Web conferences aren’t always the most natural of situations which can sometimes lead to some common pitfalls and awkwardness, as well as some pretty annoying phrases!
If you’re a regular to web conferencing, you’ve most likely come across some or more of these phrases at some point. Very often the problems arrive when you’re being asked to use an online meeting platform which is unfamiliar to you. I’ve learnt that it certainly pays to be prepared, allowing plenty of time to set-up the technology beforehand, run an audio check, and still be on time for the meeting. Investing in a good quality headset is another ‘must’, if virtual meetings are a regular thing for you.
My pet peeve is those who dial into web conferences while they are driving. I once had a client who used to do that all of the time, so that not only was her mind (and often vocabulary) more focused on driving, but she would frequently ‘drop-off’ the meeting when her mobile network dipped. Being stationary, in a quiet, well-networked place, is almost certainly a pre-requisite for an effective virtual meeting.
So without further ado, here are my top 13 most annoying web conferencing phrases, which I have ashamedly uttered at some point, or been on the receiving end of!
1. “Who are we still waiting for?”
You’ve arrived promptly for the conference, but there’s always someone who joins the meeting late. Reluctantly, you wave and say “hello”, for the fifth time probably.
2. “So, what’s the weather like where you are?”
You’ve joined the call early, and it’s just you and someone you’ve never met on the meeting. You’re left to make small talk about the weather for the next few minutes.
3. “Who just joined?”
There’s no way of sneaking onto a web conference a few minutes late. We all know the shame of joining a meeting late, and awkwardly having to introduce yourself, or do a little wave on webcam, before conversation can continue.
4. “I couldn’t get the access code to work”
The standard excuse for someone who left it until the last second to dial in, or who completely forgot that they even had a meeting scheduled.
5. “Can you see my screen?”
Shared screen functionality is awesome, when you know how to use it properly! Even though you’ve pressed the ‘share my screen’ button, it’s difficult to resist the urge to ask ‘can you see my screen?’ And have you ever been caught browsing through personal emails or checking Facebook when you didn’t realise your screen was being shared? Awkward!
6. “Sorry, was I on mute?”
That moment when you pray to God you were on mute, as you’ve just yelled at your kids to keep quiet in the background. Or when you’ve wondered why someone is talking over your wonderfully articulate argument, only to realise you’ve been on mute the whole time.
7. “I think we’re getting feedback on the line. Could everyone press mute?”
When multitasking background noise gets so intense, it’s completely drowning conversation out. When things reach that point, maybe it’s time to end the conference anyway?
8. “I’m sorry, the audio was breaking up and I didn’t quite catch the question. Please could you repeat it?”
Just when you’re at the point of zoning out from a pretty pointless conference, you hear your name and realise someone has directed a question specifically at you. Fear not, the technology was obviously to blame!
9. “You go ahead…No, you go first…”
When two people start speaking at the same time, the “who’s talking next?” game begins, and continues, for most of the meeting.
10. “Sorry guys, I got cut off”
There’s always one person, dialling in via their mobile or VOIP, who gets cut off at that all important point in the conversation; or worse still enters the wind tunnel!
11. “Oh my webcam doesn’t appear to be working”
Which is very often code for, “I’m working from home today and have bed head, and my pajamas still on!”
12. “Whoever is typing, can you please mute yourself?”
The joy of web conferencing is that you can continue your Facebook messenger conversation with your friend, without anyone seeing. But make sure you’re on mute!
13. “Can you hear me?”…“Yes”…“Hello, can you hear me?”…“Yes, I can hear you”…“Test, testing, 1, 2 ,3. Can you hear me?”…“Yeeeees, we ALL can hear you”…“Test…lalalala…can you hear me?”
That classic situation where your microphone is working, but your speakers aren’t!
And finally, we’ve all been on that hour-long web conference, during which you only mutter two things. Your name at the beginning, and “have a great afternoon everyone” at the end!
Do these phrases annoy you too, or would you include others within your top 13? We’d love to hear below…