A virtual meeting means a web conference, contrary to an in person event. It is a gathering completely held over the internet using applications or services with the possibility of sharing presentations, voice, video, texts, and files via the web.
When conducting a virtual meeting, each participant watches from his or her own computer. The web conference can occur either through a specific application installed in each of the participating computers, or through a web application that runs inside the browser by simply typing the address of the site where the virtual event will take place; most of the time a registration is required.
There is a specific type of virtual meeting, known as a webinar (from “web” + “seminar”), in which the communication is one-way, that is, only one person speaks, and the others watch and listen. Interaction between participants is limited to chat only, so participants can talk to each other or send questions to the speaker.
Conducting a meeting is a common and everyday practice in the corporate environment. The thing that has changed in more recent years is the way in which it takes place because technological improvements have made it possible to reduce distances and make meetings that used to be only face-to-face, now also a virtual meeting.
Taking into account that teams are increasingly leaner and deadlines are tighter, the solution of a pending issue cannot depend on how the traffic is on a certain day, if the weather conditions are favorable, or if there is an availability of hotels and tickets. And that’s where this kind of technology comes in: to help with the day to day needs of the business world.
Is a virtual meeting always recommended?
According to a new study commissioned by Microsoft, for 85% of the professionals, remote meetings already offer as positive an experience as face-to-face meetings.
According to the survey, conducted with internet users, professionals between 25 and 34 years old are the ones who most attend remote meetings (52%). In the general analysis, 47% of the respondents say they participate in work meetings remotely.
Considering the importance of meetings for the corporate environment, it is necessary to know when the physical meeting is really indispensable. Obviously, technology does not replace personal contact, but it is a way to optimize time and resources and should be adopted whenever feasible.
Regardless of your choice, here are some tips to help you look your best when attending a meeting.
Punctuality is fundamental for any self-respecting professional, whether for meetings or for any other activity or commitment. It is not uncommon to see meetings start late because of professionals who are not committed or who are too “busy” to honor their commitment.
All organizers/executors should start meetings on time. This is a clear sign of respect for the professionals who are present, who have made the effort to show up at the scheduled time.
Mastering the subject you are about to discuss makes the meeting more productive. Remember: successful meetings contribute to the company’s overall success.
Learn to listen
Even if you have called the meeting, it is not a lecture! Meetings are for exchanging ideas in order to solve a certain issue. Only attend or call meetings that are actually necessary. -by doing this you gain credibility, because your guests will know that when they are called, it is because something important needs to be addressed.
Speak only what is necessary and indispensable. Meetings without a clear focus will generate discussions that can go on for hours without leading to anything. You should clearly avoid this type of virtual meeting.
The right tools
If it is a virtual meeting, don’t forget that having the right tools will help ensure the success of your meeting. And for this, you can always count on expertshare! We are here to deliver the communication solution according to your team’s needs!
Virtual meetings are increasingly being adopted by different organizations, especially during the pandemic. This is because they are quick to organize, cost-effective, and bring the most relevant people into the meeting, wherever they are. However, a virtual meeting can be difficult to run and needs a different approach than regular face-to-face meetings to maintain good teamwork.
What was once the exception has now become the rule: With the protective measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, the home office has been widely adopted by companies in different industries. In this context, meetings via the Internet and video conferencing have become ubiquitous. Depending on your position, it is difficult to go a week (or even a day) without attending one of these meetings.
Since this situation is new and can lead to a series of unforeseen events, some of them quite inconvenient, it is important to adopt some rules of etiquette for virtual meetings. So before you turn on your webcam, read the tips we have separated to prevent any embarrassment during work and make the most of these tasks.
What is the importance of virtual meeting etiquette?
Just because the meeting is virtual doesn’t mean it is unprofessional. That is why it is important to think about what is a good tone and what should be avoided while participating in this type of activity. And the best way to do this is through a series of small recommendations, which in the end make all the difference.
Besides avoiding embarrassment and awkwardness, applying some etiquette rules for virtual meetings ensures that the time spent is better used, avoiding that very common feeling that a meeting could have been an email.
