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How to behave during virtual project meetings (skype, netmeeting, etc.)

posted Mar 25, 2016, 2:03 AM by Tomislav Rozman   [ updated May 10, 2016, 1:19 AM ]
During international projects, conference calls using skype, netmeeting, google hangouts or similar are quite usual way of communication.

Voice only conference calls are very frequent way of communicating, while group video calls are rare. At least in projects I'm participating in.

After several years of participating in such virtual meetings I've narrowed down my expectations about them:



Organizer

1. Send an agenda (or at least a list of topics) before the meeting. Even if one day earlier will do. Also, send a calendar entry (from Outlook Calendar or Google Calendar).

2. Have all contacts at hand. If using skype, connect to the participants before the conference call.

3. After the call, send a short followup (agreed responsibilities and deadlines).


Participants

1. Learn how to use the conference software BEFORE the actual conference call.

2. Just be there at agreed time. We don't have time to wait for you.

3. Use the headset with mic. It's no fun listening to the echo. It's no fun when all participants ask each other: "Who doesn't have a headset?" It's no fun listening to your laptop fan.

4. Don't type during the session. We can hear you. Or, use silent keyboard + goto 3.

5. Keep the length of the call to 45 minutes maximum. Otherwise, you could hear some snoring.

6. Don't eat or drink during the session. We can hear you slurp or chew. Or, mute your mic.

7. Put your cellphone away. It makes annoying sound in mic or headset if near them.

8. After initial smalltalk, stick to the topic.

Do you know what's the usual greeting on conference calls?

No?

Of course you do.

It's not "Hello, how are you?"

It's: "Can you hear me?" :)

What are your experiences?

If you want to learn more about the communication within a virtual teams, check out our EU project management on-line course here.

ECQA Certified EU Project Manager (online and live)


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