Modern Manners: A Brief Guide To Video Conferencing Etiquette

Posted by Annelise Fasnacht on Apr 9, 2020 11:24:19 AM

The remote workforce has added millions of people to its ranks in the last few weeks. There will certainly be a learning curve as employees adjust to the logistics of working from home. For those who will be meeting with their co-workers and bosses via video, there might be some additional trepidation around technology. Here are a few tips for video conferencing newcomers.

Know Where You’re Going And How You’re Going To Get There

If you were invited to a meeting in an unfamiliar office building across town, you’d want to know how to get there and where to park and what floor the conference room was on, right? A video conference is really no different. You might not be driving across town, but you still have to know where you're going. Do you have the meeting link? Do you know if you need to download any apps or extensions to join the meeting? Do you have the correct log-in information? Get all these ducks in a row well ahead of time, so you can show up to the video conference on time and prepared.

Kill The Noise

You probably don’t notice the little hums and hiccups of your home office anymore. Your buzzing refrigerator and hissing heater and whirring fan make for a soft blanket of white noise to your ears, which are so accustomed to these domestic sounds that they don’t even register them. But for the folks on the other end of a video conference call, these unwanted guests will be competing with your voice for precious sonic space in their headphones. Poly has done some amazing work with their NoiseBlock technology, but to get the most out of your conferencing technology, you should eliminate as much background sound as you can.

The Right Light

Now that you’re sure everyone in your video meeting will be able to hear you, you’ll want to make sure they’ll be able to see your lovely face as well. If you can, sit facing a window and take advantage of bright natural light. Working in the basement? No windows in your office? Positioning a small desk lamp next to your monitor should do the trick. Whatever you do, don’t use overhead lights. They will throw shadows onto your face and make you look like a sickly vampire. This is not a good business look.

Testing Testing 123

Cruise into your video call with the confidence of an expert and get together with a trusted colleague for a practice meeting. During this little test run, get comfortable with the basic controls and get used to maintaining eye contact with the cold, blank stare of a camera. Get all the awkwardness out of your system ahead of time. When the real meeting starts, you’ll already be a natural.

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