Adopting such practices also avoids miscommunication, prevents misunderstandings, and reduces the stress and fatigue generated by this form of meeting, even more so in a context in which employees may be saturated with exclusive digital contact.
The concern about how to act in virtual meetings must be amplified when we think that, before the current situation, many professionals were not used to participating in meetings of this type or even were not used to communicating with their teams and coworkers only through digital means.
What are the best tips to avoid problems?
To ensure that your virtual meetings run as smoothly as possible, here is a list of simple but valuable tips. This way, there will be more chances of the meeting delivering the expected results, contributing to the well-being at work in such an atypical moment.
Hold your meetings in an appropriate environment
When it comes to setting up the workstation at home to attend a business meeting, the location must be carefully chosen. First of all, it needs to be quiet and still. This helps to avoid distractions and interruptions.
The background of the location, which will appear behind the camera, should be as neutral as possible so that it does not draw the attention of the other participants. A wall is most recommended, but a bookshelf with books from the office doesn’t usually create many problems either.
As much as the home office encourages the tempting urge to work in your pajamas, never show up for a virtual meeting dressed like that. Although some companies have flexibility in their dress code during the remote working period, the ideal is to attend these meetings in the same way as if it were face-to-face.
In other words, this also includes combing your hair and brushing your teeth. Such carelessness can generate embarrassment, so don’t ignore it just because you are working from home, ok? Besides avoiding embarrassment, this kind of care can help in the motivation of the workday.
Be careful with the camera and microphone
Before and during the meeting, be careful how you use the camera and microphone. With rare exceptions (such as a bad connection) it is not appropriate to leave the camera closed, as this cuts off visual contact with the other participants.
Anyone who is not speaking should leave the microphone off. This helps to avoid unpleasant noises while others are chatting, which can damage the momentum of the moment. For smaller errands, the chat feature that most video conferencing platforms make available to participants can be used.
Maintain a professional demeanor
Think of everything you would never do in a face-to-face meeting, and don’t do any of it in a virtual meeting. So, never run away from the subject of the meeting, do not interrupt the other participants, and, whenever it is your turn to speak, try to be clear and concise in your message. Don’t forget to greet the other participants as a sign of politeness and consideration for their participation.
Test everything in advance
Always set aside a few minutes before any meeting to test everything that will be used. Open the platform used, see if the connection is stable, and if the microphone and camera are working accordingly. Such care prevents setbacks from preventing your participation or delaying the progress of the appointment, which always generates irritation.
Another tip to avoid being late is not to connect to the meeting at the last minute. All participants should, whenever possible, be present a few minutes before the scheduled time. This way, any problems can be solved in time, without delaying the start of the activity.
Draw up a script and separate the documents
Will you be using a PowerPoint presentation? Have it saved and easily accessible before the meeting starts and test it more than once in advance. Whenever you share your screen to show any document, be careful not to expose sensitive information.
To optimize the meeting time, it is always worthwhile to develop and share in advance a script with all the topics that will be discussed. Any documents important to the discussion should be shared in advance as well.
Finally, exercise patience. Everyone is subject to a connection bottleneck or some inconvenient noise during the meeting, such as the noise of the children or the dog, for example. In most cases, it is possible to take such mishaps without much effort and keep the meeting going.
When it comes to promoting more productive and enjoyable virtual meetings, it is up to HR to establish some rules of good conduct (such as those shown here in this article). HR professionals can reinforce that such meetings should always be scheduled in moderation, to avoid the fatigue caused by too many of them, something that is becoming increasingly common.
Even after the pandemic, video conferencing is expected to be widely used, as it is practical and reduces travel costs. So, to facilitate the adaptation to this “new normal”, adopt these tips on virtual meeting etiquette and get the best out of these tools.
What to look for in a virtual meeting room?
In a world with less and less time to perform tasks, corporate mobility gains a fundamental role in companies. If you do not know this concept, know that it’s time to learn more about the innovations that allow connecting managers and employees in various parts of the world. And what about starting by setting up an ideal conference room for you to handle strategic matters?
