You love your laptop, right? It can go wherever you go and is great for meetings. Although I prefer pen and paper, I will carry my laptop with me to meetings if it is really important.
I have learned to not use it for every meeting, which has made me aware of some bad habits people can adopt when using their gadgets around others. Being an office goddess means making things look effortless, seamless, and effortless. These tips will help you to be a good office gadget etiquette.
Set up your laptop before you use it in a meeting. Don’t waste your meeting time (or anyone else’s) trying to figure out how to connect it. Then you realize that you forgot the mains cable at work and have only 16 minutes left of battery life.
It’s simple. Sort out your 3G/wifi in advance. Know how to route around your proxy server while you are away from the office and get the passwords.
Set up your projector and laptop early if you plan to use it for a presentation. You should know how to switch the projector to your screen and back to your screen. If you are navigating slides or looking for things on your laptop, turn the display off during the presentation. Then switch it back on. You don’t want everyone to see your email 6ft up on the wall.
Make sure you have the right size table for your meeting. It’s not easy to fit 6 laptops onto a small circular table and balance your projector on your knees.
Also, think about the size of your room: If it is too small, it will quickly get hot with all the gadgets.
Before you go to the meeting room, turn the volume down. You will be annoyed by the email alert or login noises. They are usually louder than you expected.
Talking and typing are not compatible. You can’t talk and type in meetings. Otherwise you really aren’t saving any time, all you are doing is replacing type-it-up-later time with sitting-in-silence-in-the-meeting-room-while-I-type time.
BlackBerries and phones
Put your phone on silent. Turn off any recording equipment or video conferencing equipment in the room. It’s impossible to turn it off. What is your real importance? If you are so important that your phone can’t be turned off for an hour, you will have a secretary who can get you to safety if the world crashes. It is important to inform your staff that you are not available in advance.
Let the attendees know in advance if you expect a call. It happens. You can then sit at the door and wait for the call to come. All calls are not important. Only the one you expected is important enough to you to be excused from the meeting.
Your BlackBerry should not vibrate on the desk. This can make quite a noise. It’s easier to keep it in your pocket or on the seat next to you. You shouldn’t even be looking at it.
Let’s repeat the last point: you shouldn’t be looking at it anyway. Emails and texts can wait. It is disrespectful to check your messages while someone is giving a presentation.
It is annoying for other conference attendees to hear you typing away while you are on a conference phone call. Don’t do it. Wear a headset to reduce the sound of your phone tapping.
OK, no excuses now. Set an example for others!