It is time for a virtual meeting! Whether the call is via Zoom, Google Classroom, GoToMeeting, or another digital meeting platform, the same, basic etiquette should be upheld. Displaying strong manners indicates your ability to be professional in addition to your ability to stay focused and make the most of your meeting time, even if it is not in person.
Before joining the meeting, keep in mind that you should work to create an environment that is as similar to your traditional work environment as possible. Be sure your workspace is neat and clean. Your physical appearance should resemble this standard as well. Additionally, be extremely aware of your surroundings. Avoid joining the meeting from a noisy setting with a distracting background. You should avoid eating or doing any other distracting activity such as texting or constantly accessing the keyboard.
Also, before joining, it is important to review the assigned agenda. Familiarize yourself with the topics that will be discussed and prepare content to contribute to the overarching conversation. It is equally important to confirm that all the necessary members of your group or team are invited to the meeting. This ensures that the meeting runs smoothly and all aspects of the agenda are addressed.
Once you have joined the meeting, be sure to introduce yourself and others at the start. It is very important to be aware of your audio settings. It is proper and considerate of the current speaker to mute the attendees when not speaking. Additionally, make an effort to look into the camera when it is your time to speak. This is the equivalent of making eye contact with others in attendance in a traditional, face-to-face meeting context.
Furthermore, speak clearly and in a correct tone so that your ideas and contributions are distinctly presented and received. Finally, while it may be a challenge, avoid interrupting others while speaking. Because of the likely lag of the stream, it may be difficult to avoid interruptions. However, when faced with these issues respond to the interrupter with grace or humbly apologize when interrupting another.
While it may be important to take notes during these meetings, do not allow this to be a distraction. Avoid leaving your workspace to gather a pen, paper, or other documents that will be needed throughout. Plan for these things! Moreover, do not become overly consumed with note-taking that you find yourself not acknowledging the speaker. Provide the same attention to other speakers as you would expect them to grant you when listening to your thoughts.
The concept of digital meetings is still a new and fresh concept to many. Make it a standard to extend grace to one another as everyone learns to better navigate this new online age that we find ourselves in. Keep in mind each of these etiquette concepts for virtual meetings and allow mutual respect to be a driving force within your work life.