Your Online Meeting Preparation Checklist

ONLINE MEETING PREPARATION… do you know what to do? Virtual meetings are now the norm. That goes for both professional as well as personal communication.

image: Unsplash @ becihannah

In 2020,  Zoom was the #1 most downloaded app in the App Store and the #2 most downloaded app overall (after TikTok)!

Nowadays we work on our “Zoom Skills.” We also complain about “Zoom Fatigue.” But it’s not all bad.  Online meetings help us save time and money, and the video enhances our visual-queues.

image: Unsplash @ visuals

ONLINE MEETINGS aren’t going away.  In this week’s ? podcast episode we focus on how to prepare so we can excel in online meetings!


talk about talk lips Click HERE to listen directly on the Talk About Talk website


Click HERE to listen on your favourite podcast player


Click HERE to read the printable shownotes


Read on for your primer on how to prepare for ONLINE MEETINGS:

  • your technology
  • your physical space
  • your personal appearance
  • your “Online Meeting Preparation Checklist
online meeting preparation checklist


Online Meeting Preparation: YOUR TECHNOLOGY

Stable internet connection!

  • Consider using a cable instead of going wireless
  • You may have to update your modem
  • Protect your bandwidth. Consider adopting my rule: No gaming or streaming when Mom’s on Zoom!

online meeting preparation starts with a good internet connection

image: Unsplash @ theeastlondonphotographer

Recommended Tech Hardware:

  • Corded earphones – Then you don’t have to worry about the connection or the batteries.
  • A ring light. – Enables you to control your lighting position, intensity, and tone.
  • A peripheral camera – For under $50 can upgrade your computer’s camera and add flexibility to your camera placement.
online meeting preparation : lighting and hardware
image: Unsplash @ domenicoloia

Enable the videoconferencing platform

  • If you’re unfamiliar with the videoconferencing platform, send the host a quick email and ask if you need to download anything before joining the meeting.
  • Ideally, check your background and your title (name) before the meeting starts.


Online Meeting Preparation: YOUR PHYSICAL SPACE

Where Are You?

  • Not seated on your bed! (See below… Ideally, we cannot even see your bed!)
  • Lighting should be natural (as in daylight) and indirect (no sunbeams).  No shadows. A ring light can help.
  • The light source should be in front of you, not behind you.  Face the window or the light.
what online meeting preparation does NOT look like

Image: Unsplash @ sincerelymedia
⛔️ on bed
⛔️ camera not at eye level
pineapple in background (?!)


Tidy Up

  • This is a meeting, not a dorm party, right?
  • Check out ROOM RATER on Twitter or in this article for tips (pillows, plants, lamps and ???pineapples?!?)
  • What NOT to have in view:
    • Nothing too personal
    • Nothing inappropriate
    • Not untidy
    • Nothing distracting
Do colour-blocked bookshelves
get bonus points?

Furniture Set-Up

  • Sit or stand up straight.  Not leaning on your sofa.  Your kitchen or dining room table and chair are probably fine!
  • Ensure you have a big enough platform (table or desk) for your computer, papers, and whatever else you need close-at-hand during the meeting.
  • Consider a standing desk (like THIS one).

Adjust Your Camera to be at Eye Level

  • This is Zoom-skills 101. We don’t want to look up your nose or down on your big shiny forehead!


Online Meeting Preparation: YOUR PERSONAL APPEARANCE

Please wear pants!


On top:

  • Solids look better than patterns
  • Blue is a universally flattering colour on camera


  • If you wear jewelry, make sure it’s quiet. No bangle bracelets, no noisy necklaces, and no earrings that knock into your corded microphone.
online meeting preparation: no noisy jewelry!
image: Unsplash @ micheleghiri
Who me? (No noisy jewelry!)



Print THIS LIST (see pg.3) for reference before your online meetings:

(see page 3)

Not only will you be prepared, but you’ll also feel more confident if you go through this checklist. I encourage you to update your list as you think of things that help you be more productive in meetings.

Did I miss anything on this list?  Please ? email me and let me know.  I’ll share your ideas in a future newsletter!

Next week we’ll cover how to manage your ENERGY in online meetings.

Please forward this email to anyone who might appreciate some advice on communication skills and online meetingsThank you!  

Have a great week.
When referencing resources and products, Talk About Talk sometimes uses affiliate links. These links don’t impose any extra cost on you, and they help support the free content provided by Talk About Talk.