When the lockdowns were implemented, and workplaces were temporarily shut down, most companies and establishments took their business to the digital realm. They came up with alternative ways to still operate, albeit in a virtual setting.
At this point, online meetings and webinars became one of the primary ways that transactions and meetings were conducted. Regardless if you’re in data management services, technical support, or real estate, chances are you must have found yourself in a Zoom meeting at least once over the past few months.
With the coronavirus still looming over us, online meetings are here to stay.
10 Things to Observe During an Online Meeting or Webinar
1.Keep your video on as much as possible.
Whether you’re the host or one of the attendees, it is recommended to turn your video option on at all times. It lets the other people in the room know that you’re engaged in the conversation and are paying attention.
2. Stage your video area.
While it is understandable that there are minimal professional-looking background options for a video call in your home, do your best with what you have. Minimize the visual clutter that can be seen on-screen and make sure to have good lighting to enhance your video quality.
And don’t just dress up your video area, make sure you’ve also dressed appropriately for the meeting. Do not show up in a tank top or your pajamas.
3. Look into the camera when you’re talking.
One of the basic rules of communication is to look people in the eye when you’re talking to them. Looking into your device’s camera is similar to looking people in the eye in a conversation. Maintain eye contact at all times.
4. Make sure you already have your technical elements checked before going online.
Before you even join the meeting, make sure to check if everything you need for it is working correctly. Check your internet signal if it’s okay. Make sure your device has enough juice to last the entire meeting. If not, plug it in before the meeting so that you don’t get cut off from it. Perform a sound and video check as well.
5. Mute your mic if you’re not talking.
If you’ve been in an online meeting where everyone’s mics are on, you know how distracting background noises can be. When it’s not your turn to talk, keep your mic on mute to minimize audio distractions.
6. Private meetings should be kept confidential.
If you’re hosting a meeting, do not tell the whole world about it and provide the link to the meeting, especially if it’s a private meeting. It’s a different matter if it’s a webinar or an event that’s open to the public. If it’s not those, keep the link and password to yourself and those who should be there.
7. Invite only those who need to be there.
That being said, even if it’s a company meeting, only invite those people that you believe should be there. If an employee doesn’t need to be involved, don’t waste their time by having them join the meeting instead of getting other important things done. Just keep them in the loop via an email or your company group chat.
8. Pay attention.
Stay focused during the entire meeting. Take notes if it helps you to pay attention. Keep unnecessary chitchat to a minimum so that the meeting doesn’t take longer than it should. Stick to the agenda as much as possible, and when things start to go off-track, immediately direct the conversation back to the discussion.
9. Avoid doing personal and private stuff during a meeting.
Just because the meeting is virtual and there are over thirty people in the room doesn’t mean you can’t be seen. Avoid doing things that you wouldn’t do if the meeting took place in a board room or conference room.1
10. If you’re hosting, you should be the last one to leave the room.
Last but not least, hosting the meeting is similar to being the captain of the ship — first one in, last one out. You don’t want to end the meeting prematurely and leave some folks hanging or some concerns unresolved. Stick around until everyone leaves the meeting.
When it comes to meetings, the code of conduct is pretty much the same, whether it’s an in-person physical meeting or a virtual one. You still need to maintain your professionalism in an online discussion at all times.