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The do’s and dont’s of Virtual Meeting Etiquette

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “etiquette”? If you think of it as a set of old-fashioned rules that used to be followed by royal family members, it’s time to change your approach! Even in today’s modern, online environment presenters should have strong, social skills. With LiveWebinar you will know the virtual meeting norms.

As you may know, today we are doing more remote work than ever, as well as video conferencing with our teams and departments. In virtual meetings, your team use software like video conferencing, whether you call it a video call, virtual meeting, or anything in between. Communication among your team members is easy thanks to these tools. 

But, just like meeting in person, there’s a right way and a not so right way to meet virtually. Thankfully, Fellow is here to break it all down so you don’t miss the mark.

The following etiquette is a must not only at fancy parties but also refers to the world of online communication. Follow these simple virtual meeting norms and master your webinar’s savoir-vivre!

The do’s and dont’s of Virtual Meeting Etiquette

First, how do we understand the etiquette and virtual meeting norms in the context of virtual meetings? It’s a set of rules and socially acceptable behaviors, that are quite flexible and mostly depend on the cultural, social, and business background of your audience.

It's critical to cultivate a new kind of etiquette for the virtual meeting norm as society migrates toward remote work.

Even though most of us have attended meetings before, it will look different on video than it would in a boardroom. By following proper etiquette, businesses of all sizes will stay on track and will continue to be just as productive and efficient as if they were conducting business in person. 

You must be willing to learn the basics of video and remote meeting etiquette in order to ensure that collaboration and teamwork do not erode. 

Nevertheless, we can list up some universal rules, that will help you improve your savoir-vivre skills. Are you ready to learn the most common do’s and don’ts of online etiquette?

#1 Stick to the time frames

It's time for the first virtual meeting norm! Imagine that you’ve reserved a specific amount of time for an appointment and put on hold all your tasks, but when the meeting hour strikes… no ones is there. And then – bam! – a couple of minutes later, hoofing and puffing the presenter arrives… No matter how much apologetic or convincing he might be, the first impression has been already ruined.

That’s why you should always keep an eye on the clock and make sure you not only start but also finish on time. Otherwise, even the most devoted participants might lose interest or (even worse) trust in you as a professional, which is extremely difficult to rebuild. If you’re the type of “oh I’m so sorry for being late” person, make sure you set up multiple reminders that will help you hit the time.

#2 Practice, rehearse & repeat

Using liveWebinar software requires public speaking skills, a lot of cold blood, but most importantly – tones of practice. Even if you’ve run several webinars and you think you could conduct training with your eyes closed, don’t overestimate your skills. Regardless of your experience, there can be things that will slip out of control.

Before starting, create a checklist and test literally everything – from your equipment to each presented item. If you’re a webinar newbie, you might even want to rehearse the whole webinar scenario, preferably in front of a real audience.

Of course, even after dozens of repetitions, you should be prepared for unexpected things to happen (like drilling sounds behind the wall just after you hit the “record” button). In any case, make sure that for your part, you’ve done everything to show yourself from the professional side. This will give you a sense of control and strength to overcome any external circumstances. Don’t be scared of imperfection – learn how to manage it!

#3 Mind your body language

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Body language is a vital part of virtual meeting norms. Even if your speech is impeccable and your presentation is flawless, your facial expression, posture, and overall looks say way more than your words.

Nonverbal communication is even more important during online events than on face to face meetings, as your recipients receive only a small amount of information. And this can work either against or in your favour, because the audience will detect even the slightest expression of boredom or nervousness on your face.

Our advice? Stay calm, greet everyone with a confident smile and just accept the fact that your appearance will be judged while public speaking.

You can also fall into the trap of staring at yourself on camera. Maybe you're adjusting your outfit or fixing your hair. Though it may seem insignificant, it's crucial to keep your eyes on the camera when you're in a meeting. When using a webcam, place it at eye level and the top of your computer.

Having direct eye contact during a presentation or speech gives the other participants the impression that you are paying close attention to them, improving engagement and inspiring better discussion. 

#4 Be a careful observer

The do’s and dont’s of Virtual Meeting Etiquette

This is the number one rule of good communication! Whether you’re conducting training gathering hundreds of people or just meeting with a couple of participants, you should carefully observe your audience’s reactions. Being flexible and willing to read your recipients’ needs and intentions is the key!

Remember when your teacher allowed you to leave the class a few minutes before the bell rang because he could see that your minds are already wondering towards the recess? Bring that feeling back to your webinar room!

Engage all your senses and master your observation skills until you really step in your audience’s shoes. Savoir-vivre is all about doing and saying the right things at the right time, and you can’t do so without carefully watching your audience.

And the final thought: virtual meeting norms work quite similar to webinar software. At first, you may need some time to figure it out, but once you learn it, you’ll be impressed by how it can improve your communication.

 

You can also conclude the meeting on a positive note. If you want to do this, simply say something like "thank you for all your help on this project", "meeting with you has been a real pleasure", etc. By doing so, you can greatly influence the mood and overall feel of the meeting.

Furthermore, the meeting host should be the last participant to leave, since once they leave, the meeting will end. It will ensure that everyone is not missing any last-minute information or anything that someone might have forgotten to add or ask.

To sum up

As many offices have been closed due to the Coronavirus, working from home has become the norm for many people. However, working remotely presents many challenges, including virtual meeting norms.

A video call is here to stay, regardless of how large or small your organization may be. We're working at home more and more, so it's important to have proper etiquette when being filmed. In addition, it will help all attendees stay focused and promote productive discussions regarding all meeting action items.

So, you should follow mentioned do's and don'ts when transitioning from a conference room to a virtual meeting.


Agata Porowska
Agata Porowska

Copywriter, journalist, marketing and PR enthusiast. Loves pouring her marketing witty and creative superpowers into content. Deeply fascinated by how new technologies can affect our psyche and behaviours. Privately, arcade machines, sci-fi movies fan and pizza lover :)

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