Virtual meetings are a great way to connect with remote prospects, customers and colleagues. We’re all getting used to virtual meeting etiquette – but here’s a reminder. There is a clear difference between a personal meeting and a virtual meeting, but some people question the difference in etiquette between the two.
You are probably participating in virtual meetings on different platforms. Therefore, choosing the best selection for the platform is one of the essential guidelines. In addition, you’ll want easy-to-use software that everyone can find quickly.
Popular video conferencing software includes Zoom, Skype, Google Duo, Microsoft Team, etc. Each platform is different in its own way.
1. Learn screen sharing
Most meetings will require some form of screen sharing and you will probably want a live annotation. Some of these features are vital during virtual meetings, so choose the best platform for your team carefully.
Take the time to learn the program that you will use and all its features – and get ready to run its benefits quickly with your staff. Be aware in advance to use any required features during the meeting. You will want to be able to find relevant options and individual help for your team throughout the meeting.
Learn how to use features in a smooth transitional way, not just how to use them. This is important if you are the host.
2. Plan ahead
Preparations are needed to stop the last minute crowd. If you are the host, send a meeting request with a plan to all participants before the call
Your meeting requests and plans should include who will be present and what sessions to expect. Sending your plan along with your email invitation gives participants time to adjust to their preparation. You can use many email templates for your invitations. Inform participants to contribute during the meeting.
3. Set the visual settings before making a call
Also, check your platform’s audio and visual settings before you start your video call. Then, before the meeting starts, remind everyone to restart their computer – these two things reduce the call time spent on technical difficulties. Finally, assign responsibilities ahead of time so that people have enough preparation time.
4. Prepare the front materials
Participants should prepare everything they need to present themselves ahead of time – if you provide them with information ahead of time. If you show your readiness with the information in your invitation email – then your own preparation teaches everyone how to prepare the necessary documents or information in a virtual meeting.
For staff – If the organizer has not issued an expectation or agenda, ask if you can do something ahead of time. If the host sends you materials, study them before the conference.
5. Keep a strict deadline
Whether the discussion is virtual or not, it is essential for the meeting to be timely Professionalism includes staying on time. Participants will not enjoy waiting for the boss or host because they can’t get started without these key people there. Therefore, the boss or host should be in the queue first.
Participants view late arrivals as unreliable, so the leadership will want to set the right expectations for regular meetings and virtual meetings. If it is a work conference, you are sending the best message of reliability and professionalism by staying on time and organizing all the information and being ready to go.
Your latecomers will miss a number of agenda items, and if you’re a host you may choose to display the cover items clearly in the corner of your screen. When you’re a host, you don’t want team members or employees to lose important information.
Be sure to give all participants the length of the meeting and then finish the meeting on time – whatever. A conference shouldn’t go out of time – and neither should any other office meeting or virtual meeting.
No meeting should go beyond the two-hour schedule – and most sessions should take much, much less time. Sometimes, a quick meeting twice is more effective than a two-hour bore-fest. As you stick to your schedule, you will notice that participants are more careful with time and careful not to talk too much. If necessary, ask your gossipers and keep their comments short.
6. Dress properly
Many companies require professional attire, less in technology, to attend virtual conferences. But even at home, you should not dress normally. Instead, dress modestly to attend regular meetings.
Ask your video host if you have a conference dress code and dress appropriately – even if there is no dress code you may want to dress well.
Jewelry is often overlooked as something that can cause problems in a meeting. Most companies do not solve the jewelry problem in a virtual meeting – but you can probably think of the last person who turned over a large sized fat earring during a meeting. Earrings should not be a twister that curses all other virtual participants.
It’s not just about looks. When they talk, women should keep in mind that the jewelry hangs and speaks like a bubblehead doll and sometimes it is loud. The same goes with bracelets when typing. Jewelry can cause problems with the audio quality of virtual meetings.
7. Use a solid backdrop
You should already be aware of a solid backdrop value. After your face, people will notice your backdrop – take care of the backdrop problem. If you work from home, you should have a home office. Otherwise, choose the perfect place with a simple backdrop.
Make sure you are in a room that others will not have access to during your virtual meeting. Remove any inappropriate items from your backdrop. Some things may seem unimportant to you – but they can certainly confuse other participants.
8. Click and Clang Alert
I’ve worked with one woman over the years, and the whole team admired her bright yellow wall in her virtual meetings. Then, when we met at a world conference one year, he told me that his backdrop was a shower curtain, and he sat in the bathroom for the meeting because the lighting was so good and no one bothered him. I learned from this encounter that everyone can find the right place for a virtual conference and look professional – even in the bathroom.
Avoid strong lighting and adjust the brightness and contrast of the video. A green screen has long been considered a good solution. Needless to say – get your backdrop solution out ahead of time and try to keep the same backdrop for meetings with the same people.
9. Reduce scattering
Confusion can interrupt a video call. Unless you’re specifically waiting for a call that you must take – you should keep your phone away from your meetings. Or if you use a phone for your virtual call, turn off your computer Everyone will see that you’re looking at your phone or texting (or playing games) even if you think they can’t.
Stay focused and avoid confusion. To prevent alerts, close all other applications and browser windows.
A simple interruption to a video call is multitasking. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.
10. See Talking
A conventional conference can tell you who the initial speaker is, but it is difficult to have a virtual conference or noise with numerous faces.
Keep your microphone silent, your mic so that your voice does not disturb anyone and no one else speaks while speaking.
If it’s an interactive conference, you don’t mute your mic. But you want to be quiet and talk only when you have something to say. So please don’t be the one in the meeting to comment on everything. You bother us – close your yapper. Silence is golden.
In a video conference, keep in mind that many people’s transmissions are slow, so speak individually and maybe a little slower. Talking a little slower helps others communicate with you.
For global meeting hosts – you may want to translate text across the screen for non-native speakers.
Virtual meetings aren’t going anywhere – and in reality, use can be quick, so prepare your space, backdrop, camera, and other equipment you need, and be prepared for the moment’s notice for your next virtual meeting.
Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pixels; Thanks!
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