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Quick tips for a virtual meeting

Our team at SmartBe Wealth has been working from home offices across the country, some before the pandemic and now everybody else due to Covid-19. In the past virtual meeting platforms have helped us keep remote team members engaged. Today, we are conducting all client and operational interactions virtually. Some of you may be virtual meeting aficionados while others are just beginning to embrace this new model of client service. Our running joke is to be mindful of your background. If someone mentions that you should iron your curtains that are hanging behind your head smile and tell them you love their observation and input.
Here are some top tips that have helped us have smooth virtual interactions with our clients and team meetings.

Prior to meeting day
Getting familiar with basic functionality of your application. This will decrease your anxiety and deliver a smoother interactive experience for your participants.
Top functionality to get familiar with:

  • Using the chat function
  • Muting and un-muting - all participants including yourself
  • Removing someone from the meeting
  • Recording the meeting (as per your compliance rules)
  • Transcribing recordings
  • Sharing screens – your’s and any of your meeting participant
  • Privacy protection features – Disabling video, masking names/ phone number

Not tech-savvy – no problem
Ease of access will set the tone of the meeting and help your attendees have a smooth experience:

  • Include a step-by-step process to download and use the app.
  • Re-send dial-in instructions a half hour before the call and suggest that your guest login in five to 10 mins before start time
  • Get a team member to help trouble shoot issues once the call has started
  • Have a back-up plan if your attendee cannot manage the app.

Day of meeting
Check your appearance and background.

  • Dress for success.
  • Position yourself.
  • Sound and camera test – get comfortable talking to the camera.
  • Lighting test – depending on the lighting you may need to make some adjustments so your audience can see you clearly.
  • Background setting - most platforms allow participants to customize their backgrounds. This is a great feature to hide any unprofessional items.

During the meeting
Sometimes even if we have planned and prepared well for the meeting, there are things that can inevitably go wrong. Here are some steps you can take to avoid last minute blunders:

  • Login before the start time. Treat this experience as you would if your client arrived at your office a few minutes early.
  • Expect to start five minutes after the stated start. Not everyone will show up on time
  • Depending on the presentation, have a moderator manage your chat questions so you are not detracted from your core messages. This should be a different person than the technical support person.
  • Close all other windows and shut down email notifications as they can be highly distracting and could be a breach of privacy. Remember minimizing a window will not work here. Close the applications so you can be absolutely certain nothing will be seen by accident..
  • Turn off your cell phone.
  • Have a glass of water close by but not within the camera’s view.
  • This one is big - look at the webcam when you speak rather than your audience. We like to put our audience view as close to our camera as possible.

We hope these quick tips will allow you and your clients to have a smooth virtual meeting.
Do you have tips, stories or suggestions? Please share in comments below.

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