Online team meetings can be more difficult to keep on-topic and productive than face-to-face sessions. But with the right virtual meeting etiquette, participants can stay focused and look professional.
Mute your microphone when not speaking to avoid distracting other attendees and causing ear-splitting echo noise. This is a common virtual meeting etiquette rule that many forget.
|Have you tried Meetn, the new online meeting platform?
It’s turning out to become a decent alternative to Zoom and to the other major platforms.
1. Keep Your Mic On Mute
Even the slightest rustle or hiccup can be heard by other attendees in a virtual meeting. It is important to keep your microphone on mute during online team meetings to avoid distractions and interruptions from others.
If you’re joining a Microsoft Teams call on your computer, the app will constantly notify you if you remain muted throughout the entire meeting. This can be quite distracting and it covers up content that you might need to see during the meeting.
You can disable this feature by going to your audio settings in Microsoft Teams and granting the host permission to unmute you. However, you can revoke this permission at any time to prevent the host from ever asking you to unmute your microphone during the next meeting.
2. Avoid Typing on Slack
Online meetings can be hectic and confusing, so it’s easy to let your focus wander. During an online meeting, you should only use the chat function to ask questions and send notes, not text your team. It can be a distraction to your teammates and prevent them from watching the presentation.
When typing on Slack during a meeting, you can accidentally send messages to the wrong team members. This is not only inconsiderate, but it can also cause confusion and waste time.
Instead, write self-contained messages that are clear and concise. Slack’s shortcuts and commands make it fast and easy to format text, navigate threads, and set statuses. Using these can save you valuable minutes during an online meeting.
3. Don’t Click Away From the Meeting
Even though chats in online meetings may come in handy, using them to message co-workers during a presentation is not ideal. This is because chatting takes away from the focus of the meeting and can be distracting to your colleagues.
The best way to prevent this is by setting up the meeting in a place free of distractions. This means no kids running around or a TV show blasting in the background.
It is also important to structure the meetings so that participants know when they should ask questions. One way to do this is by allowing team members a certain amount of time on the agenda for discussing their specific question. This prevents the meeting from dragging on longer than necessary. It also helps to keep participants engaged throughout the entire call.
4. Maintain Eye Contact
Eye contact is a vital part of communicating and builds trust in relationships. During virtual meetings, maintaining eye contact shows that you’re attentive and interested in what others have to say. In fact, participants retain 30% more of what they’re told when a meeting leader makes eye contact with them for 30% of the time.
Unfortunately, some people struggle to make eye contact because of disabilities or personal issues like autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder. For this reason, it’s important to choose a Zoom meeting software that’s easy to use and works for all users. If possible, try to meet with your teammates in person before the meeting to build a connection and establish comfortable eye contact. Then, you’ll feel more at ease during your presentation or interview.
5. Be Visible
It’s important to be visible during an online team meeting so everyone can see you and interact with you. It can be tempting to hide behind your laptop, but that’s not a good way to show that you’re participating in the call. It’s also not professional to begin a side conversation that the other attendees can’t hear or contribute to.
If you need to step out of the call for an emergency, be sure to leave a chat message so that the other attendees know why you are leaving and how long you anticipate being gone. That will prevent others from asking questions that you could have answered if you had been present.