Virtual meetings are not similar to in-person meetings, but it is very important to keep in mind etiquette for virtual meetings, whether it is a conference call, video meeting, or webinar. Virtual meetings require various skills and practices because they are becoming more prevalent and are slightly different from in-person meetings. Let’s look at some practical tips to handle virtual meeting etiquette professionally and confidently.
What is virtual meeting etiquette?
Virtual meeting etiquette means following professional rules when we are in online meetings or video conferences. You have to show your best behavior while communicating with other people in virtual meetings through digital platforms. Web meeting etiquette signifies adequate manners, communication, and professionalism during virtual interactions. It is important to follow these guidelines to create a friendly and productive environment for all participants.
The Importance of Virtual Meeting Etiquette
Virtual meeting etiquette must be followed by everyone, as it helps to create a professional environment in the meeting. One of the most notable benefits of virtual team meeting etiquette is that it makes you seem responsible. Plus, it shows that you value everyone’s time and thoughts, which helps in communicating properly and politely. If we don’t follow these meeting rules and etiquette, our online meetings can become messy and confusing, so it might make us look unprofessional. For successful and effective communication, it is mandatory to follow the etiquette of virtual meetings.
Virtual Meeting Etiquette for Hosts or Speakers
Following proper etiquette in meetings is essential for maintaining a professional environment for the host or speaker. Let’s explore some general virtual meeting tips to make the online meeting better and more successful.
1: Set ground rules.
Ground rules help create a welcoming and secure environment where everyone feels comfortable participating. Set up clear rules for the meeting, like raising a hand before speaking or muting when not speaking. It helps ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak, particularly in large gatherings. If participants are not in a calm location, instruct them to turn off their mic to avoid disruption. Setting such ground rules allows you to run the meeting more effectively and efficiently.
2: Dress professionally.
Dressing professionally in a virtual meeting is important because people might notice your attire first. Wear formal clothes or smart casual, as it gives you more confidence to show yourself professionally at the meeting. It also conveys to other attendees that the host or speaker is well-prepared and organized. Overall, looking professional helps the host or speaker make a good impression and makes the virtual meeting more effective and successful.
3: Choose an Appropriate Place
Choose the appropriate place for a virtual meeting because it is really important for the person who is leading the online meeting. A good place without distractions helps everyone stay focused during the conference. It is preferable to sit in a well-lit environment where the focus remains on the person rather than the background. A professional spot shows that the meeting is taken seriously and sets a professional standard within the organization and among the participants.
4: Technical Inspection
Technical difficulties can cause delays and disruptions during the actual meeting. Before the meeting, double-check the technological setup, like testing audio, video equipment, and screen sharing. A tech check will help identify and resolve potential technical issues before the meeting begins.
5: Welcome Everyone
Start the meeting by welcoming everyone and introducing yourself to them. If you do this, it will show that you are happy with their presence. A friendly start sets a positive mood among participants. Also, it encourages attendees to feel valued and motivated to take part. Eventually, create a comfortable atmosphere and foster interaction among participants before diving into the main agenda. This reduces initial tension, stimulates participation, and sets a nice tone for the virtual meeting.
Try to have some ice-breaker sessions. It gives you an opportunity to make people feel welcomed and involved. It also gives people to know each other better and an opportunity to start a good conversation.
6: Follow the meeting agenda.
In an online conference, always follow the meeting agenda because it gives a clear outline for the discussion. When everyone follows the agenda, the meeting stays on track and ensures that all necessary topics are covered within the allocated time. It also makes the gathering more organized and interesting.
7: Summarise Key Points
Summarise the key points before ending the meeting. When you highlight the key points, you assist everyone in remembering what was discussed at the meeting. A summary of the main points can be used as a reference in the next meeting discussion.
8: Thank Everyone
Thanking everyone shows that you value their time, contribution, and active engagement. This will leave a good impression on participants and help to build positive relationships with them. Expressing appreciation for attendees’ presence shows excellent virtual meeting etiquette. Have some buffer time to avoid abrupt endings if topics, discussions spill over.
Virtual Meeting Etiquette for Attendees
Participating in virtual meetings requires a commitment to strict etiquette for remote meetings to maintain effective communication with everyone. Here are some tips on virtual meeting etiquette to keep in mind:
1: Choose a Quiet Place
Choose a quiet location for the virtual meeting. A convenient place guarantees the meeting goes well without any interruptions. Many online meetings require us to have our cameras turned on, so always check that the background of the selected location is professional. If you notice any background noises, put yourself on mute so that others don’t get distracted. This will show how serious you are about the meeting, resulting in an overall great virtual meeting experience.
2: Dress well.
Dress well before joining the meeting, as it leaves a positive impression. The proper clothes make your mindset ready for a serious work discussion. It also shows respect for the meeting and the other participants. This is the perfect approach to starting the meeting in an ideal way.
3: Join the meeting on time.
Joining a meeting on time is a sign of respect and professionalism. It shows your commitment to the meeting and respect for other attendees’ time. Being punctual sets a pleasant atmosphere for meeting room etiquette, which ensures a smooth start and efficient time management throughout the discussion. It also shows how well-organized you are and how much you value other people, which leads to a successful meeting.
4: Mute When Not Speaking
Mute yourself before starting the meeting. This lowers background noise and interruptions while others speak. Continue to remain mute during the meeting until your chance comes to speak, as it shows good online meeting etiquette for virtual meetings. When your time comes to speak, turn on the microphone, and once you are done speaking, turn it off. This way, the discussion can proceed without interruption.
5: Avoid multitasking.
Avoid multitasking during virtual meetings, like checking your texts, emails, and mobile apps. When we try to do many things simultaneously, we are unable to keep our focus on the meeting. This can cause misunderstandings and reduce the effectiveness of the meeting. Respect your speakers and other attendees, so it will make the meeting environment better and more cooperative.
6: Be a Good Listener
Being a good listener during a virtual meeting is super important because it helps everyone communicate better. Listening carefully shows that you are interested in what they are saying. Be a good listener so that you can understand the words and thoughts behind them, which will allow you to reply more efficiently. Follow video meeting etiquette and give full attention to the discussion.
7: Make Notes
Write down important details of the meeting in notes. It can help you remember relevant information about the meeting. You can eventually share these notes with other team members, particularly those who were unable to attend the meeting so that everyone is aware of what was discussed at the meeting.
8: Express Gratitude to the Host
Thank the host for having a successful meeting. Appreciating them for their time and effort makes them pleased and creates a friendly atmosphere.
Common virtual meeting mistakes are arriving late at a meeting, not checking the technical issues beforehand, interrupting others, and failing to turn off your microphone when not speaking.
If someone keeps breaking the rules during virtual meetings, it’s important to talk to them privately. Explain how it can affect everyone. Encourage them to follow virtual meeting etiquette so that the meeting will go smoothly.
If you show respect for others’ time and opinions, it will naturally improve your professional image. Plus, it will show your seriousness and dedication to the work.
A team leader can encourage this by setting clear guidelines, providing training on remote meeting etiquette, and promoting good team etiquette practices among team members.
Yes, understanding how people from different cultures communicate, use gestures, and act formally is really important for video call etiquette. You should learn and follow the ways of communication, especially when you work with people from all over the world.