Online meetings

Tips for online meetings

In recent weeks, online meetings have crept into many companies and organisations at an accelerated pace. In the meantime, many have also experienced that it is not easy. After all, we are made to sit together in a group. So how do we do it, if we can't do it for a while?

1/ Choose the right tool for your meeting.
Google and Microsoft offer their professional meeting tools temporarily for free and Smartschool launches Smartschool Live.
Google Hangouts Meet allows you to add 250 participants to a meeting.
Microsoft Teams is similar to Slack and enables video calls as well as chats and file sharing.
Whereby is free for up to 4 people. You don't have to download a file, but with URL you're in the right meeting room right away.

2/ Choose stable internet connection.
It is recommended to choose a fixed internet connection via cable as much as possible.
Wifi and 4G often give you a less stable network.

3/ Call in on time.
You can use the time you normally spend at the office to briefly prepare for a meeting to be held, here you can moustache the login details and add action points.
Nothing is more rude than keeping customers or colleagues waiting.

4/ Pay attention to ambient noises.
Preferably use a system that supports HD audio; it sounds like you're in one room after all.
Keep in mind that the people on the other side of the line can hear and / or see your children and / or dog ...
Needless to say, using chewing gum is out of the question...
A mute microphone can help and... mute yourself if you haven't spoken for a long time.

5/ Make sure everything works.
If you are leading the meeting, prepare the presentation in advance so that it can be started efficiently.
It is very annoying when half of the participants are hard to understand.
A good headset (which is charged) is recommended.
Check the tools regularly.
Do not place yourself with your back to a window. Because of the backlight you are completely in the dark.

6/ Be organized.
Send the agenda to all participants on time.
Assign a chairperson, who in turn will go over the way of working at the start.
Documents and presentations can enliven the meeting.
Make sure that irrelevant internet pages are closed.
Indicate when you want to speak, e.g. by 'hand' in chat.
For video call, it is preferable not to wear a pyjama vest in front of the screen.

7/ Be focused.
Checking Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is not done!
If you lose concentration, you will no longer be able to make a valuable contribution and you have a lot of chances of missing things.
This can also be a reason for mixing things up.
Since this way of meeting often requires more time and concentration than a meeting where one is 'physically' present, this is best taken into account in timing and planning.
It can be useful to use part of your screen for notes.
For example, you can do this with a page in Google Docs or via Office 365 and Trello.

Used sources: a.o. KPN business, VRT nws

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