Online meetings are now becoming a staple in corporate America. But it’s surprising how many people still don’t seem to understand what the do’s and don’ts are. Don’t fall into the same pit. Here are some things you should never do in the middle of an online IT meeting:
Log in late
One of the most well-known advantages of video conferencing is that it eliminates delays. Because you and your team mates no longer have to travel to a single location, you can easily log onto a meeting wherever you happen to be—at home, in the car or at the office. But if you log in late, then that sort of defeats the purpose of using a video communication tool in the first place. So make an effort to be there on time, Inc. points out.
Fail to check the camera angle and lighting
Imagine you’re directing a show. The lighting has to be perfect. Want to come across as the consummate professional? Make sure your lighting isn’t dim or too bright. Test it out with the camera. Don’t be afraid to explore different camera angles until you find the one that’s just right for you.
Play with the settings
Aside from your camera angle, make sure you test out other features of the program. Explore the settings. Know your way around the interface. This would make it easy for you to maneuver the controls in the middle of the meeting. Think of it as a dry run or rehearsal. If you don’t take the time to familiarize yourself with the interface, you’ll likely run into problems later on. And instead of focusing on the meeting, you could end up wasting time on getting the angle right or turning the mic on and off.
Yes, you can take notes. The sounds could be distracting. Try to use a pen and paper instead. That won’t create as much noise as you tapping on the keys while you talk to someone or point out an observation.
Keep yourself from texting, eating or just plain doing something else. You’re in a meeting. Be fully present in the moment. Be engaged. Try to participate. You might enjoy yourself more than you would have thought possible.
Troubleshoot too late
You might want to log onto the software an hour or two before your scheduled meeting. That way, you can check if there are any issues you need to troubleshoot. So when it’s time for your meeting, you won’t find yourself running into any problems. You can go through that business video meeting for IT via your BlueJeans software without a single hitch.
Wear your PJs
Are you really going to wear your PJs to the boardroom? No? Then don’t wear them to your meeting. If you want everything to be on a professional keel, then go with a professional look. Don proper attire. Wearing PJs could distract your colleagues as well and derail the meeting.
Get too personal
Sometimes people think it’s all right to choose their bathroom or to go to an online meeting while they’re up to their chin in blankets on their bed. But that isn’t very professional. Our advice? Ditch that spot. Find something appropriate instead. It doesn’t have to be a completely soulless space but make sure it doesn’t have any personal clutter that you wouldn’t want your boss, client or anybody else from the team to find.
Pick the wrong spot
Stay away from high-traffic areas. Unless you want to find out how it feels to have people constantly disrupting your meeting. If you want that meeting to be productive, find a quiet spot, away from people. That not only helps cut the ambiance noise down, it also helps put you at ease for the meeting ahead.
Not testing the mic
Don’t make this mistake, says the Entrepreneur. Test everything out well ahead of your meeting. That way, you could turn up any potential issues and still have the time to get them fixed. If you wait until the very last minute, that could negatively affect the quality of the sound, result in a lousy audio experience and completely derail the meeting. So save yourself the time and trouble later on. Test your mic first.
Remember their names
It’s only polite and good manners to keep in mind everybody’s names. That way, you can properly address them if you have a comment, question or suggestion later on. That also means you’ll have to return the courtesy. Introduce yourself before you talk so they know how they should address you.
Keep movements minimal
Because you’re on video, it can be distracting if you move around too much. So try to stay still. If you have to move, keep the movements slight and minimal so you won’t attract any undue attention during the meeting.
If you want to communicate much more effectively during your online meetings, make sure to steer clear of these mistakes.