Regardless of your industry or your profession, virtual meetings are here to stay. And while not everyone loves them, there’s no denying that they are convenient, especially for distributed teams. In this post, we explore seven rules of virtual meeting etiquette you need to know.
Virtual Meeting Etiquette: 7 Rules You Need to Know
1. Observe the same basic rules as for in-person meetings. Meeting virtually changes a lot of things, but one fact remains: the other people deserve the same courtesy as if you were meeting in person. Be on time, dress appropriately, come prepared, and speak clearly, just as you would for a regular meeting.
2. Don’t interrupt. As an author once noted, you learn some of life’s most important things while in kindergarten. One of those rules is simple: don’t interrupt. Virtual meetings can be confusing if everyone talks at the same time. Wait until it’s your turn to speak, or use the “raise hand” feature on your virtual meeting app to indicate you have something to say.
3. Mute your microphone when not speaking. Limit distracting background noises by muting your microphone when you’re not speaking. Your coworkers will be grateful not to have to hear your cat meowing or your neighbor blowing leaves around their yard!
4. Avoid “noisy” clothes or jewelry. As you can see, unwanted noises are a common culprit when it comes to breaches to virtual meeting etiquette. Steer clear of jewelry that clatters or clothes that make rustling noises when you move.
5. Make eye contact. As when talking in person, making eye contact is a welcome sign of sincerity and honesty. But how to do it in a virtual meeting? Easy: make sure to look at the camera (not at the screen) while you talk.
6. Have good lighting. In any meeting, you want to put forward as professional an image as possible. In a virtual meeting, this means being mindful of the lightning. A dark environment makes it difficult for the other people to see you and makes you appear gloomy at best and unprepared at worst.
7. Don’t turn off your video. Unless otherwise agreed upon previously, keep your camera on during virtual meetings. Turning off your video as others speak with their cameras on is the equivalent of turning your back on others: it signals disinterest or even rejection — not a very endearing message.
More Tips and Ideas
Read these previous posts for more tips that cover every aspect of the management of your organization, from communication to online security.
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- Some of the best business books of 2021
- How to handle criticism as a leader
- Handling difficult conversations at work
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