Online meetings are becoming the main way for senior executives to communicate. Online board meetings are especially difficult to navigate since aspects like posture, eye contact, and even background distractions can affect the efficiency of the board meeting. For a virtual meeting to be successful, you first need to create a strong culture with the online team, as well as learn the proper virtual meeting etiquette.
Due to the pandemic, non-verbal contact between people has become less. Video communication is a new alternative to meeting offline. Home clothes, a wrinkled hairstyle, or a sleepy look are unlikely to impress the team and partners. Getting into the habit of cleaning up in the morning, even remotely, is a good way to gather strength and get the right work attitude.
When you see someone for the first time or are about to have a serious conversation, it’s best to forego the virtual background. Instead, choose a neutral home wall for the background. If there is no suitable space, try to install a computer or camera so that there is no doorway behind you. The accidental appearance of a child or other family member in the frame can confuse board meeting participants.
To keep your face well lit, turn on a desk lamp behind your laptop or sit in front of a window. However, it is better not to sit with your back to daylight since this will make the image fuzzy and dark.
Any offline meeting always has an initiator, who eventually also acts as a moderator. He/she sets the general topic of conversation and gathers everyone in one place. The online moderator has more responsibilities. He/she has to monitor timing and technical problems, and also stop the confusion in time. For instance, “mute” participants arguing off topic. It is worth preparing for this in advance and exploring all the features of the software. The effectiveness of the call should be higher than the usual meeting.
Online Meetings Disputes
One of the nuances of an online board meeting is that the participants will not be able to argue with each other in the same way as in a real meeting. The meeting organizer or a designated moderator should monitor compliance with the time limit. To keep the attention of the participants in an online meeting, they have to be involved in the process. You have to explain your every action: select the desired file, switch between applications or open access to the desktop. So, the participants will more closely follow all the manipulations taking place on the screen.
Before an offline board meeting, you can walk around the office and wink at a colleague: “We’re going in a couple of minutes, come to the meeting room.” In reality, you immediately see if one of the participants is busy: one is on the phone, and the other is late for a meeting with a client. The board meeting will have to be moved 5-10 minutes ahead.
Finding out the readiness of the team for the call online is the direct task of the organizer or moderator. Email participants a couple of minutes before the meeting to quickly find out if there are any delays. Otherwise, everyone will have to knock on private messages right during the video call. This will cause embarrassment and take time from “punctual” colleagues.