Using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Whereby has become second nature since the pandemic. But whilst we would love to be sitting in our trackies behind the screen, it is important to maintain a certain standard when using video conferencing and below, Steamed Egg give their top tips for video conferencing etiquette!
- Treat your video conference like a real-life meeting
- Be punctual, dress professionally and come prepared for the call
- Test your tech before to avoid delaying the meeting
When attending a video conferencing meeting, you should treat it just as you would any other meeting. Part of this means making sure you are on time and prepared for the call.
In the case of video conferencing, this may mean dialling in early or testing your microphone and camera beforehand. Just as it would with a physical meeting, arriving late can be distracting and disruptive for those already in the call.
2- Check Your Tech
A year of video conferencing has made everyone more tech savvy. Yet, there are still tech problems that can easily occur. Before any video conferencing session, it is worth testing your tech. This is especially true for external meetings. For any situations in which internal employees are meeting with, pitching to or presenting to external clients, it is even more important that the tech runs smoothly as it paints a picture of the company as a whole.
3- Adjust Camera Position
There is nothing worse than staring up someone’s nose during a video conference. When setting up your camera for a call, the position of the camera is crucial. The camera should be at eye level so that you are looking into the camera.
Experts suggest having the camera far enough away that it shows your torso upwards. Any higher than this will lead to the camera staring down at you, and putting it lower gives rise to unflattering angles.
4- Maintain Eye Contact
One disadvantage of video conferencing is the lack of personal connection and the inability to make proper eye contact or read non-verbal body language queues. A small trick to fix this is by moving your video view on the screen as close to your device’s webcam as possible. This means that when you are looking at their video, you are also staring down their camera and, as much as possible, mimicking eye contact.
5- Mute Yourself
We have all seen the perils of leaving your microphone on during a video conferencing call. Whilst these mishaps make for a funny meme, they can kill the mood of a meeting. Working from home gives rise to many distractions, be it screaming babies, barking dogs, or housemates.
Muting your device’s microphone reduces these background noises and helps all member’s of the meeting keep focused.
6- Use the Chat Function
With many people in one video conference, it can be difficult to know when to interrupt for fear of many people talking over each other at once. The chat function is an easy way of combatting this.
The majority of video conferencing software offers a chat feature which allows people to comment during the meeting. This is perfect, especially if there is one speaker and you want to ask a question without disrupting the flow of the conference.
7- Dress for the Occasion
It may feel silly getting all dressed up to sit in your lounge but it has been proven that dressing properly for work, even when remote working, can help you feel more productive and professional.
Not only that, but it transmits to colleagues that you take your work seriously and that you treat a day of remote working the same as you would treat a day of going into the office.
8- Lights, Camera, Action
The value of good lighting can make all the difference to a video call. Making sure that your face is clearly seen helps ease the artificial nature of video conferencing, helping it to seem as natural as possible.
A tip for this is to try and position yourself with your face to natural light, so that the light is landing on your face, rather than with your back to the light. Well-placed lamps can also be a useful way of brightening up your camera.