Video conference etiquette is similar to meeting with co-workers in person. It’s essential to be punctual, prepared, and respectful.
Avoid distractions like eating, checking email, and watching TV during the call. Also, make sure to test your camera and microphone beforehand. It could be better to have technical difficulties during a meeting.
The first rule of video conferencing is to be prepared. Having everything ready to participate in the call shows your commitment to it, and it saves time. It includes having any documents or websites open that you might need to reference during the meeting. It also means having the camera on your laptop set up to a position where you can quickly look into it without clicking the button every few seconds. Lastly, it means dressing professionally. It’s no longer 2020, and you shouldn’t be seen working from home in your sweatpants or while your kids play in the background.
Muting your microphone when you’re not speaking is vital for video calls. The microphones on most devices can pick up coughing, sneezing, and typing noises that can distract and annoy other participants. It’s also good to remember to close any messenger apps or unnecessary tabs, as this can also be disruptive.
While it may seem obvious, being polite during a video call is essential. Not only does this show professionalism and respect for those participating, but it also contributes to clear communication and productivity.
Muting your devices is also an essential part of video conference etiquette. A ringing phone or even a chirp of notifications distracts everyone on the call. It’s the same as if someone’s phone was going off in the middle of a movie theater; it manages to annoy everyone while the owner fumbles around for a way to silence it.
Additionally, it’s best to avoid surprising participants with a video call. Instead, send a quick chat or email to give a heads-up and request permission to switch to video. Try to get an explicit yes before starting a video call so that no one is surprised and can prepare accordingly.
Just like a face-to-face meeting, it is essential to be respectful of others. It means listening carefully, not interrupting, and avoiding side conversations or texting. It also means muting your phone and putting away other distractions, such as a stack of bills or new emails.
It’s also important to look into the camera instead of looking at a monitor or document, as this conveys that you are addressing the other call participants directly and genuinely interested in their conversation. Also, be sure to position the camera correctly (not too high or low) and that your lighting is adequate.
Finally, avoiding double-speak during a video conference is crucial, as this can cause static or audio distortion and be incredibly frustrating for attendees. Instead, pause for a second after another person speaks and wait to speak until they give you the green light.
Video conference calls aren’t a time to relax or catch up with friends. They’re a professional setting and deserve your full attention. Avoid distractions such as checking social media feeds, looking at emails or text messages, or eating. These can not only ruin the mood of the call but also make you look unprofessional and disinterested.
It’s also essential to ensure you’re in a quiet place without many distractions before the call. Find a quiet room in your home and shut the door. Having a messy office, a stack of papers on your desk, or an unfolded blanket in the background can make you seem disorganized and unable to focus.
Practice this before the meeting by signing on 15 minutes early and doing a test call with someone. It will help familiarize you with the software and ensure your connection works well.
Be On Time
If you’re running late for a virtual meeting, you must send a quick email or chat message letting everyone know you’ll be joining the call later. Being late to video conference calls is a faux pas that can cause confusion, miscommunication, and frustration for the people on the call.
Even if you’re not talking during a video call, you should make it a habit of muting yourself whenever possible. The microphone on your computer can pick up sounds like keyboard typing, chewing, side-chat, or traffic noises that can distract and annoy other participants.
You should also minimize the number of windows or tabs open during a video call, especially if they contain proprietary information you don’t want to share with others. It’s always better to close them than to accidentally share something you shouldn’t.
Be Respectful of Others
It may seem obvious, but respecting others on your video call is essential. It’s never acceptable to check your email or social media feed during a meeting, and even more so on video. Even if you think you can multitask, it’s elementary to miss out on important information when trying to read your email while listening to someone speak or typing on your keyboard during a video call.
It’s also a good idea to avoid interrupting other attendees while they’re speaking. It is especially true on video calls as it can cause static or lead to audio distortion. It’s much better to pause and allow them to finish before you respond.
Finally, always be punctual. It’s a sign of respect for your colleagues and clients to be on time for a virtual meeting. It’s also more productive to start on time and end on time than to make everyone wait.