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Sometimes, the devil is in the details, and neglecting the little details can have profound effects on how things go. This is especially true during video meetings. The big things — such as making sure that your space is presentable, you speak clearly, and the way you present things doesn’t bore everyone to death — are certainly important. But sometimes even small details in how you conduct a meeting can have a stronger influence than you’d think. Today, we are going to focus on some of these little things that could have enormous effects on your meeting experience.
Once in awhile, conversations have to become exclusive, despite the fact that there are more people present in the room. During group meetings, it’s almost inevitable that the conversation will transform into a one-on-one affair at some point. Don’t let this go on too long. If you are having a side conversation with someone, it’s considerate to try to include the group in the conversation or to say, “Let’s discuss this after the meeting” and move on to the next item that pertains to the entire group.
“Hmmmm? What’s that?” Probably the most annoying three words in a meeting. It lets everyone know that you — the meeting’s host no less — are checking your email or your texts during your own meeting. Yes, we all know it’s great that you can meet from Zoom right from your desktop, but it’s best to resist temptation to zone out and check a few emails. You will get caught, and your colleagues will not appreciate it. Minimize all the other windows and maximize your Zoom window to focus on the task at hand. If you’re waiting on a particular urgent matter, let the team know that you might have to step out for a moment at some point during the meeting so they know to continue on without you.
In personal conversation, adjusting your volume is simple. If the other person can’t hear you, talk louder. If they wince like you’re screaming, lower your voice. In a video conversation, your voice has one more added layer of amplification before it reaches the ears of the person on the other end. Your microphone will need to be adjusted so that the other person hears you clearly, but not too loudly.
Having a loud mic can give people the wrong impression, especially if you have a lot of background noise or are typing furiously right next to your mic. To know what other people hear, make a quick recording of a solo Zoom meeting and watch it. You could also simply ask your colleagues if you’re registering at a pleasant volume and adjust as needed.
Commentary is vital to the progress of a project and a team’s cohesion as a whole. If you have time to spare, don’t just invite people to ask questions; ask for their comments, too! Commentary often leads to out-of-the-box thinking. Asking for commentary means you expect honest opinions and forces people to evaluate what they really think of the discussion and the project.
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