Tips for your next online meeting

During this evolving and unprecedented time when personal and professional lives have been disrupted, many people are finding new and innovative ways to stay connected. Whether it's through Zoom, Skype, WebEx or one of the other popular video-conferencing platforms, thanks to technology it's now easier than ever to communicate with people around the globe.

Let's ensure your meeting is a success,

How about 10 tips for an efficient and productive online meeting:

1. Select a video-conferencing platform, and do a test run prior to the meeting 2. Meeting organizers should send attendees a copy of the agenda in advance 3. Choose a quiet location before joining the meeting to reduce potential distractions for both yourself and other attendees 4. Arrive on time or let the organizer know ahead of time if you will be late or unable to attend 5. Mute your microphone when not speaking 6. Adjust your camera so you can be seen, and look into the camera—not the monitor—when speaking 7. Dress as you would for an in-person meeting 8. Be aware of your background and make sure it's appropriate 9. Stay focused and avoid checking email or perusing other materials unrelated to the meeting 10. Respect fellow attendees by refraining from distracting behavior like eating or chewing gum

"I have come to love online meetings more than in-person meetings," says Manoj Vasudevan of Singapore, Toastmasters' 2017 World Champion of Public Speaking. "I find online meetings to be more convenient, less expensive, and less disruptive to my schedule. They even allow me to meet more people without leaving home."

Simple tips in these trying times. Have success in your next online meeting.