Virtual meetings have become part of many people’s working routine. Platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts proved invaluable as businesses and organisations strived to keep the wheels of their operations turning whilst employees worked from home at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. And whilst some businesses are starting to see employees make a return to workplaces, the benefits of reduced travel costs and time out of the office means that virtual meetings are set to continue for many.
There are some golden rules to follow to make your virtual meeting run smoothly whether it’s a catch up with your team, a briefing with a business associate or an interview for a new job.
DO approach it with the same level of preparation and professionalism as a face-to-face meeting.
DO check your device settings beforehand to make sure you can hear and be heard clearly.
DO check your surroundings to ensure that anything that can be seen on screen gives the right impression.
DO look into the camera and not at the image of yourself when speaking. If there are a number of people participating, be clear on who you are addressing by including their name in your response.
DO prepare and circulate any useful materials in advance so those involved can digest and consider possible solutions in advance.
DON’T dress casually if it would not appropriate to do so - dress as if you were meeting in person.
DON’T undertake other tasks during the meeting; others will be able to tell that you aren’t fully focused if you are checking emails or sending messages.
DON’T assume people’s availability, especially if they are combining work with childcare. Communicate dates and times in advance to enable suitable arrangements to be put in place.
DON’T forget to involve others. It can be difficult to read body language remotely so include opportunities for participants to contribute to the discussion.
DON’T neglect the basics; prepare an agenda, ensure someone is taking notes and circulate minutes promptly after the meeting.
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