With the arrival of COVID-19, we entered the world of video calls and meetings. As video conferences and meetings have become more routine and a more normal form of communication, we have compiled some tips on etiquette while on your next video conference.
Arrive on time – this is the most important etiquette tip we can share. Would you show up late to a meeting with your boss at a coffee shop? It goes without saying to show up to any meeting on time and this is still true with virtual meetings.
Turn on your video – but before you do, where is your camera aimed? Preview your video prior to your meeting. What is in the background (or who)? How is the lighting where you are sitting? Be cognizant of what others will be seeing.
Know where the mute button is – if others are home with you, warning them that you will be on a video call can be helpful in reducing interruptions or background noise. On the topic of audio, knowing which device you will be using and having that set up prior to your meeting can ensure a smooth transition from mute to speaking; will you be on a headset or will you be dialing in from your phone?
Reducing distractions – turn off, close or mute other programs that may interrupt you during your meeting (email, IM’s, etc.). Much like during an in-person meeting, you would mute your phone to prevent it from ringing, this rule also applies here. Reducing these distractions also prevents multitasking and helps keep you present during the meeting.
Eye contact and body language – this may require more effort on your end than if you were in an in-person meeting. Make sure you are looking into the camera in order to maintain consistent eye contact during your video call. A kind reminder: silence is not always golden; you cannot necessarily rely on your body language to make a point or response that you do not make verbally or with more dramatic gestures. Body language cues are not as easily recognizable on video.
A bonus tip for meeting hosts – screen-sharing. Always, always, always be aware of what you are sharing, especially as it pertains to sensitive information. Know where your notifications pop up and know which screen you are sharing and what is on that screen.
The regular routine of video conferencing is here and more than likely here to stay. Following these tips can help you ensure a smooth meeting, as a host or a participant.
For other tips and tricks, check out our blog.
Written by Nicole Renaud – Operations Manager