April 24th, 2020 | Updated on June 28th, 2022
One in five Americans works from home at least one day per week. As a result, virtual meetings with clients and colleagues are becoming more and more common.
Thanks to the best online platforms for virtual meetings, such as Slack, Zoom, and Skype, we can connect to anyone in the world from the comfort of our homes.
But it’s important not to let our standards slip just because we’re out of the office.
A virtual meeting plagued with technical problems, sound failures, and distracting visuals can make you and your brand appear sloppy and inefficient. As such, it pays to be prepared before you hit the call button.
Read on to find out how to make your virtual meetings look professional every time.
1. Treat It Like A ‘Real’ Meeting
You wouldn’t roll up to the office in sweat pants with a snack on the go, so don’t even think of doing this in a virtual meeting.
Even if no one can see your bottom half, clothes have an impact on your attitude and your performance. Make sure to swap those sweatpants for some dress pants.
Keep a pen and paper next to you for notes and a glass of water for hydration but leave snacks out of the room.
And make sure to follow professional meeting etiquette at all times with friendly but formal greetings and introductions.
2. Create The Right Setting
You might not be in an office but you want wherever you’re calling from to fit the bill.
Clutter and dirty dishes in the background are obvious no-nos but it’s not always easy to find a suitable space in a busy home.
Make things easier by using a Zoom background for meetings that fits with your brand. This also helps your virtual meeting setting stay consistent, even if you change locations.
For optimal sound quality, choose a carpeted room for your virtual meeting. Or, if that’s not possible, lay down a rug and decorate with cushions.
These textile additions will help reduce reverberation to avoid that distracting echo-filled sound.
3. Know Your Angles
It’s common for people to place their laptops on their desks when video conferencing, often meaning you have to look up each other’s noses throughout.
Avoid this by placing your laptop on a box or a stack of books to ensure that your webcam is at eye-level.
You might still have a view of the other person’s nostrils but at least your screen image appears as it would in a face-to-face meeting.
4. Test The Technology
Even when using some of the best online platforms for virtual meetings, technical issues can still crop up.
But you can reduce the likelihood of encountering technical surprises by testing the web conferencing app you plan to use.
Better yet, schedule a quick virtual meeting with a friend or family member beforehand.
This trial run will allow you to check the sound, visuals, and connection, grant all the necessary app permissions and turn off distracting notifications.
5. Make Your Virtual Meetings More Professional
While virtual meetings might seem simple enough, we’ve all attended ones fraught with problems.
By following this advice and treating every virtual meeting as if it were face-to-face, you can help avoid these problems and ensure professionalism every time.
For more technology tips and news, be sure to check out our other blog posts!