8 ways to make your online meetings better

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Smiling young woman working online with a digital tablet while sitting at her kitchen table at home

Working from home is not easy. After working at an office nearly all our professional lives, this new normal of working and conducting multiple meetings from home is weird for a lot of us. There are a lot of hiccups and obstacles as we try to navigate the daily load of work. From kids to cooking to social media to video calls from family and our pets are all big distractions when it comes to working.

Also, the lack of a proper office is something that makes working remotely even more problematic. Not everyone had an office or a quiet place to work on their projects. But now suddenly we are creating make-shift offices because that is the need of the hour.

The most important part of working from home is handling the online meetings. Most people conduct or take part in at least 10 meetings per day. They can be video conference calls or audio calls or so on. The quality of these online calls has to be great, otherwise; a lot could go wrong, or data can get lost in translation or so on.

Here in this article, we will look at seven ways that can help you make your online meetings better.

1.      Know your goals

Every person who has scheduled a meeting has a goal in mind. If you are that person, make sure that your agendas are clear. So, mention the meeting summary in the mail that you sent out.

Also, create personal notes or note down references in a notepad, so that while taking the meeting, you know what you want to talk about. If you have any questions, jot them down so that you cover every base.

The same goes for other people taking part in the online meeting. It is hard to set an online meeting due to a bad network connection or so on, so this tip will help you make the most of it.

2.      Keep the door close

You don’t want any distractions while taking a call from your superiors or team members. That is why, if you have the liberty to work in a room that separates you from your family or from people or pets you live with, do that.

Also, during times when you have a scheduled call, make sure that you keep the door closed. It is best as it ensures that you can concentrate fully on the meeting and there are no hiccups.

3.      Create a virtual background

A lot of us are using Zoom for doing online meetings. Now, if you are living with family or with roommates and don’t have the liberty to have a separate office, pick a corner.

It can be In your room, with a desk and chair, and preferably a neutral background.

If the background is a problem don’t worry, the Canva app has the perfect solution for you.

It has come up with a new feature that lets you create a virtual background for Zoom video calls. This way, no one has to see your Supernatural poster while trying to discuss the latest budgets with you.

 4.      Focus on the call

It is quite natural that sometimes we lose our focus while doing a call. Most of the time, the reason behind the same is the fact that we are multi-tasking. Playing on our phone, or surfing social media on a computer, and so on.

But this is wrong. You have to respect the person who has scheduled a meeting and make sure that you focus on it fully.

5.      Troubleshoot all your tech

For a smooth online meeting, you need a good internet connection, a working laptop, and good speakers and headphones. Before an important meeting or every meeting, it is smart to make sure all the tech equipment is working properly or not.

If for instance, your Wi-Fi is not working properly, you can connect the laptop with your phone’s hotspot, and be ready for the call.

6.      Start the meeting with an ice-breaker

Online video calls can be awkward a lot. You don’t know what to say in the beginning and how to get the meeting going.

But don’t worry, a few simple sentences can help you break the ice, like:

  • Start with a simple Good morning or so on.
  • Ask how the isolation is going on?

Ending the meeting should be casual too, as you are not going out of the room, you can end it with:

  • That’s all for now, thank you, everyone. See you next time!

7.      Don’t let a small mistake haunt you

It is quite common that a mistake here and there will happen while you are on an online video call. Maybe your pet comes crashing in or so on.

Let that go, don’t dwell on it because no one will. Everyone is in the same situation, so don’t worry too much about it.

The best thing to remember is that you join the meeting on time. If due to any problem, you cannot make it, let the team know in advance, that is the polite thing to do.