Tips and Tricks for Remote Meetings

Things I figured out while on conference calls

Credit: Tripp and Tyler

Remote meetings are a pain, plain and simple. Whether it’s a tech problem preventing the group from starting, the constant interruptions of people joining and leaving the call, or loud background noise from the train, there are more than a few good reasons to dread a conference call on your calendar.

With a background first as a contractor and then as a full-time consultant, I’ve been on my fair share of conference calls with both colleagues and clients alike. Here’s a list of tips and tricks that have helped me to have focused, productive, and smooth remote meetings.

Note: While most of this advice is universal across platforms, we use Join.Me at MU/DAI so you might have to adapt certain tips for your software of choice.

Getting Started

1 . Create an account

Whether you are using Hangouts, Join.Me, Skype, or another conferencing tool, make sure to create an account. These apps will support the occasional guest but you’ll certainly be missing out on the full experience without an account.

2. Download the application

While not every service has a desktop or mobile app, those that do will usually put a lot of effort into it. Having trouble with the web version? Definitely try the native app.

Before

3. Join the call 5 minutes beforehand

This will give you time to iron out any technical kinks that might happen and ensures the meeting can start on time.

4. Do a dry run before important meetings

Nothing is worse than spending weeks or even months on some of your best work and then fumbling the presentation due to a tech issue. Make sure to test your setup before the big meeting.

5. Have everything you want to share pulled up on your computer

Don’t rely on another teammate being able to share the content or links in a powerpoint. Having everything opened on your computer beforehand will make those transitions during the meeting so much smoother.

6. Join by phone

Computers are finicky beasts. I found joining by phone to be the most reliable channel for meetings. Most apps will allow you to join audio and video/screen-shares separately. Worst case, you can always mute the computer side.

During

7. Mute whenever you aren’t talking for a while

This prevents distracting white noise from your end and, when needed, allows you to discuss with the group you have in the room.

8. Be familiar with the features of your app

Some apps have ways to unlock the room, turn off join/leave sounds, record the call, and many other valuable features. Do your research and impress your coworkers with the new tricks you’ve learned.

Happen to use Join.Me? Check out a cheat sheet specific to the suite here.


MU/DAI is an experience design firm with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Austin. If you’re interested in touring any of our spaces or chatting over coffee, please email hello@mudaidesign.com. If you liked our article, please let us know by tweeting it.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.