There has been a lot of change. Over just a couple months we have seen a change in the way that we live our daily lives, and do our daily work. Our time spent at work and at home is in one space, and our interaction with our co-workers has become strictly virtual for most businesses. Some would assume the same rules apply for video conference calls as in-person meetings. But that is simply not true. There are said and unsaid rules in the world of video calls that we want to share with you. Keep reading and learn the rules of etiquette for virtual business meetings.
Use Your Mute Button
When you are not speaking, be sure to click your mute button. Background noise can be distracting and disturb your fellow co-workers. The last thing you want is your air conditioner drowning out your boss’s voice while he speaks. Also, working from home comes with unexpected disturbances (spouses, children, pets), and it’s better not to risk something being overheard—when it doesn’t need to be heard.
Turn on Your Webcam
When everyone has their webcam on, it’s clear that you need to have yours on as well. Whenever it’s a toss-up (some do, some don’t) and you’re not sure, we suggest the answer is a yes. Plus, it’s good to have some face on face time. Connect with your co-workers. Facial expressions are always an important non-verbal communication—just don’t forget your camera is on. Ever.
Secure Your Internet Connection
There is nothing worse than having the screen frozen on an [unattractive] picture of your face. And sometimes, there is nothing you can do about it. But for safety sake, double check your WIFI connection. Be close to your router, and restart your computer daily. Clear your cache and cookies weekly. It will decrease your chances of the (unfortunate) event your computer freezing up on you during a video call.
Say Your Name Before You Speak (When Applicable)
If you have a bi-weekly or monthly meeting with team members you don’t see often, be sure to say your name before you speak—especially when you do not have a video camera on. Just remember this isn’t show-and-tell. First name will do just fine.
Speak Loud and Clear (And Slow)
Speak loud, clear, and probably slower than you usually do—especially you fast talkers, you know who you are. Also, don’t be afraid of the silence. Just as if you were in an in-person meeting, embrace the quiet. Allow space for thought and give opportunities for questions to be asked—and not just at the end of presentations. Also, try to avoid long speeches—it’s a meeting, not a webinar. Speak up, even if it feels awkward at times.
Ask and Verify the Presentation Visual
If you are the one presenting during a meeting, be sure to ask everyone if they can see your screen before you start. Often, you can believe you are sharing your screen view, when in-fact you’re not (how embarrassing). Try to avoid this mistake, if possible. We suggest putting a sticky note on your monitor/laptop screen to prevent such happenings.
Keep to these guidelines, and you’ll be just fine for any virtual business meeting that comes your way.
Stay Safe Everyone~