Video Conferencing Etiquette: Practical Guidelines and Tips

With the cost of business travel soaring ever upward, video conferencing has become a practical and popular alternative to face-to-face meetings. But even if you are not meeting in person, you should not leave your etiquette behind. Here are a few guidelines and tips on making the most of your video conferencing.

Plan Ahead:

  • Check that you have the right the IP address of the site you want to call.
  • Test all of your equipment before the conference. Make sure presentations are ready to run and all supporting software and hardware is working properly.
  • Video conferencing programs generally include a “self view” window. This lets you see how you appear on the remote end. It a good idea to preview your image in the window prior to your meeting so you can make any adjustments.
  • Adjust your camera so that the screen is focused on all the participants (taking care not to leave anyone out) and not the other objects in the room.
  • Make sure you and your environment are “photogenic”. Avoid wearing bright colors, busy patterns, and jewelry. Also take a look at your background. Try to make sure that the room you are sitting in is not too busy or cluttered. Pay attention to the room’s lighting including the sunlight coming from nearby windows.
  • Place the microphone in a central location so that all of the participants can be heard.

Considerations During the Meeting:

  • Treat your virtual meeting as if you were meeting in person. Be on time, courteous, and professional.
  • You should make sure everyone has access to the same information before the meeting starts, and that everyone is aware of the agenda.
  • Make sure all the participants have been introduced to each other. It is also important to announce if anyone enters or leaves the room in the middle of the conference.
  • Look straight into the camera or monitor when you speak. Try to be as “natural” and relaxed as you can.
  • Try not to shift your attention or distract yourself with anything in your environment or with any other outside work. Remember, you’re on camera!
  • Try to avoid side conversations or making any other extraneous noise, such as coughing or shuffling papers. It is generally a good idea to press the mute button when you are not speaking since the video conferencing system system will not be able to differentiate between this background noise and relevant conversation.
  • Moreover, if you are using a voice-activated multi point video conferencing system then your video will switch automatically among the conference sites depending on who is speaking. Any distracting sounds on your end could make the video switch from the person who is speaking and instead broadcast the source of those sounds.
  • Often the audio of video conferencing systems has a slight delay. Therefore, be sure to pause briefly so others can have a chance to respond.

¬†Any other suggestions? Post them in the comments section…

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