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Online video conference meetings have become the new business norm as a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Business professionals need to adapt to this new style of business meetings. They need to develop their communications skills and here are a few tips which provide an easy approach to becoming more effective in online meetings.   

Video conference meetings, like any other meeting calls for effective communication skills. If the basics of online meeting etiquette are maintained these can very powerful activities critical to maintain and sustain business operations and client support. tool. Effective video conferencing helps build stronger and faster relationships. It allows for more effective communication and collaboration. Most importantly, if planned well, it allows for a better use of time at work. An effective video conference call requires planning in advance. It calls for a discipline to ensure optimal use of the time of all participants. It can also prove vital for businesses, especially in the post-COvid realities,  to reduce unnecessary travel costs and reduce a company’s carbon footprint. Apart from saving on travel costs, protecting the environment it also provides the luxury of allowing people to work remotely from different geographical locations.

Best practises when having a video meeting

1. Dress to impress as though you were at the office

Although most meetings happening today are being done at the comfort of people’s home, this does not deter from the fact that certain business rules should be neglected. You still need to make a good impression. So try to avoid the Star Wars jumper for later and wear something appropriate for the meeting at hand.

2. Avoid Typing while you are on a video call

There are two main reasons for this, firstly it creates a distracting noise to all the people in the video conference which is a hinderance. Secondly and most importantly however, it implies that you are not fully committed or engaged to the people within the video conference. If you are taking notes, it is highly suggested to use a pen and paper instead.

3. Don’t eat or drink during the meeting

In 9 out of 10 meetings, you probably won’t find yourself having lunch or breakfast, and this same rule applies when having an online meeting. This action is only magnified during an online meeting, as the camera is positioned solely and you, and let’s face it, nobody wants to hear or see you eat and drink.

4. Be punctual, show respect to others by not wasting their time

You wouldn’t be late for an on-site meeting, and the same applies for an online meeting. Be respectful of other people’s time and commit to the time agreed upon. It is best practise however, for the host of the meeting to be there 5-10 minutes earlier to set everything up and deal with any technical issues that may arise.

5. Deal with technical issues beforehand – get familiar with the technology

Technical issues are bound to arise, it is inevitable. As professionals, all we can do however is to be best prepared before they happen, even with minor issues. If headphones are needed for the meeting, make sure you have them ready and working, make sure your laptop battery is fully charged as well as having a good internet connection.

6. Ensure you have a professional background

It is best to check your surroundings before an online meeting starts. It is best to remove anything beforehand or risk getting caught out with people seeing things that maybe you wouldn’t want them to. Best practise would be to have a plain background to focus the attention solely on you the speaker, and not revert attention to what is happening behind you. Make sure that the background behind you sends the right messages. If it is a problem to have a plain background, there are many providers of virtual backgrounds you can look to address this issue. Another simple solution is to place the camera so that you have your back to the wall which will serve as a plain uncluttered background for your call.

7. Keep Movement to a minimum

Try to avoid any continuous movement whilst having an online meeting. Fidgeting on your chair, continuous hand movements or tapping of pencils or pens during the meeting, are so much more noticeable during a conference call. Not only are they noticeable, but they tend to be somewhat distracting to the other participants on the call.

8. Mute your microphone when you are not speaking.
It is best practise to mute your microphone when not speaking. First and foremost, the microphone may pick up ambient noises or conversations that you may not  participants on the call to hear. By muting the microphone, you are able to control your environment to distract participants as little as possible. Secondly, especially when dealing with larger online meetings with several participants, the microphone may pick up some feedback. This affects all participants and makes it difficult for participants to hear what is being said.

9. Inform people in your household that an online meeting is about to take place.

It is important to advise your household beforehand that an online meeting is about to commence. You need to reducing the chance of having any unwanted interruptions during an important meeting. Prevention is the best cure!

As a provider of a video conference platform, we have years of experience in managing video conference meetings. Our own Integrated Systems Platform provides an integrated video conferencing functionality. This system allows users to conduct online meetings and presentations, be it one-to-one meetings or webinars with hundreds of particpants. Visit our website on www.ebizmalta.com to learn more on how we can help deliver your on-site meetings, online!