10 Etiquette Rules for Participants of Videoconferences

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Modern technology has offered convenience and ease of communication. One of the preferred and accessible ways to communicate in the private sphere or workplace is videoconferencing.

With the help of laptops, phones, and specialized videoconferencing equipment as seen in the corporate setting, video calls are a breeze to make and join. It’s common to see someone talking in front of a screen at a coffee shop, employees gathered in a conference room, or a parent catching up with kids on school and other interests.

On the surface, communicating electronically looks straightforward. But it still relies on good manners and consideration for everyone involved. These rules facilitate a seamless and smooth experience of conducting videoconferences in a formal and businesslike manner.

Confirm the Call

Don’t be that person who chats a few minutes before a call to ask for a final heads-up. Make sure that all parties to the video call are on the same page about the time, the side making the call, and other relevant details. If you are the host of the conference call, do a test run to correct or mitigate technical difficulties.

Act as You Would in Real Life

Despite not seeing the person physically and directly in the eye when in a video call, treat him or her the way you do when engaged in real-life conversations. Be polite, address him or her accordingly, and stay on topic. You can act friendly without being too invasive about personal matters.

Show Up Dressed and Well-Groomed

To be fair, the dress code for a video call is more relaxed than that of an actual event. Unless there’s a need to stand or move, you can focus on the top of the ensemble. Wear simple and subtle accessories, and skip bold patterns on shirts to not cause a distraction during the meeting.

It follows that you have cleaned your face and checked it for the last time before the call started. Makeup can be a source of distraction, so put on something natural and camera-friendly.

Don’t Be Rude

Rudeness is such a crime in any form of communication and leaves a wrong impression about you. If the line of the other person is breaking up, speak up immediately, or let him or her know that you can’t hear properly.

See Them in the Eye

Eye contact builds rapport. It is a crucial nonverbal cue that makes communication effective. The position of the camera is essential in this endeavor. Thus, you will have to play around the configuration and try which setup will look like you are meeting the other person’s gaze.

Never Swear or Use Foul Language

Tension can arise, and things can get heated while on a call. Despite differences in views, control your emotions. With your feelings reined in, you can avoid hurling insults or blurting words that you don’t mean. It’s hard to undo the damage.

Find a Spot Conducive for a Call

If you are videoconferencing a person outside the office or home, set yourself up in a spot that is quiet and well-lit. This venue should not be crowded and noisy. If the place fills up at some point, inform everyone that you are going to mute the microphone when you are not speaking.

Stop What You Are Doing

Your eyes and ears should be at the meeting so that you can speak up when addressed. It’s also impolite to ask for a question to be repeated when you are not listening.

  • Refrain from doing things like answering chats and scrolling social media posts. Put away your phone somewhere you can’t see it.
  • If you are huddled in a room, try not to engage in a conversation with your seatmate or whoever is in the meeting.
  • Put down the lid of your laptop when not used for the videoconference.

Respect Everyone’s Time

Here are some golden pointers:

  • If you are the caller, start on time. If the other end does not pick up, leave a message. Carry on the presentation or discussion despite the late attendees. They can catch up later. However, stick to the agreed duration of the meeting like 30 minutes. Give the others option to send questions after the meeting. You must not keep everyone. Meetings with two or three people are made for this reason.
  • If you are the receiver, send a message that you will be late. Do it as soon as you can and not a few minutes before the call. Try not to talk with other people in the room or ask what transpired.

Say “Thank You”

It’s your way to show appreciation for everyone’s presence and participation. Don’t be too quick to hang up except when you are the receiver.

Video calls are about making people’s lives easier by communicating without physically meeting. However, as in any human interaction, decorum still rules and applies. Don’t wait for someone to call out your behavior.

What’s your best videoconference story?

About Author
Osho is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TecheHow.

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