About six months ago, I would imagine that only business people knew about Zoom and other similar tools. Then, comes COVID-19 and now, even the first grader in your house is probably proficient in using conference tools! The conference tools are used for a myriad of meetings now from family gatherings to classroom instruction to meetings and even Happy Hours!
As we use the tools more, we are adopting rules of etiquette for virtual meetings. Here are some of the rules that I am seeing:
- Introduce yourself with your webcam on at the beginning of the meeting. Once you have introduced yourself, turn your camera off.
- Begin with your name when you speak.
- Use the ‘raise hand’ feature or put in the chat that you want to be recognized to speak.
- Minimize the noise around you (If you have a dog, at some point in the meeting your dog will be heard and that’s okay)
- Mute yourself when you join the meeting.
- Avoid saying ‘can you hear me’ when you begin to speak.
If you are the originator for the virtual meeting, it is good practice to provide along with the meeting agenda and reminders a guidance document for the participants so they know how they should participate. Another good practice is to send out your agenda about 2-3 weeks before the meeting and send a reminder 2-3 days prior to the meeting. Try to make sure the important documents for the meeting are attached to the agenda to make it easier for your attendees. To ensure you stay focused, it is helpful to identify time periods for each agenda item. For example, allocating 20 minutes for a specific discussion.
If you say your meeting will begin at a specific time, start it then. Likewise, if you say the meeting will conclude at a specific time, make that happen. This is why making time allocations is a good idea.
In a future post, I will touch on selecting an appropriate time for a virtual meeting especially with participants in many locations covering many time zones as well as looking at some criteria to use in selecting a virtual meeting platform.
BF Virtual Associates can help you with your virtual meetings. Email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.