How to Become a Master of Virtual Meeting Etiquette (Step by Step)
Virtual meetings have exploded in popularity in recent years with more companies going remote. As a result, virtual conference platforms have rocketed in growth by nearly 894%.
It’s clear virtual meetings aren’t going away anytime soon, so you should ensure you’re up to scratch with your formal online meeting etiquette.
Superevent is the master of the virtual conference world. So, to help you understand meeting etiquette a bit better, we’ll dive into what it is and how you can improve your etiquette below.
What is Virtual Meeting Etiquette?
Virtual meeting etiquette is a series of social rules that govern how you should behave in a virtual meeting or conference. It’s usually talked about in the context of business and in-house meetings you’d find within a corporate environment.
Etiquette essentially dictates how you portray yourself in an online call. This could involve how you speak, how you look, and what you talk about.
Not every institution and business is the same, so there will be different rules for different workplaces. Some will be formal and some won’t be. It’s very context-dependent.
For example, if you were using a virtual conference platform like Superevent to run a Monday meeting, you can expect there to be a bit of informal conversation about the weekend and how people are. But, if you’re hosting a client onboarding meeting, the context will be more formal and professional.
Virtual meeting etiquette isn’t much different from in-person etiquette and most people already have those basics down. However, there are a few nuances in a virtual environment that can sometimes cause hiccups. These will be explored later.
Keep track of your virtual meeting etiquette with this free checklist!
Why Virtual Meeting Etiquette is Important?
It can be easy to forget simple etiquette rules when you’re sitting in a virtual meeting. After all, you’re usually at home and in a very casual environment, so it can be easy to let things slip.
But you have to remember the unwritten social rules of etiquette and maintain yourself in a positive, professional manner.
Here’s why virtual meeting etiquette is important and why you should start ensuring it’s incorporated into every call.
It Helps Create a Positive Environment
Ensuring you’re maintaining the correct virtual meeting etiquette isn’t only for your benefit. It also helps to create harmony in an online call and allows everyone else to feel comfortable and welcome.
By performing effectively, you create a positive and lasting impression on the group/attendees. This can help calm nerves and keep everybody on the same page.
If you were to stumble into a virtual conference with little preparation, half asleep, and with stains on your clothes, it sets a bad tone that can impact the entire call. So, stay sharp and pay attention to how you carry yourself.
It Helps Meetings Achieve Their Goal
It is not uncommon for a virtual meeting to stray off course, especially if there is a lack of planning. People can become distracted and attention can be lost on why the meeting is occurring in the first place.
With proper virtual etiquette and established rules, you can make sure virtual meetings are effective and purposeful. It keeps everyone on the same page and ensures you have everyone’s attention throughout the conference.
It Helps Make the Meeting More Professional
If you’re in a virtual business meeting, having correct virtual etiquette creates a more professional environment. You’re usually on the call to discuss business-related topics, so present yourself in a way that reflects this.
Even if the virtual meeting is “off the cuff” and isn’t efficiently scheduled, you should still remain professional.
Virtual Meetings are Here to Stay
Learning how to compose yourself in a virtual meeting properly is essential in the modern world as remote working isn’t going away. Since the pandemic, 74% of employees have accepted remote working as the new norm.
Ensuring you’re up to scratch with your etiquette is important as it’s going to be a skill you use time and time again regardless of your situation.
Keep track of your virtual meeting etiquette with this free checklist!
Virtual Meeting Etiquette Best Practices
So, you now know what online meeting etiquette is and why it’s important, but how do you make sure you’re following these unwritten rules?
Online virtual meeting etiquette is actually very easy to follow and is similar to that of an in-person meeting. Let’s explore some of the steps below.
Step #1: Send an Agenda
Improper online etiquette can result in the structure of your virtual meeting being disrupted. Attendees don’t take turns talking and will veer off into tangents that aren’t relevant to the conversation. To prevent this, you should send an agenda to participants beforehand.
An agenda will list the topics for discussion and helps to direct the call in a professional and productive manner. It will also state whether any additional teammates are required for the conversation, preventing anyone from wasting their time.
By installing a structured agenda into your virtual meetings, you can cut down call time by 80%. So, the quicker you add one, the more productive your virtual meetings will be.
Step #2: Know Your Meeting Platform
Understanding your meeting platform can drastically improve your virtual meeting etiquette. You’ll spend more time demonstrating your expertise and less time fumbling with the controls.
Being prepared and able to navigate the virtual conference tool effectively, enables you to present yourself confidently.
If you’re not sure how to operate the platform, counter this with effective clear communication and quick answers. This will help allay any technical difficulties during the meeting.
If you need an easy-to-use virtual conference tool that won’t have you pulling your hair out on launch day, try Superevent now. Our platform can be fully customized to suit your needs and is perfect regardless of skill level. Try it for free here.
Step #3: Limit Side Conversations from the Attendees
You don’t want 3 conversations going on at once during an online call. You need to keep the meeting structured and without tangents.
If there are any side conversations going on, they should be relevant to the discussion and provide value. Moreover, they should be limited to a few sentences in the live chat.
If random conversations are allowed to run loose, the entire meeting’s purpose could be derailed, and participants can become distracted.
Step #4: Behave As You Would In Person
A great rule to follow if you’re struggling with your virtual meeting etiquette is just do what you would in person. Unless your in-person etiquette is worse than your online one, of course.
Most people have their physical meeting skills mastered. This is especially true for individuals who have worked in a corporate environment previously – they’ll know how to behave and can present themselves accordingly.
With each virtual call, imagine you’re talking with an individual in a high position, such as a CEO. This mindset will help you handle etiquette with ease (and will ensure you don’t embarrass yourself!).
Step #5: Ensure Everyone Is Participating
It’s crucial to ensure that every attendee invited to your virtual meeting will actually benefit from it. If someone is there for no reason, it’s a waste of their time and a waste of resources. It would be more productive to have them working than listening in.
Additionally, individuals who aren’t talking aren’t engaged. They’re likely zoning out. So, you can jolt them back into the meeting with a question, a jamboard, or even with gamification. This can breathe life back into a meeting and ensures everyone is attentive and alert.
Great conferencing tools, like Superevent can also maintain a high level of user engagement. Our platform is built around keeping users engaged, before, during, and after a presentation has ended.
Step #6: Drop the Informal Outfits
You shouldn’t be rocking up to an online conference in your sweats. You should be presenting yourself professionally as if you’re actually turning up to work. Your participants should be doing the same.
Ensure everyone understands there is a smart dress code and make sure it’s enforced. Allowing people to wear whatever they want can create an unprofessional environment.
If you’re struggling to throw on a suit whilst you’re at home, you can also dress up the top half of your body. Participants can’t see your legs, so don’t be afraid to wear comfortable trousers whilst you’re on a call. Just make sure you don’t stand up!
Try Superevent for Your Next Online Meeting
If you’re looking to nail your online conference etiquette, it pays to use an advanced yet easy-to-use platform so you have no issues.
Superevent provides a thorough online conference experience, allowing you to develop your own application to suit your needs. With our platform, you can host and organize either in-person, hybrid, or online events, conferences, summits, and everything in-between with ease. No technical experience is required.
Virtual meeting etiquette is a little-known subject that needs to be practiced more by internal teams. It provides a range of benefits to the company and can drastically improve team solidarity and productivity.
More often than not, online etiquette is very similar to physical etiquette. It just takes a small mindset shift to get to grips with it.
If you want to improve your online meeting skills and utilize our simple but powerful online conference platform, try us out for free now.