In a world that is increasingly digital, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are turning to online meetings. Whether you use video conferencing software like Zoom, Teams, Skype or just hopping on a call, there are certain etiquette rules that should be followed to make sure that your meetings are professional and productive. In this article, we will explore 5 online meeting etiquette rules that will help you make the most of your next digital meeting.
Why the etiquette of online meetings and video conferences is so important nowadays
In the age of the internet and video conferencing, it’s important to remember that there is still some online meeting etiquette to be followed in order to keep it classy. Abiding by certain rules shows that we care and that we respect those who we meet with. Indeed, it usually comes down to respect – which is as important online as it is offline.
5 tips for professional meetings
To help you get the hang of things, here are five takeaways to consider before your next online meeting:
- Arrive on time – or at least a few minutes early. This shows respect for the others who have scheduled this time in their calendars.
- Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking. This reduces background noise and helps everyone focus on the actual speaker.
- Pay attention and avoid distractions. Just as you would in an in-person meeting, avoid checking your phone or doing other work while someone is speaking.
- Follow the lead of the meeting moderator. They will usually set the tone for how formal or informal the meeting will be.
- When joining a video call, make sure your surroundings are tidy. This includes being aware of what’s behind you (e.g. no personal items visible) as well as making sure there’s good lighting so that people can see you clearly.
Schedule enough time for meetings
When you’re planning a meeting, make sure to give yourself and those attending enough time to connect and disconnect from the meeting. Also, account for any time zone differences. It’s also polite to provide a buffer at the beginning and end of the meeting in case anyone needs extra time to join or leave the meeting.
Book space for online meetings
When booking the necessary space for an online meeting, there are a few key things to keep in mind in order to be sure that you follow the generally accepted online meeting etiquette. First, choose a place that is large enough to accommodate all participants that can attend in person. If it’s a 100% remote meeting for all attendees, then you have much more freedom in your choice because you can make use of, say, an acoustic pod that can act as your call booth. Second, make sure the space you book has good internet connectivity. There is nothing worse than trying to speak only to find out the connection drops out constantly. Third, try to find a space that is relatively quiet and free from distractions – office pods may be a perfect choice here. This will help everyone stay focused during the meeting. Finally, once you have found the perfect space for your meeting, be sure to send out reminders beforehand so that everyone knows where to log in and what time the meeting will start.
Use a video camera
Whether you’re meeting with clients, colleagues, or superiors, it’s important to keep things professional. One way to do this is to use a video camera when meeting online. This way, your meeting becomes a bit more personal and less anonymous. Also, you will be able record the meeting for future reference – if nobody has any objections, of course.
Always start from small talk
When you meet someone for the first time, it’s always important to make a good impression. Small talk is a great way to break the ice and get the conversation going. You can ask about the weather, their day, or any other more or less neutral topic that’s on your mind. After such a virtual handshake, it will be much easier to move on to more serious issues.
Check your audio and video settings
Before joining an online meeting, it’s always necessary to check your audio and video settings. After all, you need to be seen and heard clearly, right? And it takes only a moment too. Open your audio and video settings in your meeting software or app. If you’re using Zoom, for example, you can find these settings in the “Preferences” menu. After adjusting
your audio and video settings, join the meeting to test them out. If everything looks and sounds good, then you’re good to go!
Business meeting quality can directly impact your business
When it comes to business meetings, the quality of your meeting can directly impact your business – especially when it’s your first meeting with a new client, which means first impressions. Bear in mind that it’s better not to be too casual, and this applies to your appearance, to your setting (background), your tone, and your manners – which matter online too. And as for the meeting itself, try to put the following model into practice and you’ll be fine.
- Start on time.
- Set an agenda.
- Stick to the point.
- Keep it organized.
- End on time.
By following these simple rules, you can be sure that your business meetings are professional, productive, effective, and respectful of everyone’s time.