3 Common Virtual Meeting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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hi it's May Bush here from career

mastery and today we want to talk about

virtual meetings because the world is

now changed from having these meetings

that are in person which are these great

opportunities to show up we know exactly

how to do an in-person meeting but

virtual meetings were on camera it's a

totally different experience and in fact

we are now broadcasting our meetings and

that's why I have invited Esther

Stanhope to join me

Esther is a former broadcaster she's

been at she was at BBC for 20 years

she's also someone who's worked with top

global managers and leaders on how they

can make a impact and come across with

charisma and confidence in conference

calls and she's also written an

award-winning book called goodbye

glossophobia which is about exactly this

how to banish the fear of public

speaking and I'm told that all of the

marvelous tips that she shares there are

highly relevant in this virtual world

that we now live in so welcome Esther

and I'm really excited to have you here

to share your knowledge hi Mei how are

you you're looking great today you look

like you're a professional broadcaster


you're absolutely right I mean now

people are expected to be like a

television presenter a TV host for their

meetings that normally would go to a

boardroom we're dressed smartly you walk

in you have chit chat now we've got to

do it virtually and a lot of the time

we've done conference calls most people

do many conference calls but what's

happening is that now zoom and WebEx and

webcam and blue jeans and powwow and

every there's many many platforms

entering our own homes and it's great


yes and it's not coming to a theater

near you it's coming to a

home office space near yeah yeah so I

would say that one of the main things

and I've been doing webinars and I've

done live webinar and this week and

there was 700 700 people on the call and

I've been I've done different types of

webinars and interviews and broadcasts

and I've been speaking to hundreds of

people and doing poles as well asking

people you know what do they find most

difficult but there are three main

mistakes that we are all making

including us today when we got a

different link we were picked on the

wrong link work with you yes yes and

yeah and I have to say that it was my

link that was at issue not Esther's

because Esther you are the pro I thought

I was a pro but I'm kind of lower case

pro then okay we'll listen they're not

alone and may you are not alone

the main thing people are getting wrong

the main mistakes is all to do with the

tech let's talk tech so just very

briefly I'm actually gonna create a

little mini zoom the daily zoom updates

for my for my social media because I'm

getting all these stories from people

and I'm experiencing it myself things

are just going wrong and the thing is

when you first try to drive a car you

don't know where the indicator is when

you first go to goto meeting or you

first try zoom you don't know where the

chat is you don't know what to press on

but one of the funniest technical

problems apart from dialing in early

which is really really important is I

saw this on Instagram today and it I'm

actually gonna press share so I need to

show you this picture briefly somebody

was using Microsoft teams and they're

having a meeting with their boss and it

says my boss turned herself into a

potato on a Microsoft team's meeting and

can't figure out how to turn the setting

off so she was stuck like a potato for

the entire meeting and to me I love that

your boss is a potato from what I'm

reading I don't know what that says

about your credibility but the point is

I'm not quite sure how to turn that

setting off I'm actually gonna go and

turn myself into a potato just to see

but there's all kinds of trinkets and

cliques and novelty backgrounds and yes

you can do and

Tech really is driving us crazy all I

can say is this when I was at the BBC

the tech always let us down very

regularly behind the scenes because it's

human error as much as wires and you can

have an uplink and a downlink and a

satellite link that just fails you what

about you may have you ever have you had

technical issues apart from sending the

wrong link out which is very common

oh never course yes I mean and I think

the thing that you're talking about is

that the key is that you've really got

to practice and my my father who's 80

something now even he's out there


I really admire him because he'd never

heard of zoom hadn't really done much on

video conference calls and now all of a

sudden he has to set up a call for ten

other scientists and so what he did was

he invited

well first he had a little private

tutorial with me and they can you get on

on on with me and see if I can play

around with it and learn how to use it

and then on top of that he has set up a

family zoom so that he can practice

being the host so we're all gonna have a

family zoom over the weekend in about a

week's time and yeah so that's the level

that you're talking about I think right

getting familiar with the tech

absolutely and respect fit to your dad

for setting that up so my mum is gonna

have her first proper family zoom with

us tonight because last week I had to

try and get her to join the family zoom

on whatsapp because he couldn't figure

out how to use zoom and my brother's

been visiting her and staying in the

garden while he's telling him what to do

on her laptop so we're all doing family

zooms and there are some horror sites

I'm I must say there but it's really

important to practice my big tip about

tech and practice is find a co-pilot you

need a buddy somebody that can help you

somebody that you can help and actually

if you're doing a more sophisticated

style webinar like we're doing a we're

doing a short piece of film today may ya

know so we are effectively the pilot and

the copilot or we're co-presenters today


easier to have a co-pilot so whether

it's somebody that practices with you or

somebody that controls the the techie

staff while you're speaking that isn't

the biggest tip that I've taken away for

