March 14, 2024

Do you have any tips for virtual meetings?

Yes, invest in Zoom!  The pandemic changed a lot of things, one of which was that many meetings became virtual.  While in-person meetings are back, virtual meetings still may be held from time-to-time, so we’ve compiled the following tips:

  • Virtual participants should be required to maintain compliance with all policies relating to confidentiality, data privacy, electronic communications and security. We recommend that all meetings begin with a reminder about confidentiality, privacy and security, and that this be reflected in the minutes.  Quorum and voting requirements apply as if at an in-person meeting.
  • The best practice is to prepare for calls by testing new cameras and microphones before the meeting. Also, minimize outside distractions, such as the dog coming in and out of the picture, hearing the neighbors fighting, or the kid next door testing out the new exhaust on his Dodge Challenger.  You can’t soundproof the walls, but do try to find a secluded, quiet space.
  • Remember that you’re in a professional setting. We’ve all heard the stories about people making dinner, brushing their teeth, etc., while on Zoom.  Avoid that and give the meeting the attention it deserves.
  • Remember that mute is your friend. Keep microphones on mute unless speaking, and always assume that the mic is hot.  Pre-pandemic, there’s the famous story about President Ronald Reagan forgetting that he had a hot mic, and saying “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”  Then there are the pandemic stories – all members of a San Francisco area school board resigned after they were heard making disparaging comments about parents at a virtual board meeting.  Always assume the mic is hot and the camera is on.
  • Set forth a process for sharing documents, taking into account: How do you control access? (passwords, secure email, etc.); Do you send emails to gmail accounts or only to hospital accounts? Are you going to blind the records?  Prohibit copies?  Which videoconferencing platform is secure for HIPAA and other privacy laws?  Create a list of approved software programs.

Finally, take everything and turn it into a policy to be used whenever a virtual meeting is held.

If you have a quick question about this, e-mail Nick at