4 common virtual meeting faux pas and how to avoid them

We're all allowed to make mistakes – but when we make them during an important virtual meeting, the silent judgments float our way: She must know she's not on mute, right? Did he forget to get ready this morning? It's 2018 – do they really not know how to conduct a video conference?

We can't bear the thought of you or your team making such mistakes, so it's time to bring these common faux pas to your attention. Let's talk virtual meeting etiquette – here are 4 personas you don't want to take on:

1. The background-noise junkie

When you feverishly type up your meeting notes or chat your co-workers, everyone else gets to enjoy the distraction of keyboard tapping. Even worse than the noise of a coffee shop in the background is the oh-so-pleasant sound of chewing and sipping. Even if you're not making any of these unfortunate mistakes, there may be inevitable background noise from the office or conflicting microphones. As such, follow the No. 1 best practice of virtual meetings: Always mute your microphone when you're not speaking.

2. The bedhead superstar

Virtual meetings allow us to connect with co-workers and clients from anywhere in the world, including the comfort of our own couches when working from home. In the event that the meeting organizer uses video sharing, everyone in the meeting may soon become privy to the messy hair and ratty old T-shirt of your work-from-home look. Even if you don't think you'll need to turn on your webcam for the call, it's always a good idea to brush your hair and put on a clean shirt when you have meetings on your calendar.

3. The distracted player

When you're in a face-to-face meeting, you wouldn't dare get up and walk around or work on other projects simultaneously. While tempting, avoid doing those things during virtual meetings as well. You'll inevitably miss out on important information or get caught off-guard when asked a question after zoning out of the conversation.

4. The technical-difficulties participant

While most people are familiar with web conferencing platforms, it helps to troubleshoot your tech before joining the call. That way, you won't be the one holding up the meeting by trying and failing to join the call or get your microphone working. If you're the organizer, make sure you choose a platform that's not only intuitive for your team, but also for your clients. ReadyTalk Meeting, for instance, makes it easy for all participants to collaborate remotely.

Avoid these common mistakes during your next online call, and you'll be sure to display the utmost virtual meeting etiquette. Good luck!