Virtual Board Meeting Etiquette
Having proper virtual board meeting etiquette is essential for successful meetings!It’s critical to not wait until the last minute to make sure everything functions properly! Meeting virtually during COVID and beyond can present many unforeseen difficulties such as connection problems, scheduling conflicts, and awkward discussions. These problems at times can be inevitable, but by preparing for the worst, some of these issues can be resolved quickly and ahead of time. Check out these simple tips listed below that can help you to have a smoother virtual meeting!
Technology Test Drive
Prior to the meeting, a technology run-through can assure that the meeting can start without any issues. Whether you’re using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Skype, it always helps to understand the software and functions properly. This may include having board members update their software or simply checking the quality of their camera and microphone. Also, due to the limited time frame of board meetings, the assurance of no technological errors can guarantee that time is spent in the most effective way possible. Selecting the best provider for your board may require a few rounds of trial and error. Be aware of the duration of calls, as many people begin to experience screen fatigue after staring at a screen for too long. The proper knowledge of the related technology will facilitate the best user experience and permit the board meeting to proceed as fluently as possible.
Make sure to turn on your video and dress accordingly for the meeting. This attire should also include proper bottoms to avoid any unanticipated and maybe even embarrassing camera angles. Being mindful of the general dress code is an important aspect of presenting yourself on a screen. It doesn’t hurt to ask other directors or members to establish a certain dress code, as favoring casual attire may be more prevalent due to working from home. Also, consider where you are seated for the meeting. Sitting in front of a window may provide unwanted glare on the screen and obstruct your image for others. Try to find a plain wall to sit in front of to avoid and distractions in your background. These factors will allow board members to feel professional and at ease with the meeting process.
Chairman of the Zoom
Having a moderator can allow for easier communication as it often becomes difficult to avoid interruptions because certain social cues are no longer present when the participants are limited to a small screen. Utilizing breakout rooms can provide smaller group sizes, ideal for discussion. This function can facilitate an easier back and forth conversation with fewer participants in a given room. Due to the security and confidentiality needed in a board meeting, consider adding a passcode to the meeting and having the host check the attendance to verify all participants. The chat function of zoom can be used for voting because it is recordable, and the votes are clearly displayed. Streamlined conversation over Zoom will facilitate dialogue that accomplishes the goals of the meeting.
Having your camera on during a video call allows the other participants to react more keenly to social cues such as a nod or smile. Reading facial expressions and body language can be a foundational aspect of active listening and speaking. Furthermore, having your camera on also gives the other meeting participants a small glance into your own world of a workspace with your chosen background, whether it be a plain wall or a decorated home office. In the already socially deprived climate of COVID, the benefit of a camera-on meeting provides the closest sense of normalcy possible. It also holds each member of the meeting accountable to be prepared and attentive. With this feature, the members of the board will be able to have a connected conversation without the ominous blacked-out screen.
This function provides a participant of the meeting the ability to display their personal screen to the group. This can be used to present countless presentation tools including PowerPoints and spreadsheets. Screen sharing also allows all attendees to focus on the screen in front of them instead of having to retreat to their emails in the middle of a meeting to search for an attachment. This feature also allows the “sharer” to make real-time changes to a file while the group is discussing and viewing it. The host of the meeting can enable screen sharing to be used by any member of the call to share their screen. Because of this versatility, participants of the meeting can take turns sharing their individual ideas and solutions to contribute towards the organization’s goals. Inboard meetings, things like company performance statistics, plans of action, future strategies, and more must be shown to all members. Sharing your screen will allow for a more tangible visible representation of the message you want to relay.
This trend of video calls instead of in-person meetings may continue to stay as we eventually enter the post-COVID world. This form of meeting allows for board members from different regions to work together without being in the same space. Being conscious of time zones can also allow participants to meet without being forced into awkward scheduling that may interrupt their day or keep them up at night. This technology may also continue to be implemented to expedite travel difficulties that could have previously hindered meeting times and relieve cost restraints from flights and hotel bills. A base-level comprehension of this technology will aid any board in the ever-changing digital space of online meetings. Make sure to become familiar with these technologies as these virtual circumstances may continue to last longer than you might think!
Director Access to Board Documents
A key component to virtual meetings is providing access to meeting documents—board meeting agenda, board packet, and previous board meeting minutes. Using a board portal, like Board Director, is better than email at securely sharing meeting (and any other) sensitive board documents.
7 Fast Ways a Board Portal Can Help:
- Management can upload financial reports, management reports, and any legal documents.
- Directors can review, sign, and assure submission of annual reports in a board portal is more secure than email.
- Reviewing and authorizing personnel policies relevant to hiring, promotion, dismissal, compensation, whistleblowers, independent contractors, key employees, sexual harassment, and fairness to the disabled and other groups.
- Create committees and add consultants.
- Write policy and review status of its own membership for independence, conflict of interest, self-dealing, competence, the performance of duties, and compensation
- RSVP and track attendance to comply with state requirements for a quorum
- Keep accurate records of its activities.
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Virtual Meetings can only improve when using a Board Portal.