Many people are now working from home, and if you’re still new to meeting online, it is important to educate yourself on how to effectively attend an online meeting. The following points are our best practices for online meetings.
Test your lighting, sound, and the ability to hear people. Know confidently that you can be heard and seen online. There is nothing worse than meeting someone in the dark, whether that is you or them. If your computer is not in a well lit area, move a lamp so that it sits beside or behind your computer. Make sure you have headphones with a microphone as this will allow you to be heard clearly, and helps you to block out other noises that may be distracting.
If you are going to be sharing a document, or a presentation, have it opened ready for when the time comes. If you’re hosting the meeting, check ahead of time to ensure that you can share the screen. Doing all this prior to the meeting will give other participants the impression that you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t.
If you’re meeting on a professional level, look the part. While you can be a little more casual, as we are meeting at home in a less formal setting, still think about how you would dress and act if you meeting in person. For men, if you normally wear a tie, it may not be needed, however a nice shirt or polo shirt would be smart, yet casual. For women, you could drop the jacket, or formal suits, and again go with something easy to wear, yet makes you look polished.
Remember, your camera will be on so do keep it professional below the belt. You don’t want to end up becoming a viral sensation because you were caught in your nickers (oh my!).
Switch on your video and connect with those that are participating in the meeting. Being on video helps you to pick up on facial cues, allows you to smile at each other (and who doesn’t like to a see a smile?!), and allows you to use signals if you wish to talk. With that said, know when to switch off your video, and mute yourself when you’re not talking.
When do you switch the video off? If you need to take a call, or have to deal with children, or you need to blow your nose. If there is some sort of distraction, that could also distract others, switch the video off, deal with the distraction, and then hop back in view once dealt with.
Set an Agenda
Whether you’re meeting online or off, set an agenda. You can be as specific or broad as you like here; what matters is that attendees clearly know what is expected of them and what they need to prepare ahead of the meeting. Don’t let your meeting just float off into the virtual ether – end it by clearly outlining any actions, expectations and next steps.
Be attentive and engaged during the call. As tempting as it is, try not to do any other work or read articles or send emails. This includes looking at your phone, and eating. When you’re talking, look into the camera instead of looking at yourself talking on the computer screen. It will help others on the call feel like you’re 100 percent engaged and present.
Keep Track of Time
As with any meeting set boundaries around your time. Keep track and ensure that you finish on time, and if you need longer, it is courtesy to ask if everyone can spend a little extra online. Be respectful if others cannot accommdated the extra time.
Whether you’re hosting or not, the abovementioned tips provide you with a good start to conducting meetings online.
There are many ways we can assist you with your business administration or marketing needs. We can also assist with virtual meeting moderation. Feel free to schedule a call with Nicole and explore how we can support you.