As with face to face meetings, host and attendees should both practice remote meeting etiquette to ensure meeting success. These are some common practices that will help you improve your next virtual meeting.
Go On Mute
When you have If you have a session of 5 or more people as that all attendees go on mute. Some platforms (i.e., Zoom) enable the host attendees on mute. You want to minimize noise interference and allow the speaker to receive full attention .
List all Logistics Up Front
Type all logistics in the chat room prior to the virtual meeting starting. As a general practice, add the time zone information to accommodate for geographically disbursed attendees. The information displayed in the chat room will minimize the amount of logistical and ground rules questions from your attendees. This is a sample that you can copy paste into your chat room:
- Welcome everyone to “title of your meeting”
- The session will start at HH:MM. (timezone)
- Please make sure your audio is set to “mute” to ensure we can hear the speaker
- If you are joining through a conference line the dial in number is: ###-###-####
- Type all your questions in the chat room, we will address them towards the end of the discussion
Enter the Meeting Room Early
If you are the facilitator of the meeting, enter the the room about 20 minutes to 25 minutes earlier than your meeting start time. Many platforms allow you to upload materials that you may want to share with attendees. You want to do this before the meeting starts to enable maximum participation and lessen technical distractions once you have started. Coming in early also ensures your virtual room is open and ready to receive guests (particularly those early birds)
Get Rid of Visual Distractions
Although your platform is virtual you are connecting to real people. If you are doing a video conference call – make sure the room you are physically in has ample lighting and no distractions. Be cognizant of where your camera is pointing and that both your backdrop and attire are appropriate for the “gathering”.
Send a Meeting Reminder (or two)
I can’t stress this enough, remind, Remind, REMIND! People are forgetful and busy. I recommend sending a reminder 1 day prior, a few hours prior and then again 20 minutes before the meeting. The most important one is the latter – the 20 minutes heads up is enough time for your attendees to realize that the session will be starting soon and be able to get ready to join in the conversation. If you are scheduling your meeting with a calendar app like Google Calendar or Zoom use the “meeting reminder” feature. You can set to have an alert sent to you and your attendees hours, minutes and even days prior to the meeting. You can’t improve your virtual meeting if there are no attendees to have the meeting to being with! — Lean in on that automation.
Maximize The Use of Chat Room Feature
Most meeting application allow for things like reactions and raising your hands. These are put in place to ensure that the you are able to express yourself and interact with the speaker in a way that doesn’t disrupt the flow of the conversation. Remind guest that questions and “side” conversations should take place via the meeting chat room.
Practice hosting virtual meetings with your family and friends to become comfortable with the platform you are utilizing. –And if you decide the virtual meeting thing is not for you, give us a call, we’ll be glad to help pull together a successful in person meeting.