Siina Surakka

Siina Surakka


Virtual Meeting Etiquette to Ensure Professionalism

Virtual meeting norms are essential to ensure clarity and prevent confusion within a virtual team. Here we have rounded up the most essential ground rules for virtual meetings.

Virtual Meeting Etiquette to Ensure Professionalism - Neomeet

Physical meetings are getting rare day by day and it’s the virtual meeting that is taking the place. Unlike physical meetings, virtual meeting norms are slightly different and it’s better to take a look at those.

Many virtual meetings are held over the phone rather than in person. Participants can use their telephone to listen and speak about what is being discussed.

Web based meeting platforms like Neomeet, Zoom, Meet or Skype can be a great option to maintain all the ground rules for virtual meetings.

Hands-free devices are often used for virtual meetings to remain free to take notes or otherwise participate in virtual discussion.

Following virtual meetings etiquette ensures everyone has an enjoyable virtual meeting experience regardless of location.

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Virtual Meeting Etiquette Basics

The following virtual meeting etiquette basics apply whether attending a virtual meeting by landline or mobile phone:

  • Stand by your phone; the virtual meeting will be starting soon!
  • Silence all rings, alerts, and audible notifications on your device (unless it’s an emergency).
  • Turn your mobile phone to vibrate mode or turn the ringer off.
  • During virtual meetings, try not to move about or fidget too much. Remain seated and still so as not to disrupt virtual meeting participants.

Ground rules for virtual meetings

Virtual meetings and online seminars have become commonplace today, and ground rules need to be established in order for the meeting to run smoothly. Whether you’re running a virtual meeting or participating in one, it’s important that everyone involved follows these ground rules:

Make your requirements clear

Establish what you want from each other before the meeting occurs. This includes asking about general knowledge of technology such as microphones and webcams, as well as expectations on time commitment for people who are taking part.

You can also discuss how long the meeting will last, whether there is a possibility of ongoing sessions, etc. Asking these questions beforehand helps avoid confusions later on which can affect productivity during the event.

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Provide all the necessary context

Provide context leading up to the actual virtual meeting. If there is a physical location where the meeting will take place, you can provide directions ahead of time to avoid any confusion during the event.

This also helps those who are more familiar with your office’s surroundings, so they can arrive at exactly the right time on their own. Similarly, ask about ground rules for technology such as microphones and webcams beforehand so that everyone has a baseline idea of how it works.

Ensure security

Use strong passwords for participants’ accounts. It’s important to ensure security before the virtual meeting starts by setting strong passwords for anyone joining from another computer or device.

Weak passwords leave room for potential intrusions into accounts which could compromise the integrity of the whole meeting process. In addition, don’t give others your password or share it with anyone.

Keep meeting free of cyber bullying

Use ground rules to set guidelines for cyber bullying, hate speech, discrimination, etc. Virtual meetings are not immune to these kinds of behavior, and establishing ground rules beforehand allows you to handle them more efficiently later on.

For example, ground rules can include having zero tolerance for derogatory remarks or discriminatory comments that might offend certain participants or groups of people during the virtual meeting.

It’s important that ground rules put out there before the event minimize instances where this behavior occurs so everyone remains productive throughout the session without worrying about these distractions.

Monitoring is the must

Make sure everyone is following the appropriate ground rules by monitoring their behavior during the virtual meeting accordingly. While establishing ground rules ahead of time helps anticipate what problems may arise during the virtual meeting, actually checking on participants during the event is just as important. 

Though ground rules may be set ahead of time, it’s also necessary to note whether anyone is not following them and address those instances as soon as possible.

Wrap up properly

Log out or shut down your accounts after use. If you’re running a virtual meeting from your own device, make sure that you log out of any accounts before leaving it unattended.

This includes making sure no one else can access your account without a strong password if you don’t want things compromised. For everyone participating in a virtual meeting from their own devices, remember to close all browser tabs and programs so they cannot be accessed by others who might attempt to hack into them mid-meeting.

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Virtual Meeting Etiquette for Participants

Virtual Meeting Etiquette for Participants - virtual meeting legal issues - Neomeet

The following virtual meeting etiquette applies whether attending a virtual meeting by landline or mobile phone:

If you dial into a virtual meeting, be sure to double-check your telephone system settings before beginning the virtual session (e.g., mute key, auto-answer option). This will ensure that you do not accidentally interrupt the virtual meeting by answering an incoming call during the virtual meeting.

  • Never dial into virtual meetings using your phone’s loudspeaker function.
  • Even if you are not speaking, be sure to mute your telephone to avoid being heard by virtual meeting participants.
  • When first joining a virtual meeting, identify yourself first before beginning to speak. This allows virtual meeting attendees to welcome you and make you feel more comfortable participating in the virtual discussion.
  • If you are not an active speaker during the virtual meeting, turn down or silence your telephone’s microphone so that virtual meeting participants do not hear background noise from your end of the line.

Virtual Meeting Etiquette for Hosts & Presenters

The following virtual meeting etiquette applies whether attending a virtual meeting by landline or mobile phone:

  • Speak at a volume that virtual meeting participants can hear; if you’re speaking too softly, virtual meeting attendees will not be able to listen to what you’re saying.
  • If you must make any sounds (e.g., clearing your throat), make them brief and do not use sounds repeatedly throughout the virtual meeting.

Virtual Meeting Etiquette for Moderators & Facilitators

The following virtual meeting etiquette applies whether attending a virtual meeting by landline or mobile phone:

Moderators and facilitators play an important role in virtual meetings as they set the tone and pace of virtual meetings. Because moderators have more control over virtual meetings than hosts/presenters, they must carefully follow virtual meeting etiquette guidelines:

  • As virtual meetings can be extremely loud and crowded, moderators and facilitators should use an alternative communication method (e.g., instant messaging) to communicate with virtual meeting participants.
  • If the virtual meeting includes a chat feature, use it to communicate with virtual meeting attendees; avoid speaking too much during virtual meetings because this can confuse virtual meeting participants. Working as a team will ensure that no one’s voice is drowned out by others trying to speak at once.
  • Be familiar with virtual meeting rooms and virtual meeting technology (e.g., mute, chat features); it is difficult to moderate virtual meetings without these capabilities.
  • While virtual meetings can be useful tools for virtual collaboration and teamwork, they require your undivided attention. Do not attend virtual meetings if you know that you will be doing other activities such as checking emails or calling another person during the meeting (unless it’s an emergency).

Final words

The importance of virtual meeting etiquette is essential for an effective meeting that can bring some positive and productive outcome. Thus, you and your team members need to pay some extra attention so that the rules are set and maintained correctly.

To conduct a successful virtual meeting, you need the best web-based meeting software and a few can beat Neomeet.

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