Web Meeting Etiquette
The growth of the Internet and the technology explosion has totally transformed the way we do business, ushering in countless options for sales, marketing, and customer relations. Some of the best webinar providers now allow us to hold web meetings where discussions can take place with anyone in any part of the world. It is a given that whether they are being held virtually or in-person, meetings are still meetings, and come with a code web meeting etiquette. This is not just for the sake of professional protocol, but also in the interests of productivity and public relations.
Web Meeting Etiquette: Step 1
The first thing to know about proper web meeting etiquette is that as participants are not at the same physical location, a round of introductions is necessary for everyone to know each other and feel connected. This helps to involve all parties attending the web meeting. This is a necessary element which should take place before the actual web meeting begins. In a larger web meeting with multiple participants, especially if there is no video element, speakers should also reinforce their identity before speaking each time. For example, saying “this is Bob again, I agree with Jill’s point . . .” will help to avoid confusion.
Web Meeting Etiquette: Starting the Web Meeting
The web meeting should be started about 15 minutes early, with a slide presentation confirming the details of the meeting. This could include the requisite audio information, meeting agenda, time, and protocols for joining and participating. The introductory stage is critical in web meeting etiquette because it also helps those who are unfamiliar with web meetings to get a feel of the interface and interactive elements of a virtual meeting.
Web Meeting Etiquette: Staying Focused
Part of the problem with using web meeting software is that since there is no physical proximity, there is a tendency to behave as if no one’s around. One may go about checking mail, answering phone calls, fiddling with papers or whatever it is that distracts attention. This is something which can severely affect the tone of a meeting, besides hampering effective communication. It is therefore imperative that all other priorities are put on hold like in a traditional meeting, and there are no distractions. It is vital to stay focused and concentrate on the issues at hand and also to respect the other participants by being attentive and responsive.
Web Meeting Etiquette: Remember to be Courteous
As in conventional meetings, courtesy goes a long way in making the experience of a web meeting pleasurable and productive. Proper web meeting etiquette dictates that there should be no monopolizing of the conversation, interruptions or irrelevant remarks. These are very basic rules, but nevertheless important. It is necessary to mute cell phones and speakerphones and also to close chat windows, during the web meeting.
Web Meeting Etiquette: Eye Contact and Listening
If using a webcam, maintaining eye contact during the web meeting is a crucial aspect of proper web meeting etiquette and effective communication. It enables the involvement of participants and helps in making the meeting more interactive and interesting.
Listening is an elementary aspect of any meeting, but more so in a web meeting where the participants are not physically present. The success of the web meeting would depend on the active involvement and interest of all the players and listening with attention and respect is an indispensable component.
Web Meeting Etiquette: Meeting Agenda
In web meetings, it is crucial to have a planned agenda and to ensure that it is followed carefully. There has to be a good facilitator who can work towards the inclusion of different people, and also to keep the web meeting on track. He/she should ensure that all participants are actively involved in the proceedings and engaged in the discussion, while keeping the meeting objectives in mind.
While conducting a web meeting, many of the same rules of etiquette apply as would in a face-to-face meeting. Additional web meeting etiquette rules will also apply out of necessity, such as prefacing a comment by identifying oneself. Some web meeting etiquette rules are also based on technical necessity—such as looking into the webcam, or shutting down other programs on your computer screen.Web Meeting Etiquette ,