ONLINE MEETINGS MADE SIMPLE

Online Meeting Etiquette: Manners Matter

Avoid miscommunication and ensure all participants feel valued and respected.

Online Meeting Etiquette

We've all heard the expression "mind your manners." While this saying may apply to our personal lives, it holds just as much weight in our professional lives. Consider the way you interact with your clients and your team in face-to-face meetings. Now think about how your online meetings are conducted.



Understand appropriate meeting etiquette for online calls

You may not have facial and physical cues to guide you through the conversation; however, displaying proper online meeting etiquette is equally important. An ill-prepared meeting makes a poor first impression and will impact how others view you and your company. It's crucial to establish proper meeting etiquette whether the participants are right in front of you or thousands of miles away. 

Here are some online meeting etiquette basics that will let you put your best foot forward: 

  • Creating a meeting etiquette policy. This can be as simple as putting together a quick bullet list of dos and don'ts before the meeting.

  • Communicating online meeting etiquette expectations. Send out a memo in advance to let the team know what your expectations are for the meeting. 

  • Establishing microphone and keyboard etiquette. Remind everyone that, as a rule, microphones should be muted at all times until someone is ready to speak. Make sure keyboards don't have the caps lock on if chat functioning will be used during the meeting.

Defining your company's client meeting etiquette doesn't need to be set in stone before your first meeting. During the call, note any issues that cause delays, friction, or confusion. As you fine-tune these issues, update your etiquette guidelines accordingly.

 

Take steps for facilitating online meetings

As you prepare for your meeting, follow these first steps:

  • When: Ask each attendee to choose three options from a range of available days/time slots for your online session. Naturally, this will lead to scheduling conflicts; however, depending on the size of your group, you should be able to narrow down one or two options that work for everyone. 

  • How: Make sure the platform or app you're using for your online meeting is communicated in advance. Encourage attendees to download the necessary software for a test run before the meeting.

  • Where: As the host, you need a space that's quiet and free of distractions. Nothing is more frustrating for online meeting attendees than loud background noise or poor audio quality.


How to run collaborative meetings

If your meeting is a collaborative one, make sure any documents or files that will be discussed are sent well in advance. Determine who will take on what role during the meeting. Ideally, the host, the note-taker, and the team member running Q&A should not be the same person. 


Follow these sure-fire tips for effective online meetings

One of the best practices on how to improve meeting effectiveness is proper planning. Prepping in advance for online meetings will likely increase attendance and promote engagement. These useful steps will help you create a successful framework for your meeting: 

  • Set the agenda: List the items that need to be addressed in your online meeting in a way that allows the discussion to flow from one topic to another. Be sure to share the agenda with the team before the meeting.

  • Choose the right time: If you're conducting an online meeting with a team in another time zone, make it as convenient as possible for them. 

  • Make invites firm but polite: Send meeting invitations well in advance, provide the agenda, and highlight that you expect participation.

  • Encourage attendance: Thank people in advance for attending and remind them that the meeting will start on time. 

  • Define goals: In addition to providing an agenda, list the goals you expect to achieve during your online meeting. Clarify if decisions will need to be made so attendees can prepare.


Follow these sure-fire tips for effective online meetings

Knowing how to run an online meeting with audio, video, and file sharing is vital to a smooth, trouble-free session. Do a practice run with coworkers before your first official meeting to ensure your location, software, and hardware are all working correctly.


You need to keep the meeting on track if you expect participants to remain attentive and engaged, so your agenda should be more than a simple to-do list. Include scheduled breaks for questions or comments, organize requests from attendees to share updates or expertise, and assign participants tasks to keep the momentum going.

As the host, knowing how to participate in meetings effectively can be a fine line to walk. You want to lead but not dominate. Don't be afraid to jump in if the meeting starts to derail and gently, but firmly, guide everyone back to the task at hand. 

 

Reap the benefits of online meetings run with proper etiquette

When you pay attention to how your online meetings are conducted and follow proper online meeting etiquette, your online sessions will become increasingly more effective. There are three final, yet critical, things to keep in mind:

  • Ensure everyone feels respected. Give all participants lead time to respond to meeting invitations, allow input into the agenda, and start and end meetings on time. 

  • Avoid chaos. Using appropriate meeting etiquette will prevent people from talking over one another, and a preset agenda will keep things on track.

  • Make sure cultural manners are observed. By establishing a clearly defined meeting etiquette policy, you can avoid faux pas that may potentially offend participants from more formal cultures. 


Follow these online meeting etiquette steps for your next virtual session and watch productivity and participation increase. By laying out your expectations, avoiding miscommunication, and ensuring all participants feel valued and respected, you'll be able to master effective online meetings in no time.

Holding an Online Meeting

What can I do with GoToMeeting?

