5 Tips to Make the Most of Video Conferencing


Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s easy enough to understand, right?
Well, it applies in person, on the phone, and on video chat.

Offering our coworkers and clients the respect and time they deserve is key to our business as communicators and marketers. Meeting in person allows us to feel closer to one another. And, in person, it can sometimes be easier to pick up on social cues and get to know one another.

But we know there are many ways to become and stay connected. Sometimes it’s not possible or preferable to meet in person. Enter video conferencing.

Holding a conference call brings everyone’s voice into the same room. Video conferencing combines audio and voice communications, bringing you face-to-face with participants. It’s the closest you can get to being in the same room as your colleagues without actually being there.

However, sometimes when we navigate a new channel of communications, we hit a few bumps in the road.

Transferring a conversation online, or into an email, direct message, or video, requires planning. Look at it this way, if you were to meet a client for coffee, you would come prepared. You would pick out the place beforehand, wear an appropriate outfit, and bring along necessary paperwork.

Just because you’re not meeting in the office doesn’t mean workplace etiquette is thrown out the window.
Show off your social skills with video meeting etiquette.

Here are five tips to cover the dos and don’ts of video conferencing. Follow them to make sure all your virtual meetings run smoothly.

Test and set up your equipment beforehand. Before you send or accept a video meeting invitation, make sure you have the proper technology in place. Do you need to download an application? Grab a pair of headphones? Familiarize yourself with the mute and hang-up buttons?

You should also check that your settings are correct. Various video conferencing applications come with different security features. So, if you forget to update your privacy settings or share a private access code publicly, you may leave room for an interloper to join the call. 

Show up on time. Sometimes it can be hard to remember to join a video call. You don’t necessarily have to get up and enter a different room. You may find yourself lulled into the rhythm of working at your computer and forget. Still, it’s rude to be late or forget a meeting.

There’s no other way to say it—just show up when it’s time for the meeting. Make sure it’s on your calendar and set a reminder. On a similar note, meeting leaders should feel empowered to start on time. It can be frustrating (and awkward) to leave the group staring at their screens while waiting for a final participant to join.

Show up with an appropriate look. Although you may be working from home and joining a video call from your spare bedroom or kitchen, that doesn’t mean you’re not “at” work. Look the part by wearing appropriate clothing—and having an appropriate background.

Video conferencing means your audience can see you and your surroundings. If the meeting were in person, consider where you would meet and how you would behave. Make eye contact, show interest, and show your commitment to doing a good job by being professional in every aspect.

Wait for your turn with mute. To give proper space for the speaker, the courteous thing to do is to mute yourself. This can be as simple as pressing a button. Even if you think you’ll be sitting quietly, an unexpected noise or background sound could distract fellow participants. Play it safe and stay on mute. Then, of course, remember to actually unmute yourself when it’s your turn to talk.

Additionally, for big group meetings, the organizer may want to consider turning on settings where participants must “raise their hand” to be unmuted and ask their question during a webinar. Another option is to encourage participants to use a chat area, which meeting leaders could read from.

Find a balance between work and play. Video conferencing enables you to have efficient, goal-oriented meetings. Instead of mulling about outside the conference room and making chit-chat with peers beforehand, your group might simply log on, say hello, and start the agenda. On the flip side, perhaps your video conferencing colleagues have trouble logging off. They might find themselves staying on the call to talk about weekend plans, drawing the meeting out for all participants.

There’s no perfect solution, but it’s important to find a balance between work and play. Don’t let working remotely stand in the way of establishing healthy working relationships. Remote work is not emotionless work. At the same time, just as you would in any meeting, remember to respect boundaries and time limits. Speak up to tell your coworkers if you need to head out to another meeting. Follow up via email with notes or additional questions.

Ultimately, good communication is always in style, even on a video call.


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