The pandemic necessitated the widespread use of virtual meetings, but their place in the corporate communication lexicon has been cemented by convenience and the rise of hybrid work. If you haven’t yet embraced them as part of the way you do business, the time is now to determine how to put your best foot (and face) forward when attending your virtual meetings. At Speaker Dynamics, we’ve helped thousands of business professionals to improve their on-camera confidence and virtual meeting etiquette. However, too many tips and tricks can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve amassed our list of the top dos and don’ts. Keep them somewhere close to your desk, so you can enter every virtual meeting looking and feeling your best.
Do: Be mute savvy. If you are not engaged in constant dialogue, mute your microphone when you’re not speaking. Unexpected audio interruptions happen when working remote and it’s best to avoid them bleeding into the audio experience of everyone else on the call with you.
Don’t: Start speaking before checking that your microphone is no longer on mute. There’s nothing worse than diving straight into a two-minute pitch only to realize you’ve been muted the entire time.
Do: Adjust your lighting (or go to a room you’ve already set up to be well-lit) before your virtual meeting begins. We communicate much of our message through our facial expressions. Having your face well-lit will ensure your audience can see them clearly and can receive your message in full.
Don’t: Sit in the dark or a dimly lit room, even if that’s what you prefer while working. Turn more lights on or opt for a room with better natural light before joining a meeting. It’s hard for people to connect with a shadowy figure.
Do: Do look into the camera when you’re speaking. You’ll appear more confident and your audience will feel like you are looking them in the eye. When not speaking, feel free to look at the screen so you can read the body language of the person who is presenting.
Don’t: Multitask during a meeting. We all have a long to-do list. As tempting as it may be, avoid checking your email or working on other tasks during a virtual meeting. It can wait. Force yourself to stay engaged so the meeting ends up being productive. (This assumes the meeting is relevant to you. If it’s not, you probably shouldn’t have been on the invite list in the first place… which is a whole other blog post.)
Do: Wear appropriate clothing. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wear a suit, but make sure what you’re wearing is clean and professional. Remember, the way you “show up” is a reflection of your personal as well as your corporate brand. Match audience expectations.
Don’t: Get so comfortable working from home that you start taking your calls in your PJs or sweats. This is a sure-fire way to denounce your professionalism in front of your colleagues and clients.
Do: Enhance your background with simple décor such as plants, books, and a few art prints. This will make your space look visually interesting without being too distracting.
Don’t: Clutter your space with too many picture frames or piles of clothes in the background. Keep it clean and simple with minimal décor that doesn’t go overboard. Otherwise, your audience will be looking at your room instead of at you.
These are the basics, but there’s a lot more you can do to master your virtual meeting etiquette. For more virtual meeting dos and don’ts, sign up for one (or more) of our Speaker Dynamics University courses. They’re delivered in bite-sized chunks of content that will immediately improve your on-camera and virtual confidence. View the course catalog, here.