Video conference etiquette: 16 handy tips

Walmart recently claimed that there had been a huge upsurge in the sale of business shirts and formal tops as compared to bottoms. Thanks to this current enforced trend of remote working; especially the now indispensable video conferencing!

What is commendable here is, despite this obligatory necessitation, people are being consciously alive to basic work etiquette.

Here is a list of 16 handy video-conferencing etiquette tips to help you with your P’s and Q’s while working remotely.

  1. Circulate the agenda beforehand

If you are the one hosting it, make sure all participants have the relevant information about this conference. Prepared participants, aid in the high productivity of the meetings.

  1. Right size your meetings

Do not unnecessarily populate your screen. Call only relevant participants.

  1. Wear work-appropriate clothing

At least waist up! That said, make sure you don’t stand up while the camera is on.

  1. Keep the background decent

Toy clutter, open bathroom door, piles of laundry, or kids mucking around are huge sources of distraction. Clear that clutter and tidy up your background.

Some video conferencing apps do allow blurring out backgrounds or setting up virtual ones. Use the feature if required.

  1. Angle your camera the right way

Keep your laptop camera at eye level or up. You can raise the level by placing books under it. Flared nostrils or tripled-up chin all over the screen is not a sight to behold. Top-down along your face is the best angle.

  1. Light it right

Light is best when focused from one of the sides.  It should not fall straight onto your face; neither should it ray in from behind. Follow these tips to prevent blinding your image on the screen.

  1. Be on time

Once all the other things are set, it is time to log in. Be there a couple of minutes ahead of the scheduled time.

  1. Pay attention

Avoid multi-tasking. Ideally, you should turn off all notifications, minimize all running applications, mute cell phones, and turn off the streaming radio.

Nothing could be a bigger put-off than munching crackers or clipping nails. No personal grooming please while on Video-call.

  1. Depute a timer

That helps to stay focused on the agenda in a time-bound manner.

  1. Share your screen carefully

Disable pop-ups. Close chat, email, or calendar programs. There have been cases where HRs had to send warning emails to participants for opening inappropriate sites while taking video calls in parallel.

  1. Mute the speaker when not speaking

You wouldn’t want a swearing spouse or a noisy Bluetooth or barking dog to steal the show. Irritants like heavy breathing, coughing, sniffing can be blocked by muting the speaker.

  1. Avoid parallel talking

Do not talk over others unless you want to be labeled rude.

  1. Stay concise

Make your point in a short and simple manner.

  1. Include visuals

Videos, charts, presentations aid in generating interest and facilitating a better understanding. Use them liberally.

  1. Record meetings for absentees

You can use the feature of recording important video calls for those who can’t attend. Manners say, do that only after notifying all the other participants.

  1. Avoid dead air

Perfect the art of small talk to avoid awkward silence. If you face any hiccups with the call, it’s okay to communicate, as they occur.

Video conferences these days have essentially become a tool for regular discussion at hand; as good as an in-person interaction at work. It is no more as formal as it used to be.

With the pandemic on, people understand how challenging it could get, trying to work from home. In this scenario, involving children seem to have become an acceptable addition in the ‘Won’t mind’ list of video-conferencing etiquette. A minute-long opening or closing talk by your little one can play a breather. News updates or weather reports or hygiene tips could be a good idea to involve children productively. 

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Nikhil Srivastava

    Wow…very nice and practical !!

  2. Amit Anshu

    Well written

  3. Chaitanya

    Comprehensive list.. Well Written..

  4. Chinmay

    Good tips. Very helpful.
    One more tip can be Art of raising hand sign to avoid parallel talk or talking over each other.

    1. Neha Srivastava

      Thank you for adding to the list Chinmay. Good tip.

  5. Aayush Kumar

    Good one ! Would help us all!

  6. Jayaram

    Nice compilation of things to do for an effective virtual meeting. Thanks for the share.

  7. Apurva Priyadarshi

    Excellent Post. Very handy.

  8. Kin

    I have been checking out a few of your posts and it’s pretty clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your website.

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