10 January 2024

50 Rules for an Awesome Online Business Meeting

By Ronald Smith

Let me tell you about 50 fantastic rules that will make your online business meetings rock!

1. Check your tech: Make sure your internet connection is strong, your camera is working, and your mic is clear. We don’t want any technical hiccups!

2. Dress to impress: Even though we’re not in person, dress sharp and show that you mean business.

3. Be on time: Show respect for everyone’s time by logging in on schedule.

4. Introduce yourself: Say hello and let everyone know who you are at the start of the meeting.

5. Stay focused: Pay attention to the discussion and avoid distractions.

6. Be prepared: Come to the meeting with all the materials you need, such as reports or presentations.

7. Mute when needed: Keep background noise to a minimum by muting yourself when you’re not speaking.

8. Raise your hand (virtually): Use the raise hand function or a polite gesture to indicate you want to speak.

9. Be concise: Get to the point and avoid rambling. Keep your contributions short and sweet.

10. Listen actively: Give your full attention to what others are saying and resist the urge to interrupt.

11. Avoid multitasking: Focus solely on the meeting and avoid working on other tasks simultaneously.

12. Use visual aids: Share your screen when necessary to support your points and make the meeting more engaging.

13. Respect the agenda: Stick to the topics at hand and avoid going off on tangents.

14. Stay positive: Maintain a friendly and encouraging tone throughout the meeting.

15. Be patient: Understand that technical issues or delays can happen, so practice patience.

16. Avoid side conversations: Keep the discussion inclusive by avoiding private chats during the meeting.

17. Use appropriate language: Be professional and avoid using slang or inappropriate words.

18. Be mindful of your body language: Smile, maintain eye contact, and sit up straight to show you’re engaged.

19. Don’t monopolize the conversation: Give others a chance to speak by keeping your contributions balanced.

20. Be respectful: Treat everyone in the meeting with respect, regardless of their position or opinion.

21. Avoid eating: Munching on snacks can create distracting noises, so save your appetite for after the meeting.

22. Keep your background professional: Choose a neutral and clutter-free background to maintain a professional appearance.

23. Speak clearly: Enunciate your words so everyone can understand you.

24. Take turns: Wait for your turn to speak and avoid interrupting others.

25. Be open to feedback: Listen to constructive criticism and be willing to learn and grow.

26. Recognize achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate successes within the team.

27. Use inclusive language: Avoid assumptions about gender, race, or other personal attributes that may exclude others.

28. Be solution-oriented: Instead of just pointing out problems, offer potential solutions.

29. Follow up: Take notes during the meeting and follow up on any action items promptly.

30. Avoid distractions: Close unnecessary tabs or programs on your computer to stay focused.

31. Have a backup plan: Anticipate possible technical difficulties and have a backup device ready if needed.

32. Be aware of your surroundings: Choose a quiet, well-lit area for your online meeting.

33. Engage with the camera: Look directly at the camera to create a sense of connection.

34. Be mindful of time: Stick to the allotted time for the meeting to ensure efficiency.

35. Use chat respectfully: Use the chat function for relevant questions or comments, avoiding unnecessary messages.

36. Stay positive: Maintain a can-do attitude and contribute to a positive atmosphere.

37. Give credit where it’s due: Acknowledge others’ contributions and give credit where deserved.

38. Embrace diversity: Respect and value different perspectives and experiences in the meeting.

39. Keep personal matters separate: Avoid discussing personal issues that are not relevant to the meeting.

40. Be proactive: Take initiative and offer assistance or suggestions when appropriate.

41. Stay engaged: Show enthusiasm and interest in the topics discussed.

42. Minimize background distractions: Ensure your surroundings are tidy and free from distractions.

43. Keep an eye on the chat: Stay attuned to the chat for any important updates or questions.

44. Practice active listening: Show that you’re paying attention by nodding or providing verbal cues.

45. Use humor wisely: Inject tasteful humor to lighten the mood, but avoid being disruptive.

46. Respect breaks: Use designated break times for personal needs, so the meeting can resume promptly.

47. Avoid inappropriate backgrounds: Choose a virtual background or a plain wall that is suitable for a professional setting.