Companies today have adopted decentralized structures in the distribution of human resources – both in relation to management and other employees. The strategy is linked to the need to expand to numerous markets, taking advantage of all existing business opportunities.
What is corporate mobility?
Corporate mobility defines the essence of many companies today, and makes it possible to do business in various parts of the country – and the world. For this, it is necessary to develop technological tools that allow employees to access emails via tablets and smartphones, and to be connected to the network 100% of the time, shortening the path of the decision-making process.
In fact, the great objective of corporate mobility is to enable the employee to work at a distance with the same resources that would be available at his desk. This is a virtualization of the work environment made possible by the technological advances of recent years.
What about the virtual meeting room?
Faced with the concept of corporate mobility, it is easy to understand the fundamental role of virtual meeting rooms for holding conferences.Meetings are already part of the routine of most companies and, with distance working, they need to undergo some changes. After all, it is not always (or almost never) possible to gather all participants in the same physical environment.
To solve the problem, once again technology comes into play in the service of corporate mobility. Nothing can be lost in a meeting room, be it a meeting between teams or a conversation with a client. Thus, it is necessary to look for equipment that ensures that the meeting takes place between participants separated by great distances, as if they were all in the same environment.
It is therefore essential to use quality resources, such as powerful microphones, high-definition screens, stations for connecting different equipment, and so on. Let’s explore this topic a little further. From now on, you will learn how to set up a top-quality structure for your virtual meeting room.
One of the main elements of a good conference room is the projection screen and it should be versatile, visible, and well integrated into the environment. It must be suitable for video presentations as well as for the projection of graphs, spreadsheets, and images.
The screen must be of an adequate size so that it can be seen from different points in the room, and it must be integrated with the computers. Some modern screens have touch screen functionality, very useful in presentations.
Video Conferencing System
Videoconferencing is a meeting model that is being used more and more, precisely because of the practicality of bringing together several professionals located in different places around the planet.
For the meeting to be productive, it is fundamental to have a good high-resolution camera and a sound system (microphone and speakers) that works without interferencesor squeaks.
It is important to remember that the sound must be crystal clear to all participants in the meeting. Otherwise, the meeting may not be productive. It is also essential that reliable software be installed to manage the video conference, ensuring the integrity of the system and the security of the information.
PoE – or Power over Ethernet – is one of the great trends in terms of electronic equipment installation. It is the use of the Internet to feed the existing resources in the conference room, eliminating the need for power outlets. Thus, it is possible to save energy and better organize the environment, without so many scattered wires.
In addition to linking all the computers into a single transmission center, the system allows the sharing of files and information among participants, increasing the feeling of interactivity.
A good meeting room needs a well-mounted telephone system. For this, it is necessary to use the resources available in the market, to obtain multiple lines and good quality calls. Today’s corporate phone handsets have systems such as data encryption, Ethernet outlets, and LCD screens that allow for one-to-one video conferencing.
Sound Insulation System
The isolation must be efficient. This means that the meeting should not be impacted by sounds coming from outside. Also, especially when it comes to confidential matters, the sound should not be audible to anyone who is not present in the room.
Sobriety should mark the lighting of the whole office in general and the video conference room is no exception. To improve the comfort of the participants, it is possible to adopt dimmable lights, which can darken or illuminate the environment, according to need.
Depending on the size of the company, the ideal is to have more than one meeting room, so that you have options when it comes to holding the meetings. A small room should accommodate between two to six people comfortably.
A medium-sized room should be prepared to host six to twelve people, while a large room needs to be able to accommodate about twenty participants or more.
As you have seen, without a suitable conference room your corporate mobility plan can suffer. This means that you will have fewer employees and directors available at key moments, missing out on important business precisely because you don’t have the best resources. And in today’s extremely competitive market, this is unacceptable.
So, now that you know how to set up a good conference room, how about continuing the strategy? A concept also related to corporate mobility is that of visual attendance, another major trend in the current business market and you will learn all about it and see how to implement it in your company.
Have you ever attended, or even facilitated, a virtual meeting where you had trouble following the discussion and realized that not everyone was able to actively participate? Or that they couldn’t reach a concrete conclusion at the end of the conversation?