If you’re new to virtual meetings, here are some things to consider before your meeting:
If you need to feel more comfortable communicating across digital channels with people you haven’t met in person, please ask to join a meeting or two simply for the experience.
- Continue to get to know other members of the team and their expertise, this will help you feel more comfortable joining a meeting with a client.
- Know that you are an equal and integral part of the team, despite your geographic location.
- Identify any potential issues with a PM when it comes to communication styles or differing points of view ahead of meetings.
1. When time zones are a bit confusing, use helpful tools:
2. Each meeting should have an agenda. If you’re not clear on what that should be, please ask. Here are some things that may or may not be included in your calendar invite details:
It’s important to create a clear agenda that should include:
- Talking points (outline)
- Meeting structure (who’s talking / when / what about)
- Who will be attending (list)
- Who is responsible for bringing what to the meeting
- Any documents, files, or research needed to discuss each talking point in more detail
3. Etiquette for online meetings with clients:
Think of these as the must-do’s of online meeting etiquette:
- Introduce everyone during the meeting, and give everyone a chance to contribute (typically the project manager/lead/manager would do this)
- Be present and pay full attention. In other words, don’t stare at your phone or work while other people are presenting.
- Be respectful to the speaker, please don’t interrupt other people when they’re speaking (or attempt to speak over them).
- During meetings with (most) clients – please refrain from eating. Unless it’s a ‘lunch-and-learn’.
- If you anticipate any unavoidable noises (contractors working outside, neighbors dog barking, you have a cough) please mute yourself when not speaking.
- Make sure you are in full view (not to the side of the camera etc).
- We don’t want to tell you how to dress, but please come to the meeting fully clothed. 🙂 In other words, dress how you think it’s appropriate. If you’re not sure about this one, please ask.
- Test all tech (steaming tools, Wi-Fi, etc) before the meeting starts!
- Read the agenda, and come prepared.
- Again, please don’t work on other tasks (like checking email) during the virtual meeting. Give the meeting and attendees your full attention.
- Mute all notifications and put your mobile on silent – not vibrate – but silent.
- Make sure you are in a quiet area free from unnecessary distractions.
It’s simple, really. Just practice common courtesy when working from home or remotely.
People want to be heard, seen, and respected during an online meeting—just like they do everywhere else.