their mics and give an indication as to when participation will be required.
Keep it professional
Virtual meetings are as much professional as would be should you have met in person. Turn your camera on and check the mic and speakers ahead of the meeting to be sure that they are working.
Dress as if you are attending an in-person meeting. You never know if the host will ask you to turn the camera on. Give the meeting your undivided attention.
Protect Sensitive Information that is shared
Make sure that whilst sharing your screen during your presentation to the other attendees, that the content visible to all is the necessary documents. Close all your other tabs and apps that you have been busy with pre meeting. Choose the option of sharing only 1 screen or 1 app (ie Powerpoint) instead of your full desktop.
Keep it moving
Keep the invite list as short as possible and only invite those who are essential participants. This will minimize disruptions and over-talkers so that you will be able to keep the meeting’s agenda on track and avoid distractions. Everyone at present is juggling extra workloads and also possibly having to care for families at the same time, so you want to keep people fully engaged for a shorter period of time. Encourage participants to use the chat for questions and answer those at the end of your presentation.
No food allowed
Try to eat a snack before your virtual meeting. No one wants to see you eat your lunch discussing important business matters. Not only is it distracting to others, you won’t be able to focus on the task at hand because you’ll be worrying about dropping crumbs all over your keyboard.
Give some grace
We have all had to transition to working from home and have children, partners and pets around the house so we’re a little more gracious but as far as possible make sure that you are in a quiet room, free from distractions as much as possible.
Stay seated and stay present
It may be tempting to check your inbox or carry on a side conversation during a dull moment in a meeting, but don’t do it! You might miss out on key information or an opportunity to give input. If you’re using your webcam, use attentive body language: sit up straight, don’t stretch or yawn widely, and don’t let your eyes wander too much.