Authored by Melissa Haddad on May 1 2021
Have you ever encountered confusion when setting up a meeting about who is sending out the calendar invitation? I have, which is why I decided to look into it further to see what is the proper etiquette for hosting a meeting. What I found was, well, nothing. What do I mean? Well, I did various Google searches about the calendar invitation etiquette and all that I found were articles what to include in the invitation and how to respond to an invitation, but there was nothing about deciding who the host is of the meeting.
This may not be an important point to you, however there is one main reason why it should be, whomever hosts controls the flow of the meeting. Why is this important? Speaking as a Virtual Assistant, this is important because it sets the tone between the prospect and Virtual Assistant and allows the prospect to understand that the VA is a business owner and not an employee that has a boss to report to. Speaking as a Business Owner, it allows the host to maintain control of the overall agenda, what is the host hoping to accomplish in the meeting?
First, you need to decide whether you need/want to control the meeting. At Efficient Business Solutions, we offer a 30 minute Discovery Call for interested prospects by phone. Before the call, we ask prospects to fill out a Discovery Call Questionnaire which allows us to understand the needs of the prospect as well as check all online platforms to get to know their business before the call. This is the type of situation as to why we want to host.
With the help of a few Google searches I was able to find websites and articles about hosting etiquette and I thought I would apply those characteristics to hosting a meeting. Here are 5 components you need to host an effective meeting.
- Be prepared. Have an agenda ready or some sort of talking points, especially when you have never spoken to this person before. When I conduct the Discovery Calls and ask for them to fill out the Questionnaire, I always state, “the Discovery Questionnaire will help me prepare for the meeting and keep us both on point to ensure we use our time effectively.”
- Be precise. When sending the calendar invitation, make sure you include all the necessary details “Call” or “Zoom” and I even take it as far as including the following instructions in the calendar location or notes; “Melissa will call John at 416-456-7890” or I include the Zoom link if that is what I was doing and I include the necessary Zoom information in the notes such as telephone numbers for audio by phone, password and meeting ID, just in case someone is using their phone instead of their computer.
- Lead the conversation. This is another reason why you need to be very clear on who is hosting the meeting. In the Discovery Calls, I need certain answers to understand if the prospect is a great fit to work with and so I have to be the one to lead. If you have ever been on a conference call that you thought you were going to lead and then felt like you were bulldozed and someone else took over, how did that make you feel? It’s extremely important to get that tone set immediately.
- Be mindful. Pay attention to the conversation and allow it to be a conversation with give and take. If you understand how you run your business and have the confidence and processes to back you up, you know you are leading the conversation to where you need it to go. You also need to allow a natural conversation to progress because you want to make a personal connection. It’s not all about control, it’s about connection to.
- Be yourself. This is the most important point that gets missed. I personally want to work with someone who works well with me and the only way they are going to know who you are is to be yourself. If you are an introvert, be an introvert. If you are gregarious, be gregarious. Being yourself is exactly who you are and that is perfect!
One of the articles I found was called Virtual Meeting Etiquette Guide for Hosts and Attendees and I thought it would be great to include that in this as we all need a few etiquette pointers for online meetings, especially in a virtual world.
Do you need help scheduling meetings? Do you need assistance with Zoom meetings or webinars? Contact Efficient Business Solutions by emailing email@example.com to find out how we can help.