By Rod Lucero, Xigent CTO
Whether you like them or not, virtual meetings are here to stay. Even after COVID-19 is long gone, businesses have found that meeting online can save time and money and offer employees more flexibility as to where and when they work. After more than a year of daily WebEx, Zoom or Team meetings I thought I would offer up my top 9 meeting suggestions.
1. Start your meeting on time. If you scheduled the meeting, features and security of the meeting are based on your profile. Do not join your own meeting as a guest. And PLEASE end the meeting on time! The same goes for participants. Do not make people wait for you to show up.
2. Beware the double mute. Do not assume your sound settings work. Instead, verify if you are muted with the conference platform and/or your phone or headset. Pro Tip: Pick one or the other. Be consistent in the method you use to mute yourself. And PLEASE don’t use the hold button. Some people may not like your playlist hold music and everyone has to listen to it.
3. Familiarize yourself with presentation modes. When sharing, you have options as to what to share. You can share an application or your entire screen. Practice this before your meeting, so you know how to handle a last minute request to "share your screen."
4. Don't fiddle on your screen when presenting. Be deliberate with your mouse movement and keystrokes. Put PowerPoints and Adobe in presentation mode. If using Word or Excel, maximize the window.
5. Protect sensitive information with a clean screen. Practice your presentation and have your deck already loaded and your screen prepared so you don't have to go looking for it after the meeting has started. Turn off your email and instant messaging notifications before the meeting.
6. Make introductions. If you're the presenter, consider introducing your team members and their roles rather than "going around the room" introducing yourselves and have a quick agenda.
7. Turn off your video when it's not needed. If you are a participant, consider having your video on only for the intro portion of the meeting, and then turn video off. This will save bandwidth for a better online call experience.
8. Look at your camera. If you are a presenter or participant using video, look into the camera when you're speaking. Don't put your hands in front of your face while you talk.
9. Remain attentive to the meeting. If you feel the need to multitask like looking at your phone or doing work on your other screen, mute yourself and shut off your video.
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