Tips for online meeting etiquette


Everyone senses the need for etiquette in online meetings but aren’t always aware of the small, subtle things that influence the tempo, flow and rhythm of an online meeting. And since our time is so precious, it’s worth knowing how to save time in online meetings by using good etiquette.

Etiquette doesn’t just mean being polite to your online colleagues, it means doing things right to reduce lengthy delays. Too many meetings are slowed down or delayed by poor audio quality, keyboard and mouse noise, or general background noise. Like typical human beings, we’ll blame the app, but not ourselves, for not learning how to work with the technology. So, here are a few simple well-proven tips for time-saving meetings.

Tip 1

No meeting can be successful with poor audio. Even when video quality is poor and audio quality is high, a meeting will be successful. Check that your headset is set up and working. Have a test meeting with a colleague to make sure. For Cisco Webex there’s even a test call app to check your settings.

Tip 2

Consider your environment. Take a moment to consider where you are and what people will see and hear. When you have a great audio set up, get ready for immersive video meetings by thinking carefully about:

  • Your background. Inspirational posters, quotes, or scenery work well.
  • Make sure your workspace has plenty of natural light
  • Watch out for background distractions, such as pets or the doorbell if you’re working from home

This is a bit more challenging with mobile devices when you’re travelling, but the next tip will help you meet on the move.

Tip 3

Wherever you are, put yourself on mute. In most cases you can mute yourself in two ways: either on your phone or by pressing a button in the online app. Get used to using these. They can save you time, unwanted attention and embarrassment. Many microphones pick up almost all background noise. If you have to multi-task during a meeting, the mute button is your friend to avoid everyone hearing any of your keyboard clicks. Just remember to unmute yourself when you start talking!

Tip 4

Pay attention to the meeting. It’s very easy to get distracted by stuff going on around you, your mobile phone, email, people. The more engaged everyone is in a meeting, the more successful it will be.

This is by no means a definitive list of tips, but they are crucial to successful meetings. As we all have more and more online meetings, in the future these best practices will become second nature.

Adé Benjamin

Adé Benjamin

Responsible for designing, developing and delivering adoption services for the world's leading real time collaboration technologies in the context of workplace transformation, change management and digital disruption.

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