Virtual meetings have become a regular feature of working life during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Working online has completely changed the way colleagues and participants in business meetings, conferences, and negotiations interact with each other.
There are some basic rules for ensuring that online meetings run efficiently. These rules apply in all situations but are particularly valuable when carrying out remote meetings in other languages. In this case, additional steps must be taken to facilitate communication between all participants.
Basic rules for running remote meetings
To ensure that online meetings can function properly, participants must organise themselves accordingly before the meeting begins. Here are some essential tips.
- Distribute the material and agenda a few days before the meeting so that everyone is well-prepared on the topics
- Establish primary and secondary communication channels. The secondary channel will ideally be in written form and will provide assistance or explanations where needed, without interrupting the discussion on the primary channel
- Ask each participant to check their equipment and working environment before starting the call to avoid interruptions, background noise, or delays due to technical issues
- Ask each participant to mute their microphone when not speaking
- Request that participants raise their hand if they want to speak during a video conference or use another system during a group voice call
- Insert interactive brainstorming sessions in between talks to ensure that everyone remains focused and has the opportunity to express their thoughts on the topic
Getting help from a remote interpreter
English is one of the most commonly used languages in business meetings and conferences. This implies that all participants must have sufficient command of the language to follow the meeting properly.
If this is not the case, a remote interpreter will ensure that all participants can understand each other perfectly to minimise misunderstandings.
Of course, a remote interpreter can offer all the interpreting services that are used in real life, such as chuchotage (whispered interpreting), simultaneous interpreting, or liaison interpreting.
However, regardless of whether a professional interpreter is present or not, it is always essential to follow the basic rules when running a meeting in another language, and it is especially important to ensure that each participant is provided with the relevant material far enough in advance.