Video Conferencing Etiquette

Do you know the Golden Rules for Your Successful Conference Call?

In our times of home office and home schooling we have all acquired quite a bit of expertise in handling a large portfolio of video conferencing programs and tools. And still there may be all sorts of disturbances in the flow of an online-meeting, if certain dos and don’ts are not considered when you enter a virtual meeting room.

Here are ten rules how to conduct yourselves in video-meetings

1. Announcement

Send out meeting requests and information well in advance, ideally at least 48 hours before the scheduled start time. Include all required information on software, equipment, purpose and agenda.

2. Preparation

Test your technology – computer, applications, camera and microphone – to ensure it’s all functioning before the meeting begins.

3. Light and Camera

Make sure your room is well lit (side lighting is the best). Use natural light from windows or simply turn on the overhead light in the room.  Position your camera on eye level and on the monitor you use for the conference.

4. Your Gaze

Make and keep “eye contact” with others in the meeting by looking at the camera when you’re talking and listening. Resist the temptation to multitask during a video meeting – it is quite obvious, when a participant isn’t paying attention!

5. Your Look

Put on professional, clean clothing and check your appearance in the mirror before your video meeting begins. Getting ready for the workday can help put you in a productive mindset.  Proper clothing matters even over video! Colors to avoid are white, black, and red that are not properly displayed by the camera lens; single colors win over prints.  

6. Your background

The best background for video meetings is a relatively blank one that won’t be distracting. Check to make sure there isn’t anything in your background you would not like to show. Most virtual meeting platforms allow you to change or blur the background if needed.

7. Microphone

Speak loudly and clearly, but don’t shout! Mute your microphone whenever you’re not speaking – even if you’re alone in the room. Background noise can be very annoying. Be careful not to interrupt others when they’re speaking!

8. Stay Focused

Stick to the agenda for the sake of productivity and focus, even if – especially in home office – the environment seems more informal and may invite you to veer of topic.  

9. Avoid Distractions

Turn off or silence your phone (if you aren’t using it to call in). Make sure that no one will interrupt you by entering the room or addressing you directly.

10. Plan the End

End with a quick recap providing decisions made and actions agreed on.  Let everyone know what to expect next and make arrangements for the next video chat follow-up. And of course, thank everyone for their time and show your appreciation for the participants’ efforts.

A final useful hint

Be careful, when you share your screen! Make sure you close documents you don’t want to share, and temporarily disable any incoming messaging notifications while you’re presenting.

Foto: © Andrey Popov – 340094283 –