Rules of Virtual Meeting Etiquette Every Professional Should Know

Virtual meetings serve as an excellent way to connect with others while minimizing in-person contact. People from around the globe can come together for a meeting or conference or a small group can collaborate on a project using this technology. However, men and women must recognize they are engaging with others and pay attention to their virtual event etiquette to ensure the event is a success from start to finish. What are some basic guidelines every person should keep in mind when taking part in an event of this type? 

Know the Tech

Virtual meetings take place across a variety of platforms. Each participant needs to have a thorough understanding of the platform before the meeting begins, so the event host should share the platform information well ahead of the event. Ask that participants test their tech before the meeting to ensure the connection is secure and the sound and audio settings are correct.

Anyone making use of GSDSolutions for virtual event management will have a partner to help them learn the tech and how to make the most of it. Why is this important? 

No person taking part in the event wants to wait while someone tries to find the screen sharing feature. They want the host and all participants to keep the event moving smoothly, as they have other things to do. Respect their time and yours by knowing the tech, where to find different features, and how to use them for a successful event from start to finish. 

Prepare the Environment

Gone are the days of a person locking themselves in a cubicle to take a work call. Countless individuals find they are still working from home for a variety of reasons. Although this saves a person commuting time, it also means distractions increase significantly. Ask that all participants find a quiet place to participate before joining the virtual event. 

Consider asking participants to invest in noise-canceling headphones so they can hear everyone at the event clearly. It’s very frustrating when a person must keep asking others to repeat what they said. Sadly, this happens when a person has many distractions in the background. They must try to manage the distractions while remaining engaged with the event. 

A microphone with a mute feature becomes of significant benefit for similar reasons. Microphones today pick up every noise, which means all individuals taking part in the event will hear every cough, sneeze, and background conversation of all participants who don’t mute their microphones.

Nobody wants to hear a person chew as they eat their lunch while participating in the event. Although it makes sense for people to multi-task, when possible, be considerate of others and mute the microphone when someone else is speaking. 

Take into consideration the view of others when using a webcam. What will they see in the background? Will it be distracting to them? Virtual backgrounds serve as an excellent option to ensure the focus remains on the event and not on the surroundings of participants. 

Punctuality

As with in-person events, virtual meetings call for punctuality. No person wants to sit around waiting for the host to join, and it is disrupting when people join a virtual event after it has already started. Arriving late shows the participant isn’t dependable, and they will miss out on certain topics by not arriving in a timely manner.

When the host arrives late, certain topics may have to be shortened or skipped completely to remain within the allotted time frame. As a result, participants get less out of the event. Every event should begin and end on time, with all participants present from start to finish. 

Dress for Success

Men and women might put on a nice top and leave their pajama bottoms on for a virtual event. Doing so makes it difficult to get into the right mindset, which makes it harder to leave a good impression on others taking part in the event. Furthermore, a person might forget they are working at home and make a gaffe. 

Will Reeve of ABC learned this the hard way. During the global pandemic, he was caught with no pants while working from home. Reeve put on a suit jacket and tie and began filming. When doing so, he didn’t realize people could see that he wasn’t wearing pants, and they taped the entire segment this way. Avoid problems of this nature by dressing as if you are heading into the office. 

Ask the host of the event about a dress code. If you are the one hosting, share this information with participants to avoid issues. Women, whether they are taking part in an event or hosting it, should avoid wearing jewelry they wouldn’t wear at the office. Dangly earrings, for example, that make a lot of noise when the head moves should be avoided at all costs. 

Speak Clearly

During a virtual event, it becomes challenging to identify the main speaker. Try to speak only when necessary and mute your microphone when others are speaking. This ensures background noises won’t interfere with their speaking. 

Speak slowly when taking part in a virtual event. During a live stream, some people might find their connection is lagging or they have poor audio output. When people slow their speech, it becomes easier for everyone to understand what is being said. In addition, any non-native speakers must have the speech translated. Slowing your speech helps ensure they can participate fully and catch everything that is being said. 

Use the chat feature to ask questions. The speaker can then respond to the questions after they finish speaking. This is a great way to ask for clarification on a point or address an issue that the speaker has overlooked without interrupting them as they talk. 

Cellphone Usage

Put the cellphone away during a virtual event. It becomes obvious when someone is constantly looking down that they are using a cellphone or other mobile device. Be respectful of the speaker and keep cellphone usage to a minimum during the event. The only exception to this is when you are awaiting information that could be important to event participants.  Manners remain of great importance when you are participating in a virtual event. Act as you would if you were meeting the participants in person. Men and women who do so find they can navigate the events with ease and leave a good impression on all who are taking part. 

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