In the wake of the pandemic, businesses rushed to get their employees and staff ready to be productive and as active at home as they were in office. One key component to achieve this was communications – ‘virtual meetings’. Big techs quickly got to work and marketed their products left and right to get as much business as possible resulting in Microsoft, Zoom, Blue Jeans, etc. to sky rocket in popularity.
These solutions were relatively easy to deploy since the roll out was handled OTA (over the air) but what lacked was the training and support that most users needed to use these solutions. Here are some of the best practices that you can do to make your virtual meetings experience that much better.
We’re starting off with security as it’s often the most overlooked. Security is never convenient as convenience is never designed around security. Having said that, you can improve the over all security of your virtual meetings just by implementing a few things and of course being mindful of your surroundings.
- Use a Privacy Shutter / Web cam with a lid: There are plenty of options out there, we at Wondercomm have Privacy Guards and Camera Lids for all our streaming equipment.
- Always enable lobby and passwords for your meetings: Unless you’re confident, never start a meeting without a password. This prevents bad actors from entering into your meeting and stealing private data and information.
- When joining short links, always copy and paste the link in an incognito window on your browser with Camera disconnected or shut off. In this way you can verify if the meeting link is what it’s supposed to be and not malicious.
Be prepared for all the tools that your meeting will require, look at the agenda in advance so you can better equip yourself with all the necessary tools.
- Check how attendees will be joining (web audio, dial in)
- Has everyone downloaded the meeting client (if required)
- What desktop applications would you need? (Word processor, Spread Sheet, Presentation, etc)
- Will any of the material require real time editing?
- Take into account the available bandwidth.
and most importantly, do a dry run with just a couple of colleagues to make sure everything is working.
Whenever possible, make sure to have at least one technical resource by your side. They don’t have to be part of the meeting but they needs to be made aware of the meeting in case anything goes wrong, they can quickly spin up a back up meeting portal that everyone can join. Time is precious and business continuity is important.
Always keep a second chat window open in case you’re the moderator (and even if you’re not), so you’re aware of chat messages that need your attention.
Multi-tasking, background noise and clarity
It is important to not multi-task during a meeting. It’s tempting to check that message that just came in or that email that you’ve just received – Please No. It’s first of all bad manners to do that and two, it’s about being responsible. Turn off your cellphones, resist checking e-mails and stay alert in the meeting.
Invest in a good pair of speakers / head phones and mic. Time and time again, we cannot stress it enough – the whole experience for your participants depends on how well they can hear you. If you want your presence to be known, you must be audible more than anything else.
Plantronics C5220 is an excellent example of a headset, FiFine K66B is an awesome budget mic for those extended meeting sessions where headset is simply not comfortable.
Not only you’ll enjoy your meetings more, but also have clear audio from your device. Participants will be able to hear you better and you will see yourself participating in meetings more and more.
These are just some of the ways to take back control over your virtual meetings. Virtual Meetings are here to stay and are not going away anytime soon. Careful planning, chairing and facilitating the meeting are extremely valuable in helping to keep work moving, engaging a broader number of participants, and overcoming budget or travel restrictions.
Review this post before each virtual meeting. Encourage all participants to follow best practices. And if you learned something from this blog post, please share it with your friends, colleagues and anyone who wants to know more about best practices for Virtual Meetings.
Wondercomm Meetings is a secure and privacy focused Virtual Meeting App built for hosting up to 30 participants with audio, video, screen sharing, chat and dial in number with password. To learn more about how Wondercomm can help your business, please give us a call or send us an email.