the last two weeks because before I did

think that I could easily do webinars on

my own without a co-pilot I realized

actually to get it to do the tech

properly get of co-pilot and also if

it's just simply conference calls big

tip dial in at least three four five

minutes early dial in early because by

the time it takes you to press go for

the link to go up and go Oh have you got

the software or wait for the room to be

free or and then you see yourself on

video and you know you're panicking

being in a panic is never good for a

meeting so never only yeah so I mean and

the second mistake people make so the

first one is not knowing your own tech

right and the second one is not dialing

in early yet not dialing in early isn't

is another mistake people make they dial

in and then they find they've got

technical but it's kind of related to

tech they've got technical problems and

then they can't find the list and then

they're trying to email the person but

by the time they've done that it's six

seven minutes past the meeting time so

you're Eiling in early and and if you're

doing quite a sophisticated webinar

setup style in ten minutes early just

see if the uplink works you can check

your internet link it's a really really

good tip yeah and okay so it's the

second tip retire early and that's the

second issue that people get wrong so so

the third mistake people make is

something very simple that you can adopt

immediately which is how do you end your

call because I've been hearing lots of

stories of people it's quite difficult

to find the end button and it where it

says leave meeting on the zoom platform

yeah yeah that forms it's on the

probably the bottom right but while

you're presenting and even if you've got

a co-presenter you say and thank you so

much for joining us and here's my email

address what happens is then you've got

to stop the webinar and unless you're

really quick on the uptake and you've

got your your arrow absolutely ready to

leave a meeting it takes one set one one


2 elephants 3 elephants sometimes 4

seconds right so the big tip here is

just keep smiling keep your game face on

don't have face drop you've seen it on

the news and I and that's it for the new

tonight you know that's face drop ya

face job and thank you very much for

joining us may it was a great webinar oh

and as a producer at the BBC I remember

many times in the studio the fader going

down particularly on radio and as the

faders coming down the presenters like

that was terrible and you can hear it

well it's like always wait three seconds

three seconds you know just and three

seconds is actually quite a long time to

wait yeah wait until you're off air

before you swear complain look grumpy

because I thought of all sorts of little

comments just as it has it's been

switched off like that was absolute so

now I can see this being very very

useful if I am joining someone else's

call yes if I just keep smiling at the

camera I'm looking at the camera yes no

they've ended the meeting

what is the suggestion if I'm the one

that's hosting the meeting it's very

hard to find you know like looking down

or finding the button yeah absolutely so

if I you need to have a strategy for it

so either you just turn your camera off

so they just got a they might have an

image there instead if you turn your

camera off so thank you so much whatever

you can click first but have just have a

strategy for the end of the meeting or

you could say and when we're gonna leave

what sometimes what I do if I'm

searching for the leave meeting button

sometimes I say thank you so much for

having me as I'm talking whereas I'm

saying that I'm actually looking for the

leave meeting button I see and you just

kind of glance down you don't do one of

these yeah I don't stop to press it's

funny because one of my guests on one of

my webinars earlier today was a

neuroscientist and she was telling me

about how the brain works when it comes


remote meetings and you can only do one

thing at a time yes did not multitasking

too much see she suggested not trying to

do chat and click and and absorb content

and share and look at the camera and

have a rapport with a person yes and if

you're if you want to have a rapport

with the people in your meeting you've

got to be there for them and so you

don't want your attention to be on on

other items and pressing this and

reading this and and doing something on

your keyboard so decide what you want to

focus on in the meeting and focus on it

that is marvelous and I just want to

tell you one thing that I have done

before now that you say this end meeting

piece yeah I have tried to prepare to

end the meeting by having my mouse

already hovering over the end meeting

button then I just touched my mouse and

it ended the meeting oh we wanted to you

say and unless you've actually practiced

because practice practice that's the

only way to do it you need how many how

many hours you need to learn to drive I

think I used up 22 hours worth of

driving lessons I don't know if that's

more or less than most people but I

practiced I did 22 hours of driving

lessons and I passed my test first time

I didn't have any other practice outside

my driving lessons I just went straight

for the whole thing but if you think

about that 22 hours to go from not even

knowing how to press the accelerator to

driving yeah it's exactly like that you

just need to practice that's why you

need a co-pilot you need a co practice

buddy and you can have fun with it when

you're not live on air and I know from

being in broadcasting that when you're

live on air your brain isn't necessarily

that relaxed

oh no though learning on the job when

you're live is unbelievably stressful so

so have a laugh with it have a good have

a practice and then get the hang of it

before you go live I love that so Esther

this is marvelous I think we can all

avoid these three mistakes and you

you're three super helpful tips it's

about knowing your technology and in


dialing in early so you don't miss those

key moments in the beginning and knowing

how to sign off right absolutely

all right well thank you so much and I

want to encourage all of us to keep

learning keep growing and keep going