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Etiquette for online meetings: 10 things you should know

It has become necessary for us to change the ways that we engage in most of our activities, especially since social distancing has become part of the new normal and will be around for quite a while.

For many of us who do either training or conduct business meetings/sessions, it has become necessary to engage in a lot of online discussions.

In order to ensure that we observe the correct protocol and etiquette, here are some tips on online meeting etiquette courtesy Protocol Expert, Sandra Basheer.

  1. Always be prepared

Create a plan, think it through thoroughly. Determine the purpose and objective of the meeting/session.

  1. Make sure everyone can access the meeting

Circulate dial-in information to prospective participants well in advance, so as to ensure you get the desired level of participation and can stimulate dialogue.

  1. Be prepared for technical difficulties

Have technical support available to assist should participants encounter login problems; never assume that everyone who is participating is techno-savvy.

  1. Communicate rules

Create a timetable for the meeting/session, inclusive of the operating rules and stick to it. At the start of the meeting advise all attendees of the rules.

  1. Record all sessions

Allow yourself the option of recording in multiple formats which you can make available on request. Also select tools which offer additional features: screen share, etc.

  1. Manage the pace at which you speak

If you speak loud manage your tone and if you speak soft, then speak into the microphone so as to enable all attendees to hear.

  1. Keep it professional

Dress appropriately, make eye contact and be aware of your body language and posture. Mute your microphone when you are not speaking to prevent background noise from being heard.

  1. Test your set-up

Log-in at least 5- 10 minutes before and test the audio and video feeds before launching.

  1. Designate a co-host

If your meeting/session has a co-host, remember to define his/her role before the session starts and brief him/her properly. Remind your co-host of the need to be attentive.

  1. Make it interactive

Identify a note taker and determine whether you will entertain questions during the meeting/session or would prefer to respond at the end. However, it may be necessary to stop and provide clarification from time to time.