A Few Lessons in Video Conferencing Etiquette

Posted on 04/04/2018

Video conferencing is one of the biggest ways that technological advancements have changed the corporate world. While meetings used to be face-to-face and required traveling, programs like Skype, Nefsis and IVisit are quickly making this kind of meeting method obsolete. Meetings can now be held absolutely everywhere and at any time, saving money and time for all concerned. In order to make the most of this revolutionary technology, you need to be sure that you are using it appropriately and paying close attention to the rules of video conferencing etiquette.

Find a Flattering Angle

The absolute last thing you want is to spend the entire meeting with everyone involved enjoying a fine view of the inside of your nose. The position of the camera or laptop you are using needs to be ideal. Remember to follow the 'elbow and wrist' rule if you are using a laptop. When you stretch out your arms, the laptop screen should be between your elbows and wrists for an optimum view. You may also want to consider raising the laptop slightly with books so that the angle is even more flattering. Before the meeting begins, ensure that your camera and laptop are well positioned so you don't take up anyone else's time with unnecessary fiddling.

Set the Scene

Don't put your messy office or home on display. The only thing you should be showcasing is you, and certainly not a backdrop of piled books, squawking parakeets, unwashed laundry or empty beer cans. Again, prior to the meeting, spend a few minutes cleaning up. Reduce noise as much as possible and arrange the lighting so that you are clearly visible. You may even want to invest in a few inexpensive lamps in order to find a professional lighting. Not having a face-to-face experience means it can be harder to read others during the meeting, but if you ensure that your environment is well lit, others should have no trouble understanding what you mean.

Make a Little Effort

Even though you are not in the office, you still need to ensure that you look as though you are. It may be tempting to dress casually, but holding a meeting in your pajamas is simply not acceptable, even if you are Working from home. Style your hair, throw on a little makeup if you like, and choose colors that are neutral or muted. Vibrant clothes can be very distracting and the camera may have trouble registering complicated patterns. The last thing you want is to be the outlandishly dressed member that distracts the rest throughout the entire meeting. In 2011, a survey revealed that 76 percent of all human resource professionals considered a breach of technology etiquette to have a real impact on positive impressions in business. However, with the constant influx of new technologies, apps, and devices, it isn't always easy to understand how the systems work, let alone be mindful of etiquette. Considering the negative side effects that a tech blunder can have, it is worth keeping on top of what is considered polite – and what is unacceptable - in our constantly shifting business environment.
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