Online Meetings – 7 dos and 5 donts of online meetings
As the world continues to evolve following the coronavirus pandemic, many institutions and organizations have begun to adapt to a new and better way of making communications.
The previous year had shown the possibility of hosting events of every type online, and this will continue and become better in years to come.
Just like physical meetings, online meetings have principles that should be heeded to in order to get the maximum output, below are a few guidelines.
Things to do in an online meeting
Just like you would to any physical meeting, let your dressing reflect the nature of the meeting you are attending, especially if you will have your video turned on.
The proper dressing gives you a sense of focus and seriousness; it will be easier for you to pay attention, make inputs, and ask questions when you dress well.
Mute your microphone
Anytime you join a meeting newly, be sure to turn off your microphone. In some cases, the host will be able to do this for everyone but it is better to do it yourself; especially when you are not sure of the nature of your environment. This is to ensure that you do not disturb the meeting unintentionally.
Use your official name
Irrespective of the nature of the meeting, online platforms require that you use your official name, and any other detail required of you. Avoid using nicknames; it makes it easier for one to address you if the need arises.
Additionally, if you are required to add your portfolio to your display name, put the portfolio in a bracket.
Some people may have network or hearing issues; therefore you should try to be very audible whenever you are required to speak. You can ask questions to get feedback on how well you have been able to communicate.
Avoid background noises
This is one of the reasons you should mute your microphone immediately you join a meeting. If you are required to turn on your microphone, make sure that there are no background noises before doing so. To this end, it is safer to stay in a quiet environment for every online meeting you will attend.
Obey the rules of the meeting
Some formal meetings will have rules; obey them just like you would do in any physical meeting. Nevertheless, there are general rules for online meetings; for example, you are required to show a raise of hand when you want to speak, to take the permission if you want to leave, apologize if you were logged out by mistake or if you joined in late, etc.
If you will be in a meeting, listen to every point raised, and make contributions where necessary, take down notes and ask questions if you can.
Things to avoid in online meetings
Do not write on the screen
For some online platforms, you should avoid scrolling across the screen when someone’s screen is being shared. If you are new to a platform, it is advisable you experiment with a few set of people before attending a meeting.
Avoid being late
Be on time for every meeting you attend. It is better to log in before the set time. If you will be unavoidably late, take permission from the meeting host.
Do not leave without permission
Take every online meeting you attend like a physical meeting, and apply the same rules.
Whenever you have to leave a meeting before time, take permission from the host.
Do not private chat others during meetings
Messaging someone else privately during an online meeting is like having side talks in a physical meeting. Unless it is extremely necessary, avoid private chats when a meeting is going on.
Do not attach general titles to your name
Titles like Mr., Mrs., Miss, Master, and every other title that is applicable to everyone attending the meeting should not be attached to your name.
For example; if the meeting you are attending is for engineers only, you may not need to attach the prefix Engr. to your name unless you are instructed to do so.
Before you attend any meeting, make inquiries if you are unsure of anything. Ask questions concerning time and language if you will be attending an international meeting. These guidelines may vary between organizations, stick to the rules and peculiarities of your organization.