Tips for successful online meetings and communications
In this uncertain time, more and more of us will need to work from home. For a lot of us, it will be a whole new world of doing things. In this short blog, I want to give you a few tips on how to best communicate online, particularly handling online meetings.
1 – Dress up as if the meeting was in person
Do not wear your staying-at-home outfits. Dress as if you were going to the office for the meeting, how you would dress if you were physically meeting these people. This is true even if it is only an audio meeting. This will put you in the right frame of mind. The more important the meeting, the more crucial it is to follow this rule.
2 – Have a quiet space in which you will not be disturbed during the meeting
Set up a space just for you and having online meetings from home. Ideally, you want to set up a whole room that you transform into your office. Clear the space of unnecessary things if needed. Ensure you have everything you need around. A table big enough and a comfy chair.
3 – Learn how to use the application you will use for online meetings
Whether you will use, Skype, Skype for Business, Zoom, Teams or whatever other application, make sure you know how to use. Check the sound and camera work properly. Check you know how to mute and unmute, how to share your screen.
4 – Make sure the light and background for video calls is adequate
Avoid completely white background but do not in front of a very cluttered space either. A picture or bookcase in the background usually work fine. It looks serious, doesn’t distract the attention too much. Light is important and make sure you are in a well-lit place. Add lights if necessary.
5 – Get a headphone with microphone
If you do not have one, invest in one. The sound will be much clearer. It will make it easier to hear people and for the other people to hear you. If you think you will need to move, choose a wireless one. When you are not talking, mute yourself; it will increase the quality of the sound overall, especially if there are many people on the call.
6 – Make sure you sit properly or stand
It is even more important in an online meeting that your voice projects correctly. Do not crouch on your seat. Make sure you sit upright, chest open. If necessary, stand instead of sitting. You can always set up the camera that people do not see if you stand or sit.
7 – Have something to drink with you
You may not be able to dash to the kitchen during the meeting to go get something to drink. Make sure you have something to drink next to you.
8 – Make sure everybody in the house knows you are in a meeting
That seems obvious but if other people are in the house, make sure they know you cannot be disturbed and that they do not make loud noises. Even if you have headphones and microphones and that your interlocutors may not hear, it will disturb you. You will be wondering what is going on instead of focusing on your meeting.
9 – Minimise distractions during the call by preparing beforehand
For instance, let your dog out before the call so that he doesn’t ask to go out while you are in the online meeting. If you expect a delivery on that day, leave a message at the door so that the delivery person does not ring the bell. As for any meeting, silence your mobile phone. You may also want to close your email or any other applications that will send notifications on your computer not to be distracted.