Virtual Meetings: 5 Mistakes You Should Avoid

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Whether virtual or physical, preparedness for meetings gives you the best results.

Virtual meetings have been on the rise, especially as a result of the covid 19 pandemic. Most staff members in certain organizations now work remotely and communication between co-workers take place over the internet. Video-conferencing has made virtual meetings possible and has helped in promoting productivity in remote working.

Video conferences enable location-independent communication between customers, business partners and colleagues. However, a functioning technology is a prerequisite for the smooth running of a virtual meeting. In this article, you will learn how to avoid the five biggest technical faux pas and what you should pay special attention to as the organizer of a virtual event.

Mistakes to Avoid During Virtual Meetings

You are not familiar with the tool

It can be pretty uncomfortable in front of others if you don’t know how to use that tool. After all, nobody wants to be a technology greenhorn who cannot dial in or “mute”. Therefore, familiarize yourself in advance with the video conference solution used. Each tool works differently. Ask yourself questions like: What device do I use to join a conference? What do I have to do to share my screen or files using the built-in communication tools? What are the basic functions of the tool that I need to speak and be seen on video? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you perform better during virtual meetings.

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You didn’t install the tool properly

Do you receive an online meeting invitation by email with a link? Then try to open it beforehand as a test. Why should you do this? Depending on the provider, registration or download of the software is necessary in many cases. With such a test, you avoid a situation whereby your conversation partners will have to wait unnecessarily because you have to set up everything technically during the appointment.

You have no stable connection

Not being able to exchange ideas online in peace because your voice is constantly distorted or not every word is being broadcast? Or have to dial in every few minutes? These technical difficulties can be caused by your unstable internet connection. Therefore, make sure that both the Internet connection or the WiFi and the hardware are running stably.

They don’t see / hear you at all

Check your headset (headphones with microphone) and your webcam. Activate both if necessary to either participate in audio mode or – even more personally and better – in combined audio and video mode. This signals that you are present to your counterparts. In the event of technical problems, moderate and describe via audio or chat what the problem is and that you are about to solve it.

You cannot be seen properly on the screen

If your counterpart hardly sees you because their seat is poorly lit or too close, sit near a lamp and position the webcam of your laptop or computer at eye level and at a sufficient distance. If not, the camera could distort you. If necessary, test in advance with a selfie to have an idea of how others will see you.

Just imagine that you would be sitting opposite your conversation partner at a table – this is exactly what you should see on the screen. Also, pay attention to your facial expressions and gestures and always look carefully into the camera. In between, do not look to mobile phones or begin to clean up the desk – people are seeing you! Your inadequacies could be viewed as disparaging by the person watching you.\

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Special requirements for the video conference organizer

If you are the organizer of a video conference, you are responsible for organizing the virtual meeting. We recommend additional measures in addition to the tips mentioned above:

Availability: Find an appointment where all participants are available. A suitable time with customers and business partners can best be coordinated in advance by email.

Choose the meeting duration appropriately: Limit the duration of the planned video conference in order to sensibly limit the meeting duration.

Send invites in time: Send an invitation link to the participants in good time. You may have to download the software first, so be sure to include this in your schedule.

Communicate the goal of the meeting in advance: Compile the agenda items for the meeting using the KISS method (Keep It Short and Simple) and send them together with the invitation link. With this, the participants have everything they need.

Getting prepared for virtual meetings goes a long way in determining the success of the meeting. For this reason, you should be equipped with these tips to enable you get the best out of these meetings.

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