Virtual meetings are held every day and everywhere. Many different people from various cultures could be attending these virtual meetings. It is important for all participants to know how to prepare for and participate in virtual meetings. If they do not properly prepare and participate, the meeting will not be as successful as it could be. Additionally, more meetings may be required for attendees to “get it” that they are what makes the meeting more effective. Presented below are 17 ways to prepare to be a good virtual meeting participant.
Prepare In Advance:
- Be sure to have log-in information and necessary documents at least an hour before the meeting time.
- Use a headset for better voice over microphone and hearing the voices of others while not disturbing those outside the meeting.
- Remove distractions from the area where meeting attendance will be, if possible.
- Turn off email, text, or phone that may interfere with focus while attending.
- Dress as if sitting in the meeting, as webcam could be on.
- Put up a sign stating “in a meeting” to prevent people from interrupting.
- Eat before or after the meeting, not during because accidents do happen or might get a question mid-chew.
- Log into the session a few minutes early so facilitator will know when everyone is in attendance.
Participate During Time:
- Introduce yourself before the meeting gets going, if allowed.
- Use “mute” when not talking to prevent noises from entering session.
- State name before speaking so everyone knows who is talking.
- Stay focused on the meeting topic and agenda times.
- Consider others and allow them time to finish talking before replying or asking a question.
- Keep comments and questions succinct and to the point as meeting time is precious and usually short.
- Allow for pauses as relay/reception time can be slow.
- Limit movement and gestures if using video or webcam, as it can cause blurred reception.
- Record personal action items and request or suggest a due date before meeting closes.
The 17 ways to be a better virtual meeting participant should help make meetings more effective a possible reduce the number of required meetings to accomplish better results. Using these tips, global members learn how best to prepare for and participate in a virtual meeting. No matter where they are during the virtual meetings, they can be a more effective attendee and help the meeting achieve the desired results if they learn to prepare and participate accordingly.
Previously published in Drake Business Review Online with the permission of Shirley Fine Lee, the author of books: RARA A Meeting Wizard’s Approach, TAPP Steps in Time Management, and OPIE Project Planning and Implementation for Teams, as well as many other training guides on a wide variety of topics. She has extensive experience helping organizations with their team building, training development, meeting facilitation, presentation delivery, and other communication needs. Find out more and the options she provides at www.shirleyfinelee.com
HR Microscope July/August 2015