Our world has rapidly evolved from in-person conferences for which executives dress in formal suits and carry trendy briefcases. Nowadays, E-Meetings are the norm. These meetings cover a wide spectrum from simple emails to webinars. Although it may not seem necessary to read the official book of electronic etiquette to reply to routine emails, it is important to avoid the most common faux pas like empty subject line, grammatical mistakes, ineffective signature and impersonal tone. Remember, the recipient may never have met you, so you need to approach the stranger just like you would in a face to face meeting. Being overly indifferent by not having a pleasant opening, or spelling the person’s name wrong will create a negative impression and may even irk the recipient. Similarly, make sure you attach what you intended to and give a title to your attachment.
Webinar is a hybrid of Web and Seminar. This web-based presentation uses video conferencing software and allows interaction between the presenter and the audience, unlike a webcast, which is a one-way transmission. Although webinars are an extremely useful and inexpensive tool to address almost any topic, they do have significant limitations. Many people find conferences more productive versus webinars mostly due to the priceless in-person networking possibility. Whatever your preference, below are some useful etiquette tips for presenters and attendees of webinars:
- Even though you are only meeting your audience electronically and not physically, be prepared and make eye contact.
- Try your best to avoid or correct technological snags ahead of time.
- Respect time by starting and ending as scheduled, just like you would in a physical conference.
- Choose a clean, well-lit and quiet room devoid of distractions.
- The attendees should be respectful of their presenter as well.
- Save questions for the Q&A session.
- Dress appropriately even though you are presenting from the comfort of your home.
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection,Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.