10 Online Meeting Tips and Tricks

Host and attend online meetings like a pro with these do's and don'ts.

1. Get a room

A lot of people freeze up when a camera focuses on them, but they sure release those inhibitions when they’re in the background. It may not always be possible, but finding a quiet room to use during online meetings will keep the outside conversations and interference from your office’s amateur comedians to a minimum.

2. Be aware of your background

Your background is an important part of video conferencing—if viewers can’t see anything behind you, you’re probably sitting too close to your webcam. With that in mind, take care to keep your background presentable—a messy or work-inappropriate background can distract from the meeting and hurt your credibility.

3. Clean up your desktop

When you’re presenting, add your screen’s desktop to the list of potential distractions. Instant messages, desktop notifications and work-inappropriate desktop images create diversions—potentially embarrassing diversions.

4. Stay focused

Ninety percent of communication is from non-verbal cues. So just because you’re not in the same room as the other meeting attendees doesn’t mean you can goof off. Pay attention and act like your webcam is always on—that way you’ll look and sound invested in the conversation.

5. Look into the camera
Having a webcam isn’t enough to improve communication—you also need to point it at your face, because people don’t want to talk to your forehead. So take a look at your own webcam feed, make any necessary positioning adjustments and look into the camera when you speak.

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