Mastering Virtual Meetings: A Step-by-Step Guide

man virtual meeting

Although virtual meetings have been around for a while, they were relied upon more than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, now that we’ve made it through that period, virtual meetings haven’t gone anywhere – in fact, the number of virtual meetings that take place around the world is continuing to grow.

This is down to a few reasons, with the biggest being convenience. Not needing to travel to a meeting gives a person more time to spend elsewhere. It’s also a great way for remote workers to stay in the loop, especially with remote working also becoming increasingly common.

With that said, if you want the virtual meetings that you participate in to be a success, there are a few things that you need to do. Read on as Circle Hub shares a step-by-step guide to mastering virtual meetings:

Find a Distraction-Free Area

One of the main benefits of virtual meetings is that you can attend them from just about anywhere. Many choose to do this from home but, for others, home can be quite a noisy and chaotic place – hardly conducive to portraying a professional image!

Ideally, you should always find a quiet and distraction-free area to attend your virtual meetings. If you don’t have access to one at home, look for a coworking space that allows you to hire a private office space or even a conference room by the hour. This will give you a peaceful and professional environment in which you can fully focus on your meeting.

Dress Professionally

People tend to dress very differently when attending a meeting in person vs virtually. It’s easy to understand why. With virtual meetings, only your top half can be seen, so why bother making sure that you’re fully kitted out in a professional outfit?

Well, for starters, research shows that dressing smartly can give your productivity a boost. It will help to set the tone for your meeting, putting you in the right mindset to do your best work. It will also have you looking much more respectable, which is exactly how you want the people that you’re working with to view you.

So, the next time you have a virtual meeting lined up, dress for it in the same way you would an in-person meeting. Avoid loud patterns and go for solid, professional colors that leave you looking polished.

Define the Objectives of the Meeting Before You Begin

woman virtual meeting

If you’re the one hosting your virtual meeting, some pre-planning is essential. It’s so easy for meetings, whether virtual or in-person, to go off-track. This can cause the meeting to unnecessarily drag on, or you may also find that your meeting has come to an end before you’ve had the opportunity to discuss everything that needs to be said.

To prevent this, always put together a rough agenda before hosting virtual meetings. Start by defining the objectives of your meeting – there should be a clear goal that you aim for.

Then, develop this into a detailed agenda. Jot down the various topics that need to be discussed, along with the sequence in which you’ll be doing so. Allocate a set amount of time to each topic too – this will save the meeting from overrunning while giving participants an idea of how much time they’ll need to set aside. Ideally, send your agenda to all of your meeting participants a day in advance to allow everyone to prepare for the meeting accordingly.

Choose the Right Tech

With virtual meetings now being so popular, there are several video conferencing platforms that you could choose to use. Zoom is a go-to for many but others, from Skype to Microsoft Teams, each offer their own advantages too.

Whichever you choose, make sure that you, as well as the participants in your meeting, are comfortable using that technology. Some people will be more tech-savvy than others, so make things easy by sending out links well in advance.

Test Your Technology

Whether you’re the one hosting the meeting or not, testing out your technology is also vital. Check that your camera and microphone are working correctly and that you know exactly how to join the meeting. If you need to download any apps to do so, do that before the meeting begins so that you’re not scrambling to join in at the last minute.

Of course, make sure that your internet connection is stable too. This can be another advantage of attending your virtual meeting from a coworking space like Circle Hub – our WiFi speeds are always fast and reliable. You won’t have to worry about being cut off from your meeting or having to wait while things buffer!

Be Punctual

We’ve already talked about how important it is for virtual meetings to have an agenda to follow. This ensures that everything runs on time. 

However, in order for this to happen, you need to make sure that you’re punctual. Not only is being late for a meeting unprofessional but it could also hold everything up, delaying everyone as a result. No one will appreciate having to wait around for you before the meeting can start or having to recap what has already been discussed because of your late arrival, making punctuality essential.

