by Farirai Macheka

With the advent of Covid-19, meetings transitioned to the online landscape. This however, has not stopped some from being fashionably late. 2020 ushered us into uncharted territory and with it a whole new rulebook. Still not clued up? Let us fill you in on the ones and twos of online meetings…you can thank us later.

Remember the guy who was left red-faced when his co-workers realised that he was only wearing shorts and a blazer. His video went viral and he was just the first in a long string of hilarious (some embarrassing) videos of people inappropriately dressed for virtual meetings. Words to live by, “dress appropriately.” Don't be that guy!! There is a persistent temptation to just throw on whatever is in the wardrobe without batting an eyelid. However, dressing up appropriately gets you into the correct headspace and allows for productive thought. No need to show off you morning face or PJs to your co-workers. For the ladies, an amazing facebeat can easily get you ready to make your boardroom moves. Gents, you are not exempt either, comb your hair, put on a clean shirt and wear some pants/trousers; in case of any eventualities.

Life doesn't have to stop whenever you have a virtual meeting. We’ve all heard or done it at some point in time. Yes committing the cardinal sin of asking everyone to log off their devices because you have a VERY important meeting. It's all about bandwidth and speed. With a full arsenal of kids e-learning and some streaming movies, a crisp seamless video and audio for your virtual meeting can be an impossible ask. Invest in good internet connection and test your connectivity before dialling into a meeting.

People get distracted by a myriad of things and the last thing you want is for your surroundings to exacerbate the situation. We all want to show off our havens but when it comes to online meetings you need to make sure that your background is not busy. In addition to your background, your surroundings are of equal importance. Ensure that if it`s a video meeting, your adorable kids are not screaming for your attention and your co-workers have to talk over these lovely beings. Steer clear from busy backgrounds and environments that are not conducive enough to conduct a meeting.

The temptation to skive, attend to your mail, or check out your social feed is real during online meetings … after all no one is watching. Be physically and mentally present for virtual meetings. Unless you are an ISO certified multi tasker, the danger of attending to other things is that you might miss out important information or an opportunity to share your valuable input. The moment that the webcam is on, make sure your body language is sending out the correct message, be attentive. Be present, throughout the meeting.

SThe bane of all meetings are the sharp echoing background noises. They irritate the life out of the speaker and other attendees. The nasty alien sounds are disruptive in every sense of the word. You might be wondering what we are talking about. Mute the mic if you are not the one speaking. This will save everyone from the ear splitting noise and allow participants to share their thoughts without feeling frustrated or distracted.

So do you have other tips that you would like to share with us? Send them to our WhatsApp number 0782780780 together with this code WBLG2021 and stand a chance to win a shopping voucher.

by Farirai Macheka


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