Across the world, meetings are taking place over the Internet, over telephone lines, using video conferencing and other technology vehicles. The virtue of these kinds of meetings is that colleagues can meet and discuss projects without having to be in one geographical location.
Virtual meeting can be a great time-saver, as they enable companies to conduct meetings without the need to book business trips. While virtual meetings offer a ton of benefits, they have significant challenges than just picking from an array of options for videoconferencing, teleconferences or web meetings. Featured below are 7 effective virtual meeting etiquettes for running a successful meeting.
Realize that virtual meetings are meant to save time and improve productivity. As such, they should not run too long. As a virtual meeting leader, schedule the start and end time and make the meeting as concise as possible. If you intend to schedule a meeting for an hour, odds are you will take more than an hour as some participant will take the conversation into the weeds. So, schedule the meeting for the half the time you earlier intended to. Prepare the agenda, and let participants know the purpose of the meeting. Participants need to be respectful of the purpose of the meeting.
The next virtual meeting etiquette we'd like to mentioned is to make sure that the technology you intend to use in in good working condition in advance. Why? This will give you ample time to make any required adjustments. Choosing a reliable service is key to a successful virtual meeting. There are many video conferencing service providers, but we would recommend ezTalk Cloud Meeting owing mainly to its high definition images and clear audios.
Some of the notable features include collaborative whiteboard sharing, screen sharing, group chat and private chat, and allows recording for later playback. That's not all! The service allows you to hold virtual meetings with up to 500 participants.
There is a tendency in virtual meetings to launch right away, which can adversely affect relationship building. As a facilitator, you need to make participants feel connected, so you have a productive meeting. How? Ask each participant to identify themselves to the group. Also, be sure to remind them to state their names. Another way for keeping the audience engaged is to ask a question and taking answers via chat. If there are participants who are not going to add their voice to the meeting, they should be muted, so noises from their location do not distract the proceedings.
If you are a leader, keep your points concise. Virtual meetings can be boring when only one participant is speaking. Participants will be tired of listening to a single person dominating the conversation. Participants should feel engaged and have the opportunity to speak up and voice their opinion.
Sometimes there can be a time delay between the participants, so you need to give them ample time to give their speech. If you are a participant intending to give your opinion, start by introducing yourself before you start to explain.
Another virtual team meeting etiquette is to always close down your programs. A lot of people log into the virtual meetings with different programs open. My advice is to shut down all the programs prior to joining the meeting. This has an effect on how fast your computer runs and how clear the sound is. Also, it will save you the embarrassment if you are sharing screens. You don’t want your workmates to know that your spouse will be going for after-work party! Keep open what is required for the meeting. Moreover, try to join the meeting early, so you are not the one who joins in late and distracts participants.
While you are meeting virtually, you need to hold your meeting in a professional setting. Find a quiet space that’s free of background noise. If you are participating from home or a public place, find a quiet, private room and switch off the TV and music. If possible, have someone keep young kids or pets engaged, so they don't disrupt your meeting. We would recommend a professional dress code to maintain a professional image and sit in a chair, instead of lounging lazily on the sofa.
In a face-to-face meeting, you don’t just get up and walk around. Virtual meetings are no exception. You should not press the mute button and respond to emails, surf the web. This is an important virtual meeting etiquette. Even if you mute your microphone, your movement or activities during the meeting could be interpreted as attempting to signal the facilitator to give you’re a chance to voice your opinion. This can distract the speaker or the entire audience. Participants should focus on the meeting and also respect the agenda of the meeting.
There you have it, 7 virtual team meeting etiquettes. Following these tips can prevent a facilitator and participants from having meetings that run for too long or are ineffective.