Although face-to-face meetings are the standard in terms of conducting business, virtual meetings are quickly becoming more popular. Virtual meetings are exceptionally convenient, but can be difficult if you don’t take certain factors into consideration.
Etiquette is essential during virtual meetings and should be taken into consideration, as it would be in any face-to-face meeting. This may seem obvious, but many people think of virtual meetings as more informal and laid-back than face-to-face ones, which is not always the case.
Here are a few more ideas that can help your virtual meetings to be more effective and professional.
1. Be prepared
Preparedness is key when it comes to professionalism and helping a meeting run smoothly. When you’re gathering the content and resources for a virtual meeting, you should make sure to remember your audience – something that’s not quite as easy during a virtual meeting.
Make sure that everyone will be able to easily access the meeting by providing them with the correct access codes, URLs and call-in numbers. After all, a meeting devoid of attendees is really no meeting at all.
2. Engage participants
Virtual meetings can easily become very stiff if you don’t have a relationship with the person on the other end of the meeting. Rather than leaping right into the task at hand, try going around and allowing all of the meeting’s participants to introduce themselves.
Although it may seem somewhat cliché, it is always helpful to give people the chance to share a little personal information – such as the highlight of their weekend, or a fun fact. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but it will go a long way in making people feel more connected to the other participants.
3. No side conversations
Though you may not be the person on screen at the moment, it’s important to not distract from the goal of the meeting. Side conversations can distract someone on the other end of the meeting, even if they can’t see you. They also may be very distracting to the person who is talking and pull them away from the issue at hand.
These are just a few of many tips for conducting virtual meetings. If you’d like to check out even more tips, take a look at this Inc. article.