Although face-to-face meetings are the standard in terms of conducting business, virtual meetings are quickly becoming more common. Virtual meetings are extremely convenient, but can be challenging if you don’t take certain things into consideration. Proper etiquette is essential to the success of a virtual meeting. Many people treat virtual meetings as more casual than face-to-face ones, which is not always appropriate. Etiquette can go a long way in making participants view you as competent and an authority on the issue at hand. Here are a few more tips that can help your virtual meetings to be more effective and professional. 1. Be prepared Preparedness is vital when it comes to professionalism and helping a meeting run smoothly. When you’re gathering the content and resources for a virtual meeting, you should make sure to remember your audience – something that’s not quite as easy during a virtual meeting. Make certain that everyone will be able to easily access the meeting by providing them with the correct access codes, URLs and call-in numbers. After all, a meeting devoid of attendees is really no meeting at all. 2. Engage participants Although it may seem normal to jump right into the presentation, taking a moment to introduce participants can go a long way. This helps build relationships, and makes the meeting feel less rushed. Although it may feel like freshman orientation all over again, having everybody go around and share the highlight of his or her weekend or some other little tidbit, can serve as a huge icebreaker. 3. No side conversations Though you may not be the person on screen at the moment, it’s important to not distract from the focus of the meeting. Side conversations can distract someone on the other end of the meeting, even if they can’t see you. They also may be extremely distracting to the person who is talking and pull them away from the issue at hand. Virtual meetings are excellent assets and there are many ways to ensure that you are conducting them in a professional and interesting manner. If you’d like to take a look at more suggestions for conducting virtual meetings, check out this Inc. article.