Virtual Meeting Communication Tips in a Professional Setting
With the vast majority of classes being conducted online and most businesses working from home, using video conferencing has never been more popular. Below is a list of tips that we recommend while using Zoom, Skype, WebEx or any other online meeting app.
1. Treat Online Meetings Like Normal In-Person Meetings
Show up for your meeting the same way you show up for work. This means get out of bed, put on fresh clothes and stick to your daily morning routine as much as possible. Also, try to sit at a desk or table — this helps to maintain good posture and keep you engaged throughout the meeting.
2. Designate a Leader/Moderator
Having one person in charge reduces the amount of people talking over each other and everyone’s ideas getting lost in the call. However, make sure the leader is prompting others to speak as well.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up
Although speaking on a video call can feel awkward or intimidating, don’t let this barrier silence your thoughts and ideas. Feel free to raise your hand to signal that you would like to say something. Without signaling that you would like to speak, it can be hard to get your point across.
4. Stick to the Meeting Schedule
Virtual meetings are more difficult to get through than meetings in person, so make sure you are not over-complicating things by getting side tracked. Stick to your outlined schedule for a more efficient and effective meeting.
5. For Smaller Meetings: Use the Video Camera
Communicating over the phone or through a video chat is difficult due to glitches in technology and audio lag time. If your meeting is small enough, we recommend everyone turns on their camera to reduce some of the miscommunication.
6. For Larger Meetings: Use the Mute Button
With larger meetings, background noise can be very distracting. Encourage everyone to put their microphone on mute while they are not talking to reduce any outside distractions. There should only ever be one person talking at a time. (On Zoom, you can press the spacebar to mute/unmute your microphone.)
7. Avoid Multitasking and Other Distractions
While it is easy to listen to your call in the background and multitask with something else, this allows you to zone out. You are on the call for a reason, so make it worth your while. Additionally, try to find a quiet room without any distractions. If you must be in the same room as other people, give them a heads up that you are joining a video call to reduce background noise and distractions.
8. Have a Stable Connection
Connection issues are the root problem behind ineffective and inefficient video chats. While not ideal, turning off your video may increase the audio connection.
9. Be Patient
It is easy to get frustrated with technology when under pressure. Don’t let this ruin your meeting! Take a breath and restart. We recommend recording the call to go back and see anything you missed due to technical difficulties.
10. Include Some Light Conversation
If time allows, starting off your meeting with some light conversation can be very helpful. This gets people engaged in the conversation and can be a less awkward start than jumping straight into things. Remember: we are all humans! Everyone is beginning to feel the stressors of our current situation, and there is nothing wrong with some small talk for the beginning of a meeting to lighten the mood, as long as you keep it brief.
Written By: Roxie Ware