Virtual meetings are becoming ingrained in our culture. While the conventional meeting practice (agenda, minutes, and follow-up) stays the same, the shift from in-person to online has brought a whole new set of rules.
Most of us have participated in more than a few virtual meetings in our personal and professional life at this time. Therefore it is necessary to know that online meeting etiquette though different from that of physical meetings is no less important.
This article will serve as a guide to virtual meetings; covering everything from planning to conducting oneself during the meeting to hosting and avoiding catastrophic gaffes. Please read on as we explain more.
Getting Ready for a Virtual Meeting
An online conference presents a whole new set of obstacles and diversions, from poor microphones to muffled audio, and down to serious technology glitches. This therefore makes it better to over-prepare for a virtual meeting than it is for a real-life one.
Here are some important things to look out for before starting or joining a meeting:
Get Used to the Platform
Although there was an early grace period where a virtual meeting may start ten minutes late due to technical difficulties, virtual meetings are now expected to run like real-life meetings: they start on time and keep to the schedule.
To make sure you’re prepared, learn how to use the communication technology your meeting employs. Watch a tutorial for Google Hangouts, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or whichever other platform you’re using. Take note of important elements such as muting and viewing settings.
For an online meeting, good audio is essential. There will be no meeting if there is no sound. Make sure you listen to the audio with a friend to see if your speaker has an echo and if you can hear yourself. A headset (wired or wirelessly connected to the computer) is a wonderful device to have because it blocks out external noises in your room.
Some PCs do not have the best microphones available. Consider obtaining a different microphone from the one on your computer so that people can hear you. This also helps you to be heard if you wish to add something to a conversation.
Prepare all Necessary Documents
Any documents you wish to share at the meeting should be open and ready on your desktop. Digging through documents or logging into an account mid-meeting adds unneeded complexity and delay.
Avoid taking a break from your computer in the middle of a meeting by having everything you’ll need on hand, including pens, notes, and tea or coffee.
Make the Room Ready
If your children or spouse interrupt your meeting, it is disruptive for everyone. Make sure everyone in your home is aware that a meeting is taking place, possibly by posting a sign on the door. You’re ready to touch “Start Meeting” once you’ve set up all of your systems. And there you go!
Making a Positive First Impression
Certain aspects of our look have received more examination as a result of virtual conferences…while others have received less scrutiny. And who’d have guessed that your home’s walls reveal a lot about oneself? They surely do in a virtual conference!
When thinking about how we’ll show up to a virtual gathering, keep the following points in mind.
Dress for the Role
An online conference generates an unusual dynamic in which we are both at home and in a professional setting at the same time.
Don’t look it, even if you’ve just gotten out of the shower. Treat the virtual conference as if it were a real-life conference.
Find out what the dress code is for the team you’re working with. We get into business mode and bring the right mindset to the conference when we dress appropriately.
People largely see your face in a virtual conference, so put your best face forward! Spend some time styling your hair, washing your face, and applying make-up.
Although we prefer to relax in our homes, it’s important to select a study chair because an erect posture signals that you’re paying attention.
Make Your Face Shine
Make sure your face is well-lit. Shadows are created in a dimly illuminated room. Attendees won’t be able to read your nonverbal movements if they don’t have a clear impression of you, making it difficult for you to engage.
A video conference light for your computer screen is cheap and ensures that your face is well-lit and visible throughout the conference. Sitting near a window, on the other hand, gives your face a natural glow. If the conference is in the evening, a similar effect can be achieved by placing a lamp directly behind the PC screen. If you are looking for tips to help you look good during zoom conferences, you can read this article.
Even if we’re used to doing many things at once when we’re using the computer, this doesn’t work in most conferences. When our attention is diverted, it appears as if we are uninterested to the other guests.
At a formal conference, note-taking should be the only multitasking that takes place. However, pay attention to the tone of the conference. It might be acceptable to be on your phone and cooking at the same time for a super-casual business conference or a discussion with friends.
Organize Your Backdrop
What you put in your backdrop tells a lot about who you are. Distracting elements include wacky posters, unclean dishes, and toys strewn across the floor. In most cases, clean, neutral background is preferable.
Virtual conferences are more common now than they have ever been. And it is unlikely to go away any time soon. As a result, it’s important to recognize the differences that a virtual conference brings to how we interact and portray ourselves. They’ll become second nature if we comprehend virtual conference etiquette and how to interact in conferences. You will find some tips to help you have a successful conference in this article.