48. Address interruptions politely: If someone interrupts, calmly request to finish your thought before politely acknowledging their input.

49. Wrap it up nicely: Summarize the key points before ending the meeting to ensure everyone is on the same page.

50. Express gratitude: Thank everyone for their time and contributions to wrap up the meeting on a positive note.

By following these 50 rules, you’ll be well on your way to having productive and enjoyable online business meetings! Let’s make the most of our virtual connections and keep the business rolling!

50 Rules for an Awesome Online Business Meeting

If you’re like me, a small business owner, I bet you’ve been finding yourself in more and more online meetings lately. It’s a whole different ball game compared to the old days when we would gather around a conference table or visit a client’s office. There are some important things to keep in mind to make sure we’re respectful to everyone in these virtual meetings. That’s why I want to share 50 tips for online business meeting etiquette with you.


Tips for Online Business Meeting Etiquette

Only Schedule Meetings When Necessary

The first and most important rule, whether it’s an online meeting or not, is that there should be a clear purpose. If it’s something that can be resolved quickly through an email or another more efficient way, let’s save everyone’s time and avoid having the whole team sit through a lengthy meeting.

Invite the Right People

When it comes to meetings, it’s important to only include those who really need to be there. If you invite someone who doesn’t need to be involved, you’re just wasting their time.

Avoid Surprising Guests

Make sure everyone knows who will be attending the meeting. You don’t want anyone to be caught off guard when it starts.

Consider People’s Availability

When planning online meetings, it’s a good idea to ask the essential participants which times work best for them. Instead of just scheduling the meeting and sending out invitations, take their availability into account.

Send a Formal Invitation

Once you’ve chosen a date and time, send out an official invitation using a program like Google Calendar. This way, people can easily reserve that specific time on their schedules.

Confirm if Needed

If you’ve scheduled a meeting well in advance, it’s a good idea to quickly confirm with the people you’re meeting with about a day beforehand, just to make sure we’re all on the same page.

Send Out a Detailed Agenda

Before the meeting, if possible, send out an agenda to everyone attending. This should be done at least a few days to a week before the meeting so that everyone knows what we’ll be discussing.

Provide a Schedule

It’s important to include specific times for each part of the meeting on the agenda. This way, attendees can plan out their day accordingly and know how long each topic will take.

Set Expectations

If you need people to bring any documents or materials to the meeting, like an important file or client contact information, please let everyone know beforehand. This way, we can all be prepared and have everything we need.

Ensure Access to Online Conference Rooms

Before you have a virtual meeting, it’s important to check in with everyone to make sure they can access the program you want to use. Give them plenty of time in case they need to download an app to join your meeting.

Test It Out First

It’s also a good idea for you to test your meeting app or program beforehand to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Choose a Good Username and Photo

If you’re using a program like Skype for meetings, make sure your username and photo are appropriate for professional meetings.

Double Check the Time Zones

When scheduling virtual meetings, make sure you know the time zones of everyone involved. Don’t assume that they are in the same zone as you.

Be Punctual

When it comes to attending a meeting, whether you’re in charge or just a guest, it’s essential to be punctual. Actually, being slightly early is a good idea to be on the safe side.

If You Can’t Make It, Give a Call

If a sudden emergency or conflict prevents you from attending a meeting or makes you late, it’s important to inform the host or other participants as soon as possible. If the conflict comes up on the same day as the meeting, it’s best to call them to ensure they receive your message.

Wait for Everyone to Arrive

Once you have joined the virtual meeting or entered the online conference room, greet the participants as they join, but wait until everyone you expect to be there has arrived before getting started.

Find a Quiet Spot

Get the Volumes Right from the Start

Hey, when we all hop on for an online conference, let’s say hello to check the volume and make adjustments right away if needed.

Dress the Part

If we’re joining a video conference, we should think about what we wear. It may not be as crucial as in-person meetings, but we still want to look professional.

Introduce Everyone

If we’ve invited people who might not know each other to an online meeting, let’s make sure to introduce them personally or give them a chance to introduce themselves at the beginning of the meeting.

Remember those Names

Whether we’re meeting someone for the first or seventh time, remembering names and using them when we greet people can make a big difference.

