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Online conferencing tips to have great online meetings

July 13th, 2020

We might all be feeling the technology strain since the COVID-19 pandemic and the self-distancing orders put in place and in-person meetings transitions to all taking place online instead. Granted in-person meetings are easier to have conversations based on body language and facial queues to indicate a question and wanting to speak next, but online it is a little more difficult, especially for questions (even with video). While some are able to return to the workplace with distancing requirements, or if you are still working from home, we know that the COVID-19 has changed the workplace, additionally with companies allowing part-time office attendance to allowing employees to work-from-home, or having more employees transition to home offices long term. Below are some tips to assist with online meetings and conferences:

  • Wait 3 seconds between answering questions (especially if the session will be recorded, or if conducting an interview)

  • Try to wait to the end to ask questions or to change subject matter

  • Use a raise hand feature if available to indicate that you want to speak

  • Take more notes so if something is mentioned you are not talking over someone but remember the point of the conversation to interject, or to ask a question, or to provide additional insight and detail later

  • Use a headset or ear buds with a microphone to minimize other distractions around the house or office

  • Try to avoid back and forth discussions or to have them in the chat and direct a primary to summarize or answer inquiries to minimize talking over other participants

  • Login with your name or change it during the session so the host can ask or answer questions directly to you: or to verify registered and online participants

  • Stay in focus on video 

  • Test your connections and devices (camera and microphone) prior to the online session

  • Designate a team member to monitor the chat and to provide assistance either on the phone or email for technical support if needed

  • Mute yourself upon joining a session, you will be able to unmute to ask questions, this helps with the background noise from you as a participant

  • If you are experiencing connectivity problems, at times disabling your video can help 

  • Speak slower and a little louder during online conferences: slower assists to make sure every word is being projected to the microphone especially if your connection is slower, louder helps make sure that your voice is getting picked up by the microphone unless you are wearing a headset. 

  • Look at the camera as much as possible – not the computer screen

  • Find an area with adequate lighting and a simple background, or a non-distracting background

  • Test your technology to see which device has a good microphone and camera built in (if you are not using external ones), not all devices are the same for video/microphone capabilities

As we work on flattening the curve of COVID-19 and resume more normal operations of business, video collaboration and conferencing are not going away and are here to stay as we continue working on the adoption of technology for personal and business.  We hope that the tips highlighted above can help ensure your next online event is easier to manage.