With GoToMeeting, you can deliver presentations, perform product demonstrations, brainstorm with colleagues and securely share confidential information online from anywhere at any time. Your meetings can be one-to-one, or you can meet with multiple people at once.

Presentations: Give a slideshow to your online audience and reduce travel costs.

Demonstrations: Show prospects how your product works by inviting them to view a demo in real time, whether they are across town or a thousand miles away.

Work together: Meet with others online to share, discuss and edit any document. Transfer presentation controls to other attendees.

How do I start using GoToMeeting?
Simply register for your free trial now. After the quick automatic setup is completed, you can immediately begin using it.
Do I have to be at my computer to hold a meeting?
No, you can hold a meeting from any computer – or even a mobile device – as long as it has Internet access. Just log in with your account email and password at www.gotomeeting.com.

Hold a scheduled meeting: Your scheduled meetings will be listed under My Meetings – just click the Start Meetingbutton next to the meeting you want to start.

Hold an instant meeting: Click the Host a Meeting button, then choose the Meet Now button. Your meeting will start immediately. To invite people to your meeting, click the Invite Others button in the control panel. A window will open with instructions for joining that you can email, instant message or tell your attendees over the phone.

To schedule a meeting: Click the Host a Meeting button, then choose the Schedule Meeting button. Fill out the meeting information and click the Schedule button. A meeting invitation email will launch automatically.
How do I start an impromptu meeting?
On a PC
There are several ways to start a one-click impromptu meeting:
· Double-click the GoToMeeting system tray icon.
· Click the Meet Now button integrated into Microsoft Outlook and various instant-messaging applications.
· Scheduled meetings can be started with one click from the My Meetings web page after logging in to the GoToMeeting website.

On a Mac
Just click the GoToMeeting icon in the dock and then click the Meet Now button.
Your meeting will start and the GoToMeeting organizer control panel will appear on the right side of your desktop.
How do I schedule a meeting?

On a PC
To schedule a meeting in advance, right-click the GoToMeeting system tray icon on the bottom-right corner of your screen, select Schedule a Meeting... and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the Schedule Meeting dialog box, enter your meeting information and click the Schedule button.

You will be notified that your meeting has been scheduled. If you are using Microsoft Outlook, a meeting reminder will be generated and give you the option of inviting attendees via an Outlook Calendar appointment.

On a Mac
To schedule a meeting in advance, click the GoToMeeting icon in the dock, select Schedule Meeting and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the Schedule Meeting dialog box, enter your meeting information and click the Schedule button. You will be notified that your meeting has been scheduled.

How do I set up recurring meetings that I can use any time?

On a PC
To set up a recurring meeting, right-click the GoToMeeting system tray icon on the bottom-right corner of your screen, select Schedule a Meeting... and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the Schedule Meeting dialog box, click the check box next to Recurring meeting. This will disable the scheduling settings, keeping the meeting open and available in My Meetings until you delete it. Click the Schedule button.

You will be notified that your meeting has been scheduled. If you are using Microsoft Outlook, a meeting reminder will be generated and give you the option of inviting attendees via an Outlook Calendar appointment.

On a Mac
To set up a recurring meeting, click the GoToMeeting icon in the dock, select Schedule Meeting and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the Schedule Meeting dialog box, click the check box next to Recurring meeting. This will disable the scheduling settings, keeping the meeting open and available in My Meetings until you delete it. Click the Schedule button. You will be notified that your meeting has been scheduled.

How do I start a scheduled or recurring meeting?
On a PC
To start a previously scheduled meeting, right-click the GoToMeeting system tray icon, select My Meetings and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the My Scheduled Meetings dialog box, select the meeting you wish to start and click Start.

On a Mac
To start a previously scheduled meeting, click the GoToMeeting icon in the dock, click the My Meetings button and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the My Meetings – GoToMeeting dialog box, select the meeting you wish to start and click Start.
Can I use GoToMeeting with email or instant-messaging applications?
GoToMeeting integrates with Microsoft Outlook and other popular email and instant-messaging applications, so you can easily start or schedule meetings while using them.
How do I save chat sessions from my meetings?
Under the File menu select Save Chat Log... This opens the "Save Chat Log to a File" dialog that allows you to store it locally.
How do I share one application and nothing else?
On a PC
A presenter can share a single application by right-clicking the screen-sharing icon on the control panel grab tab and then selecting the application to share from the list of applications presented.

On a Mac
Since specific screen sharing is not yet available for Mac users, we recommend you close any application you do not want to share before initiating screen sharing.
What do I do if my attendees can't see my screen?

Screen sharing needs to be turned on after starting a meeting – GoToMeeting starts with it turned off to prevent early attendees from viewing your preparation.

To enable screen sharing, click Show My Screen in the organizer control panel.

If attendees still can't see your screen, please contact Global Customer Support.


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