As many businesses start heading back into the office, many will remain remote. Others will begin to embrace the “hybrid model” which we’ve all been hearing more about, lately.
No matter what your own workplace is doing, keep in mind that virtual meetings aren’t going anywhere. Chances are, you’ll still need to communicate virtually with others whether it’s a remote co-worker, a client or a vendor. Keep these five tips top-of-mind so that you can remain on your “A-game” in every virtual meeting—even if virtual meetings are becoming less frequent for you.
1. Make your space comfortable and camera-ready.
Setting up your space in an aesthetically pleasing way is important both in your home office and work office. It needs to first and foremost be comfortable and inspiring for you, while also ensuring your background looks the part. Aim for a professional and neutral background when possible without too many distractions. That being said, it’s good to include some semblance of décor, like a bookshelf stocked with books, a few plants, and other small pops of color that inspire you. When you have a space that looks put together, you will feel more confident inside and out.
2. (Almost) always keep your camera on.
There are exceptions to the rule, which we’ll get to, but generally speaking, you should always opt to have your camera turned on. This will position you as more engaged in the conversation and allow others to see your facial expressions. This is especially important when you’re in a virtual meeting with a smaller group that’s discussion-based. Watch this short video tip from Karin to learn when it’s acceptable to have your camera off.
3. Find the right mental mindset.
Your “mental mindset” is something you’ll hear our team at Speaker Dynamics bring up a lot. That’s because we consider it a foundational tool for your on-camera success. Getting into the right mental mindset essentially means understanding you are having a conversation more than simply presenting information into the ether. Focus on directing your energy and gaze through your camera lens when you are speaking, and acknowledge you might be battling distractions in your space that are unexpected. Those distractions can derail you and make you lose your train of thought. That’s why being a master of your content is critical and make you appear more confident on-camera. However, the key to on-camera success is authenticity, not perfection. Learn more about finding the right mental mindset, here.
4. Look the part.
Whether you’re participating in a virtual meeting at home or in the office, you always want to treat it the way you would an in-person meeting. A more relaxed environment (say, your home office) doesn’t give you a license to relax your level of professionalism. Match audience expectations. Align your attire and approach with your audience. It’s a sign of respect to others in the meeting.
5. Participate or get lost.
How much “presence” you have in a meeting is largely up to you. Keeping your camera on is one way to optimize that, but making your voice heard is another. If there’s an opportunity to provide input, either verbal or via chat, do so. In order to prime you to participate though, commit to staying engaged by minimizing distractions. Pets? Try putting them in another room. Other tabs open on your desktop? Close them, as you will be tempted to look whether you like to admit it or not.
What you get out of your virtual meetings is often correlated to what you put in. Following these virtual meeting etiquette tips can help, but if you’d like to level up your skills even more, we encourage you to order your copy of Suddenly Virtual, a practical guide to virtual meetings based on research and years of experience helping clients find success when remote.