17 ways to be a better participant in virtual meetings

Virtual meetings are held every day and everywhere. Many different people from various cultures could attend these virtual meetings. It is important that all participants know how to prepare for and participate in virtual meetings. If you do not prepare and participate properly, the meeting will not be as successful as it could be. Additionally, more meetings may be required for attendees to “understand” that they are making the meeting more effective. Here are seventeen ways to prepare to be a good participant in a virtual meeting.

Prepare in advance:

1. Make sure you have the required login information and documents at least one hour before the meeting time.

2. Use a headset for a better voice over the microphone and to hear the voices of others without disturbing those outside the meeting.

3. Eliminate distractions from the meeting area, if possible.

4. Turn off email, text messages, or the phone that may interfere with focus while attending.

5. Dress as if you are sitting in the meeting, as the webcam may be on.

6. Post a sign that says “in a meeting” to prevent people from interrupting.

7. Eat before or after the meeting, not during the meeting because accidents happen or questions may arise in the middle of chewing.

8. Log into the session a few minutes early so the facilitator knows when everyone is present.

Participate during the time:

9. Introduce yourself before the meeting begins, if allowed.

10. Use “mute” when not speaking to prevent noise from entering the session.

11. Say the name before speaking so everyone knows who is speaking.

12. Stay focused on the meeting topic and agenda times.

13. Consider others and give them time to finish talking before answering or asking a question.

14. Keep comments and questions concise and to the point, as meeting time is valuable and often short.

15. Please allow pauses as the retransmission / reception time may be slow.

16. Limit movement and gestures, if using video or webcam, as it can cause blurry reception.

17. Record personal action items and request or suggest a deadline before the close of the meeting.

The seventeen ways to be a better virtual meeting participant should help make meetings more effective and reduce the number of meetings needed to achieve better results. With these tips, global members learn the best way to prepare for and participate in a virtual meeting. No matter where they are during virtual meetings, they can be more effective attendees and help the meeting achieve the desired results if they learn to prepare and participate accordingly.