I’ve been teaching the ins and outs of business meetings, and how to run them successfully, for a few years now. I know just how daunting it can be, when you’re not comfortable with selling, to sit down face-to-face with a client or prospect.
The etiquette has always been complex, from how you present yourself to how you structure the session itself. However, it’s been made even more so since everything has been forced online.
We’ve spent over a year now adjusting to a still very new way of working and interacting with clients. I’m sure we’ve all heard some Zoom horror stories! However, the humble video conference has become something of a lifesaver to many businesses, and you should be prepared for it to stick around!
With this in mind, here are my go-to tips for successful Zoom meetings:
#1. Check your Tech!
Always check that your camera, microphone and Wi-Fi are working properly before starting the meeting. If they’re not, consider postponing or using a different device until you’ve fixed the problem. Disruptions from stop-start Wi-Fi or a crackly microphone are unlikely to go down well. Likewise, always double-check your battery life or plug your computer in before you start so you don’t disappear halfway through.
#2. Think about the Background
I know it might be tempting to pop up that beach scene up instead of your slightly messy spare bedroom, but don’t use it just because it’s there! It can look tacky and remember, you’re representing your brand in the same way you would be in person, always keep it smart and tidy.
#3. Body Language Matters More than Ever
How you sit, gesture, and use eye contact is always important when face-to-face with a client or prospect. However, the person on the other end of your call now has more distractions and it’s more important than ever that you hold their attention.
#4. Be Punctual
Show up on time - earlier if you’re the host. When you’re working from home it should be easy to be punctual. If you’ve agreed on an end time, make sure you wrap up on time too. Video meetings can feel longer than in-person ones and dragging it out can really turn off your prospect.
#5. Think about your Wardrobe
It’s a long-standing stereotype: the homeworker in their tracksuit bottoms with a shirt and tie. While this may seem appealing, think about what would happen if you had to get up to fetch files or a sample during your meeting, how comfortable would you feel about those trackies then? Studies have also shown that getting dressed for work, even at home, helps with focus and productivity.
#6. Think about your Surroundings
Try to attend your meeting in a quiet place if you can. Somewhere free from distractions. As I’ve already mentioned, it can be hard to stay focused in an online video call and pets, children, or even the washing machine can take your meeting from professional to chaotic in no time.
So, there are my top tips for successfully running a Zoom meeting!