As a small business that has likely shifted to the virtual realm under the current climate, you are probably all too familiar with Zoom and Skype meetings. No matter how much time you spend preparing and perfecting, something always seems to go wrong. Whether it is an employee with bad service, a PowerPoint that won’t work, or a client who doesn’t know how to turn off their mute, virtual meetings can spell disaster. But, that doesn’t always have to be the case. Keep reading to discover how you can make the most of these meetings.
Agree to Leave Cameras On and Use Neutral Backgrounds
Having your camera on adds a level of accountability that we all need. Like a regular meeting, everyone can see you, which will prevent you from pulling out your phone, getting distracted, or walking away from your desk. Plus, the added necessity of showing face means that you will have to get up in the morning and get ready for the day rather than accepting bed head and unbrushed teeth.
We get it, virtual backgrounds can be cool, and they allow people to show off their creativity and individuality, but they can also become extremely distracting. If the attendees are spending more time trying to decipher each other’s backgrounds than focusing on the meeting itself, it can spell disaster. Many people spend more time choosing their virtual background for the meeting than actually preparing for the meeting itself!
Have Everyone Test Their Tech Before the Meeting Begins
It’s always best to be prepared, so the day before the big call, test your technology. If you plan on making the call from home, check your wifi to make sure you have enough service to make it through the meeting without dropping. Make sure your camera and microphone work properly and locate the ideal spot to call from. If you have a nice, quiet home office, call from there; if you want to take the call outside, make sure there isn’t too much background noise. Basically, run through the entire meeting from calling in and running the PowerPoint to sharing your screen and hosting the server.
Agree to Go On Mute Unless You are Talking
One of the best ways to avoid overlapping conversations and unnecessary noises is to agree to be on mute until you speak. We all love chiming in on engaging discussions, but if everyone chimed in and dealt with the “oh go ahead. No, you first” situation, a 30-minute meeting can quickly transform into an hour-long one. Plus, the screen tends to detach people from the conversation, meaning that people might mindlessly tap away on their keyboard or interrupt the speaker with distracting noises at any time. Going on mute is a great way to be safe rather than sorry.
So, now that you know how to make the most of your virtual meetings, start implementing these rules to make the process smoother. The world we now live in is one of constant change, which means it’s essential to adapt and transition as necessary. Have any questions for us? Share them in the comments below.