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Top 13 Tips for Virtual Meetings

Top 13 Tips for Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings are a daily thing for a huge portion of the workforce, and it looks like they’re here to stay.

If you feel like your presence in virtual meetings is not up to par, let’s fix that with some tips from business leaders who do it best.

1. Be Sure to Show Up

“It’s important to view virtual meetings as being equally important to real meetings, with all the same expectations. That means showing up on time or early, and if you can’t make it, everyone should be aware. Once you start bending the rules and not being as accountable, other things might start to slip.” – Jason Sherman, Founder of TapRm

2. Come Prepared with Points

“Prior to the meeting, be sure to share a list of talking points with the attendees, and provide them with an opportunity to add other topics that they’d like to discuss. This keeps your team on the same page (literally), and will ensure that everyone is prepared to either ask or answer the questions that affect them the most.” – Isaiah Henry, CEO of Seabreeze Management

3. Know How Your Apps Work

“Every virtual meeting software has unique features and quirks that you should master as soon as possible. It’s worth watching tutorials or reading FAQs so that you have a grip on the technology. That way you will avoid any technical problems that often hamper virtual meetings, and your coworkers will appreciate it.” – Jay Levitt, Founder and CEO of Lofta

4. Curate Your Environment

“You don’t need a perfect background or lighting, but put some effort into your studio if you’re going to be calling into video conferences every day from now on. It gives you more credibility and helps you come across with more authority if your space is clean and you’ve put some thought into your setup.” – Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce

5. Looking is Part of Listening

“While the other person is talking, make sure to look at them. The person talking should of course look directly at the camera. Looking down makes the attendees wonder what you’re looking at.” Deborah Shames, Co-Founder of Eloqui

6. Focus 100% On the Meeting

“Everyone is guilty of jumping around on the internet during a virtual meeting or sneaking a look at our phones now and then, but it’s really one of the worst habits. It shows a lack of respect for others, and you end up missing key details. Fight the urge to multitask and stick with the meeting no matter what. You’ll build that willpower and get much more from each meeting in the long run.” – Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB

7. Professional Etiquette

“Practice good habits like hand raising and putting the microphone on mute when others are talking. This keeps things from getting chaotic on the call or causing the meeting to derail. It might feel like it takes longer to follow all these steps, but it’s actually more efficient when the call goes smoothly without interruptions.” – Katie Lyon, Co-Founder and Allegiance Flag Supply

8. Be Secure and Discrete

“Proprietary information may be discussed during a virtual meeting. And as such, team members joining online from a public place should wear earbuds or a headset to ensure that no unauthorized people can overhear the discussion. They should also angle their laptop or phone screen away from the people around them to prevent any possible shoulder surfing.” – Alix Greenberg, Founder of ArtSugar

9. Spruce Up Your Look

“Don’t let the fact that just because the meetings are now virtual, you no longer need to be concerned with how you look. It is important to send the message that you are just as prepared and take your job just as seriously when meetings are virtual. This could be especially costly to your career if your boss or someone more senior to you suddenly appear as an unexpected attendee.” – Cindy Ann Peterson, Fashion and Design Consultant

10. Speak Loud and Clear

“Conditions aren’t always ideal for virtual calls. People may struggle to understand what you’re saying because of tech limitations or the environment around them. You need to amplify your speech and expressions a bit to get the points across and be compelling. It might feel weird at first, but it will help your meetings be more engaging and effective.” – Jordan Dwayne, Founder and Designer of 6 Ice

11. Keep it Moving

“For most people, meetings are not the main event of their workday. They have lots of other responsibilities. You need to respect their time and keep the meeting moving along quickly. Be concise with your points and don’t drag things on for longer than necessary. Everyone will appreciate this.” Tim Mitchum, President of WINPRO Pet

12. Ask for Clarification

“It can be a little awkward to backtrack and ask to clarify a point that has already been made, but that’s something you need to deal with on video calls. Nobody will question you if you want something reiterated or explained in more depth. It’s very likely that other people want clarification as well, so you’re doing everyone a favor, really.” Steven Vigilante, Head of New Business Development, and Melanie Bedwell, Ecommerce Manager at OLIPOP

13. Summarize and Sign Off

“The end of a meeting can be an odd spot to navigate, so I always recommend summing things up in a way that gives everyone a clear idea of what happened, and what needs to happen next. Make the objectives clear and set expectations for the next meeting, even if it’s a week or more away. Every person in the call should know their priorities and areas of focus when the meeting ends. To drive those points home, you can also send out a follow-up email with notes and any other resources that can help your team members.” – Jeremy Gardner, CEO of MadeMan

The age of virtual meetings has just begun, so now is the time to learn the ropes and solidify these skills for life. Practice makes perfect, so keep this list of tips in mind and become a virtual meeting master.

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