More than 300 million people log onto Zoom each day for a virtual meeting – and that’s just on one platform. As such, it’s fair to say that most workers are hosting virtual meetings to get their jobs done in this day and age.
If you’re the one scheduling the gathering, you’ll want to make sure you get it right. So, here are five of the most common virtual meeting mistakes – and how to avoid them the next time you’re planning an online get-together.
1. Check Your Tech
Before the meeting starts, make sure everything is in working order, from your microphone, to your internet connection, to the presentation you’re going to share. Know how to use all of the virtual meeting platform’s features so you’re not fumbling through it when the time comes. Have a backup option available, whether that’s another platform for the meeting or a second device ready to log onto the meeting if your main one is being testy.
2. Make It Collaborative
The problem with virtual meetings is that they sometimes feel impersonal. You’re just sitting at home or in your office talking to your screen. And that may make it easier for you to take the reins of the meeting and run away with them.
In your instant conference call, be sure to allow everyone the time to talk. That way, it will feel like a real meeting, as opposed to a speech. Your teammates will appreciate the gathering more and get more out of it that way, too.
3. Close Out Any Distractions
Next, be sure to close any extraneous internet windows while you’re in your meeting. Switch off your phone notifications, as well. That way, you won’t lose focus on the meeting happening in front of you when you get an email or text, which means your staff will feel listened to and respected.
4. Mind the Mute Button
As we said before, you shouldn’t be the only one talking during your meetings. Here’s a great way to ensure you don’t: turn your microphone on mute whenever you’re not speaking.
You never know if a loud car will drive by, or if your dog will bark, or if your partner will walk in unaware that you have a meeting. So, keep your microphone muted until it’s your turn to talk to avoid any distractions or interruptions that your colleagues might find annoying.
5. Make It Inclusive
Finally, there are so many ways to make sure your virtual meeting treats everyone attending with respect. For starters, you can display your pronouns on certain virtual meeting platforms. Be an example and share yours so that others will do the same, and therefore address each other with respect.
Next, consider using software that adds captions to your meeting, too. You may not be aware that one of your colleagues or attendees is hard of hearing, so it’s a great way to ensure that everyone feels welcome at your gathering, no matter what.
Avoid These Common Virtual Meeting Mistakes
The good thing about common virtual meeting mistakes is that, because they’re so prevalent, they’re also very easy to fix. And, in doing so, you will master the art of online gatherings, which all of your attendees will respect and appreciate.
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