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Meeting Etiquette Guidance

Running a Meeting

Schedule meetings in advance

Make sure you invite the right people to a meeting, try to avoid inviting lots of people on a ‘just in case’ basis. Schedule meetings as far in advance as possible to give people sufficient notice.

Try not to schedule meetings ‘back to back’, give people time to recover in between meetings.

Colleagues with diverse schedules will appreciate you thinking about when the meeting should be held.

Set an agenda / Structure meetings

Setting the agenda is particularly important for virtual meetings as it allows attendees to understand the purpose of the meeting and why they are there. This is particularly helpful for more introverted people as it allows them to prepare for the meeting and feel comfortable contributing

Handy tip: Make sure to share the following beforehand:

  • Key discussion points.
  • Estimate of timings.
  • List of attendees.
  • What each person is responsible for bringing to the meeting.
  • Any relevant documents.
  • Time for attendees to network catch up or with each other.

 

Be on time to welcome attendees

It’s important that you are on time, or better still, early to the meeting. That way you can welcome attendees into the meeting and allow for some casual conversation and networking before the meeting starts. This is a good opportunity to check in with everyone and catch up. Not only will it boost engagement, but it also helps to build and strengthen working relationships.

Do introductions for attendees

Remember during virtual meetings you may not be able to see all attendees on the screen at the same time, so it is useful if everyone can introduce themselves at the start. Giving people this opportunity at the beginning of a meeting will make them more likely to contribute later on and it will also allow attendees to introduce themselves using the name they prefer.

Handy tip: Consider an Icebreaker to warm up a team and help them get to know each other virtually. More fun than a simple introduction, virtual meeting icebreaker games help teams to bond and foster connections.

 

Encourage everyone to contribute

It’s good practice to make sure everyone can contribute during any meeting, but more so when working virtually as it can be difficult to pick up on body language and non-verbal cues. It’s important to give less outspoken people the opportunity to contribute.

Handy tip: You can call on individuals to speak, even by virtually “going around the table” before a decision is finalised. This is a useful way of keeping people engaged during meetings.

 

Consider the wellbeing of attendees during a meeting

Think about the duration of the meeting. Keep to the time that you set. People may have other diary commitments, so allow 15 minutes in between meetings.

Make sure you make time for a break or a standing session during longer meetings so that staff can refill drinks, have a snack, stretch out or take a comfort break.

Attending a Meeting

Setting up for your meeting

Test all your technology before the meeting (e.g. checking the video works, Wi-Fi is connected etc.)

If supplied, read the agenda before the meeting.

Make sure your device and chair are at a comfortable height.

Handy tip: Join the meeting early to make sure all your technology is working.

 

Make your background appropriate

Think about what is behind you when you set up your camera. If you don’t want your colleagues seeing your laundry / collection of Star Wars figures, then move them or consider a different location. Microsoft Teams also allows you to change your background via the menu button on the video toolbar, which will help to disguise what’s behind you.

Dress appropriately

Working remotely may mean that you are not always wearing “office” clothing, however you should show respect for the other attendees by considering how you present yourself during virtual meetings.

Handy tip: Think about how you would dress for the same meeting if it were face-to-face (e.g would you wear pyjamas to the workplace?).

 

Use your video

Whenever possible use your video. It’s easier to build relationships when you can see who you are talking to.

Handy tip: You can create and join a ‘test’ meeting on Teams to check what your camera looks like.

 

Mute your mic

Remember to mute your mic unless you are speaking. Not muting your mic means other attendees may be able to hear every sound at your end, such as breathing, coughing or other background noises. You should unmute your mic only when you are directly contributing to the meeting.

Handy tip: Be patient and give people time to unmute their mic before responding. Also remember they may have a delay in network connection.

 

Raise your hand

During a meeting you can raise a virtual hand to let people know you want to contribute without interrupting the conversation. 

Click on the hand icon to raise your hand and the meeting presenter will receive a notification that your hand is raised. This will allow them to give you the opportunity to speak and avoid multiple people speaking at the same time.

Handy tip: It’s good practice to lower your hand after you have spoken to avoid confusion

 

Using the chat feature

The chat feature can be used for sending relevant links, sharing documents, suggesting something or asking a question.

Handy tip: You can refer back to this information by re-joining the meeting at any point.

 

Be present and contribute

Multitasking should be discouraged as you could end up losing focus and become distracted. Concentrate on the meeting at hand. Try to avoid touching using your phone or keyboard and only keep necessary tabs open.

Handy tip: If you need to “leave” your workstation for any reason it’s less disruptive if you switch of your camera and mute your mic whilst you are away.

 

Speak clearly and concisely

It’s important to speak clearly and concisely. Enunciating your words can get around any muffled microphones or poor-sounding speakers.

Handy tip: Think about where your microphone is, and check that nothing is interfering with the sound.

 

Sharing your screen

You can share your screen to show any relevant documents and visuals. However, when you screen share you lose the ability to see everyone in the meeting so be mindful if people are raising their hands – try not to share your screen too much.

Handy tip: When sharing your screen use the zoom function so that people can easily read what you are sharing.

 

 

 

Page updated: 09/03/2021 09:54:51