Stick to the Topic

When we’re in a meeting, sometimes we get distracted and start talking about other things. But it’s important to bring the conversation back to the main topic and be mindful of everyone’s time.

Speak Up

When you’re speaking in a meeting, make sure to speak clearly and loudly enough so that everyone can hear you.

Listen Before Speaking

When someone else is talking, it’s polite to let them finish before you share your own thoughts.

Wait Your Turn

If a question is asked to the whole group, it’s best to wait a moment before speaking. If others speak up immediately, wait for your turn. If no one says anything, then you can go ahead and share your thoughts.

Ask Permission for Long Thoughts

If you have something important to say but not enough time, it’s a good idea to ask if you can share it later. You can send an email or bring it up in another meeting.

Mute yourself when you’re not speaking

To prevent background noises from distracting others, simply mute yourself when you’re not talking for a while.

Listen closely

When others are speaking, make sure you really listen. You don’t want to miss anything and have to ask a question later.

Show that you’re paying attention

If you’re on a video conference, it’s important to show people that you’re listening. Don’t just focus on your notes. Look at them and practice active listening.

Be careful with jokes

If you want to add some fun to meetings, just make sure that the jokes you use are appropriate for the people you are talking to. It’s easier to be funny when you are talking to your close team members. But be more careful when you are meeting with clients or people you don’t know well.

Give Everyone Important Documents

If you talk about any important papers during the meeting, make sure to send them to the people in the meeting before or during the meeting so they can look at them.

Get Ready with Presentation Stuff

If you need any things like a projector or a computer to give a presentation, check that everything is working before the meeting. That way, you don’t have to waste time trying to fix it during the meeting.

Understand Who You Are Talking To

Put Away Your Phone

When we’re in meetings, it’s important to keep our phones silenced so they don’t interrupt.

Avoid Nervous Habits

Sometimes, when we’re in meetings, we have nervous habits like clicking pens or smacking gum. But we should try our best to avoid these habits during professional meetings.

Don’t Eat While Talking

It’s also not a good idea to eat during online meetings. So make sure you have a snack beforehand. If you need to drink water, try to do it when someone else is talking.

Set Time for Questions

If you’re leading the meeting, it’s a good idea to have a specific time set aside for questions. If you’re attending, make sure you know when that time is so you can ask any questions you have.

Don’t Take Over the Question Time

When it’s time for the question section, you can ask one or two questions. But remember to let others have a chance too, and don’t take over the conversation.

Give Credit for Ideas

If you bring up something during a meeting that wasn’t your idea, make sure to give credit to the person who came up with it. If you don’t, people will think it was your idea.

Talk About Personal Matters Later

If something comes up during a group meeting that only relates to you and one other person, find a time to discuss it after the meeting. That way, you won’t waste everyone else’s time.

Handle Mistakes Privately

Sometimes, a team member may make a mistake that affects the meeting. But don’t use the meeting time to lecture them. If necessary, have a private meeting with that person later to discuss it.

Stay Calm

When dealing with anyone, it’s important to stay calm and composed during a meeting.

Take Breaks for Long Meetings

If you’re hosting a meeting that will last for a few hours or more, make sure to schedule breaks so that people can grab a snack, check their phones, and use the restroom.

End on Schedule

Keep an eye on the clock throughout the meeting to ensure that you can end it at the time you promised.

Offer the Opportunity to Leave

If you didn’t have enough time to discuss everything you wanted to, you can ask if anyone wants to stay and finish the meeting. However, it’s important to give people the choice to leave on time if they have other commitments.

Express Gratitude to Everyone Present

If I’m the one who called the meeting, it’s important for me to express my gratitude to everyone who attended before they leave.

Be Mindful of Different Languages and Cultures

Sometimes, I might find myself in a meeting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. That’s why it’s crucial for me to respect and understand their language and customs as much as I can before the meeting.

Follow Up With Meeting Notes

Once the meeting is over, it’s a good idea for me to send out some notes or reminders to the attendees via email. If there’s nothing specific to address, I can simply send a quick thank you note.

Keep Meeting Details Confidential

It’s important to remember that anything discussed in the meeting should remain within the group of attendees, unless I’ve clearly stated otherwise. Sharing meeting details with people who weren’t there is not appropriate.

Take Care of Any Action Items