Posted & filed under Culture.

Picture this: You’re on a virtual meeting call at home. You want to stay focused, but you also just noticed the Amazon truck pulled up. You don’t even remember what you bought. It is just sitting there on your porch waiting for you to rip it open and bask in the 5 seconds of pure joy that you will certainly feel. You bet it is something good. You’re also hungry. You wonder if it is unprofessional to eat some ice cream right now.

Staying focused during meetings can be challenging. Especially when you add the distractions of your home and the ability to hide behind a closed camera. So how do we maintain full attention while attending virtual meetings or trainings? Here are some tips.

Ask yourself some important questions

  • What is the purpose for the meeting, and what value can I add?
  • What do I want to contribute?
  • What do I hope to learn?
  • What is the most critical thing to communicate?

Close all other windows on your computer

  • If you really want to stay focused, it’s just too tempting to open your email when notifications pop up.

Move your cell phone out of arms reach

  • Putting it in a place that would require leaving your seat will keep you from distracting yourself with it.

Turn video on

  • Peer pressure is a wonderfully effective tool. Knowing your co-workers can see you subconsciously and consciously impacts how you stay focused. 

Keep hands up

  • Having your hands showing in the video tells people that you aren’t texting or typing and that you are fully present.

Engage in the conversation

  • Make a comment and contribute to the call.

Take notes

  • Have pen and paper ready to jot down all crucial points or follow up items.

Mute your meeting audio when not talking

  • Background noise can be super distracting. Keeping your phone on mute will help others to stay focused.

Make the most of your meetings and trainings. Contribute. Stay present. Participate. Everything and everyone benefit when we show up and do our best. 


As reflected in all of her roles, Jo is a believer in people and their potential. Juggling the demanding roles of a Learning and Development Specialist, author, and adoring mother of two all at the same time, it can fairly be stated that Jo changes lives full-time.