If you’re a mobile worker chances are you’ll be involved in a virtual meeting or two over the next few weeks. You are not in the office but people still want to talk to you, so they ask you to hook up on a virtual meeting platform, be it Skype or any other platform, and hold a meeting. While this may sound a simple affair, there are a few issues that you need to think about if you are taking part in a virtual meeting. Mobile workers need to be aware of these issues, and how to ensure they don’t cause nay problems when the meeting gets underway.
Your first dilemma is a lack of clarity. You never know when your words are being misheard, or even worse, misinterpreted, because you won’t necessarily see everyone who is involved in the meeting. So ensure that you enunciate your words carefully and clearly every time. The clearer you are in your speech, the fewer opportunities for a lack of understanding. If a lack of understanding is there, it could even mean that you lose work, get things wrong, or even lose a contract.
If you are taking part in a virtual meeting it is also important to bring a little context into your part of the conversation. People do not necessarily know where you are. If you can somehow provide some clues as to your whereabouts or what you are doing it will set them at ease more. If you are at home it is actually nice for the other attendees to hear a dog barking now and then, for example, or birds singing in the back garden. Allow your context to filter through because it does make for a better and more friendly meeting. Also, at the start of the meeting, explain where you are.
Be an active listener
Be an active listener, because people like that. It is much harder to feel comfortable in a meeting if you don’t feel you are being listened to. So offer plenty of verbal cues that show your fellow attendees that you are there, and taking note of what they are saying.
Remember to adjust your tone of voice every now and then while you are speaking, otherwise it makes for a very boring part of the conversion. If people cannot see you they are relying entirely on your voice for clues as regards the meaning and sometimes even the content of what you are saying. If you can offer this kind of context through the way you pitch your voice, it makes for a much more satisfying meeting for the other person.
So there are some tips on how to have a more satisfying meeting over the Internet. Remember to use these the next time you have a meeting, and you should find that things run a lot more smoothly. It is always important to bear in mind that people cannot necessarily see you, and that they cannot therefore easily understand your meaning.