Web Meeting Etiquette
Posted: September 17, 2014
As those of us who work virtually know, web conferencing is an invaluable method for connecting with clients and coworkers. When your meeting involves people across the country (or world), convenient tools like WebEx® can make it much easier for everyone to share information, discuss goals, collaborate on projects, and more. Earlier this year, we gave you some tips on conference call etiquette. Now we’d like to cover the four ‘A’s of web meeting etiquette!
Being on time is important for meetings of all types, but punctuality is especially crucial when it comes to web conferences, as there is often some preparation involved. Be sure to log on at least a few minutes before the meeting starts so you don’t keep others waiting. The more people that “join” early, the quicker everyone can get down to business!
The same distractions that apply to conference calls are relevant here. Avoid loud environments and multi-tasking while the meeting is in session to ensure full attention.
Additionally, keep your fellow attendees in mind. Mute your phone when you are not speaking so others don’t have to hear you breathing, eating chips, or coughing after one of the aforementioned chips goes down the wrong pipe.
If we were dogs, we could tell who was who by the sound of their voice. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), we are not dogs, and need a little help identifying each other over the phone. In large meetings, it’s best practice to begin your statement or question by introducing yourself. For example: start with, “This is [John Smith…” and then continue your comment as usual.
If you get tired of announcing yourself, there is also a “Call Me” feature, which will display your name onscreen whenever you are speaking. However, remember to mute when you’re not speaking so your name does not display every time your cat meows.
Our CEO, Debbie Wooldridge, has some great advice on sharing information during web conferences:
If you are going to share something — share the application, not your desktop — you don’t want something displayed that isn’t appropriate or pertinent to the meeting. If you must share your desktop, turn off your email and IM windows.
Be aware of what you are showing to others at all times. If you’re not careful, you could expose confidential or private information. Alternatively, you could be displaying the wrong data or screen — and attendees will wonder what on Earth you’re talking about!
To keep everyone interested and invested in what you have to share, use engaging and appealing visuals in presentations. Avoid displaying only text, but also avoid animations — not everybody’s internet connection is the same speed, and some may end up with a glitchy arrow moving across the screen.
We hope these four ‘A’s of “webiquette” will help you glide through the next web meeting!
What are some pros and cons of web meetings? Do you have any advice for those new to WebEx?