Turn Your Camera On

man on laptop

Some people hate turning their cameras on during virtual meetings, preferring to attend via audio only. While a meeting can still run quite smoothly in this way, it’s not ideal…

When all meeting participants have their cameras turned on, engagement tends to be higher. It creates a better sense of community and belonging. Communication also tends to flow better when participants can see each other. This, in turn, boosts active participation, resulting in a more successful meeting.

Engage With Participants

Speaking of participation…

This is vital if you want your meeting to be as productive as possible. If you’re the one hosting the meeting, you’ll need to try to encourage participation as much as possible.

How? Start by regularly asking for comments or questions throughout the meeting. Try to speak to each participant directly to give the more introverted personalities some space to engage. 

Many video conferencing platforms also offer additional tools to maximize participation. From chat functions to polls to breakout rooms, all of these tools are designed to foster collaboration, so make the most of them!

Be Aware of Your Body Language

When it comes to virtual meetings, it’s not just verbal communication that’s important – non-verbal communication matters too. Your body language will tell people so much about you, portraying your mood, emotions, true thoughts, and more. 

It goes without saying that you’ll want people to view you as being confident and credible, meaning that your body language needs to personify this. Start by paying attention to your posture, ensuring that you’re sitting straight rather than leaning over your desk or back into your chair. 

Practice looking into the camera while you speak – eye contact is crucial. At the same time, you should also smile as much as possible.

Take Notes or Consider Recording Your Meeting

It’s so easy to record virtual meetings, which can be incredibly useful. It means that you’ll be able to look back over your meeting whenever you need a recap on a topic that was discussed, replaying the necessary parts. You’ll also be able to send the recording to anyone who wasn’t able to attend the meeting, allowing them to still benefit from it.

If members of your team aren’t comfortable with the meeting being recorded, the next best thing would be to take notes. Jot down the main points that have been spoken about, along with feedback, participant insights, and any assigned tasks.

Don’t Try to Multitask

man laptop calendar

Some people love virtual meetings because they’re able to get other tasks done during that time. After all, no one else at that meeting will be able to see what you’re doing on your screen. It may look as though you’re taking notes when really you’re catching up on emails or scrolling through social media while someone else is speaking.

When it comes down to it, multi-tasking during a meeting should be avoided at all costs. Not only will this prevent you from fully focusing on the meeting, which could affect your productivity in the long run, but it’s also extremely disrespectful. Even though you may not be physically present at a meeting, it’s still important to remember your manners. You’ll want others to listen while you’re speaking so do the same for them.

Mute When Needed

If you’re attending your virtual meeting from a private area at a coworking space, you won’t need to worry too much about background noises and distractions. However, if you’re signing in from home or from a busier environment, all of those noises around you will only end up interfering with the meeting.

This is where the mute function comes in handy. It can often be a good idea to mute your microphone whenever you aren’t speaking. This will keep background noises to a minimum. It can take a bit of practice remembering to mute and unmute when necessary but give it a try and you’ll soon be a pro!

Integrate Breaks Into Long Meetings

Meetings, whether online or offline, can sometimes drag on. There’s often no way to avoid this since certain topics need to be discussed within a specific timeframe. 

However, it’s also worth keeping in mind that people don’t have unlimited attention spans. Virtual meetings can feel quite draining and, once fatigue starts to set in, participants will no longer be at their best. 

So, just like when it comes to long in-person meetings, make sure that you schedule in a couple of breaks if you know that your meeting is going to go on for a while. These breaks only need to be a few minutes long – enough to give people a chance to stretch their legs and refresh their minds. 


If you’re new to the world of virtual meetings, it’s easy to feel intimidated. However, so long as you’re aware of the right etiquette to follow and have plenty of practice, you’ll soon be a pro and will be able to reap all of the benefits that virtual meetings have to offer.

Need a private space to attend your virtual meetings? Click here to book a tour of Circle Hub’s coworking spaces today!

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