Video Conferencing Etiquette and Rules

A study by the University of Michigan examined the four most popular communication platforms and how they formed trust. No surprise that in person collaboration was number one. Video conferencing was number two, audio was third, and text based communication like email and chat was last.

With today’s dispersed workforce in person collaboration obviously isn’t always possible; but video conferencing is. Today’s enterprise video solutions allow employees to connect wherever they are. In many workplaces it is rapidly replacing in person meetings.  

However just because your communication isn’t in person doesn’t mean there are less rules involved. Who ever is on the other end of your video conference deserves your full respect and attention. While some of this may be common sense, here are a few reminders for your next video call:

Be punctual

Just like you shouldn’t arrive late to an in person meeting, you shouldn’t keep anyone waiting on a video conferencing call. If you are unfamiliar with the technology you will be using, take the time to learn it ahead of time, or enlist some help. Many video conferencing vendors offer assistance to ensure your webcasts and web conferences run smoothly.

Introduce yourself

If you haven’t previously met the participants on your call, take a few moments to introduce yourself. Just like a real in person meeting, it is important that everyone involved knows who they are speaking with and what their role may be on the call.

Avoid background conversation

If you are in the same room with another colleague it can be tempting to engage in side conversation. This is not only rude, but you potentially will miss out on other communication. Modern video conferencing solutions carry functionality so participants can privately chat with others. It’s also important to let any participant on a call to finish speaking before interjecting. Too many people speaking at once can create audio feedback and can cause confusion for other participants.  

Don’t monopolize screen time

Especially when there are multiple people on a call, make sure you do not monopolize the meeting. Like an in-person meeting, it is always useful to have an agenda to create clarity over who is speaking what the the topics for discussion are.

Maintain eye contact

It’s can be easy to forget that you are on camera. And it can be easy to lose focus, especially if you aren’t the one speaking. This can lead to participants checking their phones, and other distractions. Keep your focus on the camera, and treat it like you would treat a real person in a conversation.

Don’t shout

Adjust the volume on your microphone If someone can’t hear you. Yelling will only cause viewers to turn down their volume and potentially miss anything important you have to say. Also, depending on your conference setup, if you are having difficulties with your audio, it may be easier to send a private chat message to the moderator instead of raising your voice.

One final word of advice, try to have a good time. The more relaxed you are and the more fun you have, the more focused your audience will be on your delivery and content.

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