Relying on online channels to communicate with teammates and clients can be more challenging than you think! For some, the difficulty lies in adjusting to the increased frequency of online meetings while for others, virtual meetings are a relatively new experience. Irrespective of the category you fall into, here are some simple dos and don’ts so you can dial-in with confidence.
GETTING YOUR DAY STARTED
Do: Bring that energy on! Get your day started with high energy by exercising, playing music, or brewing your favourite coffee.
Don’t: Sleep when you are supposed to be working. Instead, set up a routine or a to-do list to help you stay focused and productive throughout the day.
APPEARANCE AND DEMEANOR
Do: Freshen up, comb your hair, brush your teeth, and wear a tie if you prefer to. Dressing up and taking the time to look presentable will boost your confidence and energy levels.
Don’t: Show up for your meeting unprepared and unkempt as this can dampen your overall mood and morale which can in turn affect the tone and pace of your meeting.
Do: Send out an agenda letting participants know what would be discussed, what they are expected to share, and how long the meeting will last for.
Don’t: Take up more than the allotted time. A good meeting is to the point. If you need to go longer, schedule a follow-up meeting.
Do: choose a well-lit room with minimal disturbance. Also try to pick a background that isn’t busy and distracting - less is more. Remember to close the door behind you to prevent any surprises.
Don’t: Forget to inform your family or housemates about your meeting. A “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door can be helpful. You can also make the experience fun for the kids by putting a small request box by the door so they can leave you notes when you are unavailable to attend to them.
Do: Create rules for how the discussion should be conducted, otherwise, the meeting can become chaotic and unproductive; this is key if you are the moderator. For example, call each person’s name whenever it’s their turn to speak or ask them to raise their hands (during video calls) if they would like to speak next.
Don’t: Let people talk over each other repeatedly. If you notice someone trying to speak but is consistently being interrupted, kindly request that others give the person a chance.
UNDERSTAND YOUR PLATFORM
Do: Start the meeting by ensuring that all presentation features (such as slides, visuals, and links) are working properly. Have a plan B in case things go wrong by printing out a copy of your presentation and/or sending out a copy of the main discussion points to all participants so they can stay engaged.
Don’t: Go straight to the meeting without checking all the components of your presentation.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Do: Schedule breaks in between long meetings or teaching sessions. This provides an opportunity for people to stretch their legs or attend to their kids.
Don’t: Ignore your audiences’ demeanour. You can tell, from their level of interaction or responsiveness, if a break is needed.
HAVE AN OPEN MIND
Do: Bear in mind that some things may not go as planned. Depending on the internet connection or other technical issues, you might get delayed feedback during your meeting. So, if you make a joke and get no responsive laughter, it might be because of muted microphones or because someone’s connection was delayed.
Don’t: Get frustrated due to technical difficulties. Anger and resentment are not solutions, instead, consider each obstacle a learning point.
Now that you’re ready to attend virtual meetings like a pro, sit back and enjoy the company of others from the comfort of your home.
Don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful!