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With the current situation forcing us to work differently, you may now find yourself carrying out your daily tasks in new ways, like participating in video meetings. Instead of all gathering together in the office for daily or weekly check-ins, most of us are now using this medium to stay connected while working remotely.
If you’re new to the art of the video call and not sure of video meeting etiquette, we’re here to help. With our top 10 tips for video conference meetings, you can make sure you get it right next time you log on to Zoom.
1. Get ready on time
While we know it’s standard with any meeting to be on time and ready to go when the session is scheduled to start, it’s even more important for a video conference. This is because you will need time to set up the technology and connect your video and audio. If you jump in late, you can’t just slip in the back of the room – everyone will be able to see you, which is very distracting for the person speaking.
2. No backgrounds
Find a tidy and professional space at home where you can sit in front of a plain wall or background. Wallpaper or artwork with busy and distracting patterns is a no-go, as well as using a video background. Remember, this is a professional Zoom video meeting, so there’s no need to impress everyone with your decor or tech skills.
3. Frame yourself properly
There may be times when you find yourself staring at the forehead or nostrils of a co-worker during a video meeting – you don’t want to be that person! Before joining the call, take a few seconds to ensure your face is in the frame at a straight angle. If you’re using Zoom, there is an opportunity to check this while waiting to enter a conference call.
4. Find a quiet place
As is the case with the current situation, many of us find ourselves working from home with our partners, housemates, children and pets. While we know this doesn’t make for the quietest of offices, you will need to choose a place with no distractions to attend the video meeting. Go into a separate room if possible and make sure there are no other noises, like the TV or voices. If there’s someone else working from home with you, try to plan your meeting times to be at staggered time slots to avoid two video calls in the same space.
5. Make sure you’re well lit
Poor lighting will make the video quality poor and grainy – this is video meeting 101. Try to make sure the space you’re using has enough light so you are seen clearly. If you have a window, position your laptop or webcam in front of it so you’re naturally lit. If not, try to ensure the room’s walls are bright and use multiple light sources where you can.
6. Wear work clothes
It’s definitely tempting to hang out in your comfy clothes now you find yourself at home all day. However, if you have a Zoom video meeting scheduled, you should wear work-appropriate clothing. It will not only look more professional, but it will help you get into the right mindset for the meeting.
7. Mute yourself when not speaking
Even if you’ve found a quiet space for the video meeting, you’d be surprised by what the microphone can still pick up! Turning yourself on mute when you’re not talking will remove any distractions or annoying noises for other participants. This is especially important for conference calls with many participants, as the sounds from everyone’s homes can create quite the cacophony.
8. Look into the camera when you speak
Very important on our list of video meeting etiquette! Looking into the camera when you’re speaking is the equivalent of looking into someone’s eyes in person, so it’s an essential practice. If you’re looking elsewhere as you talk, it can look unprofessional and be distracting, even if you don’t mean to be. Remember, your face is clearly visible for everyone to see, so the group will notice things they can’t pick up in person.
9. Don’t stare at yourself when someone else is speaking
It can be tempting to look at your camera feed during the meeting, especially to check how you’re presenting to everyone else in the meeting. However, if you’re staring at yourself when someone else is speaking, it can seem like you’re not paying attention. If you find it’s impossible to stop staring at yourself, put a post-it note on the screen where your face is shown to eliminate the distraction.
10. Pay attention
You may think you’re great at multitasking and are able to check emails or work during a video meeting, but the other participants will know. Give all your attention to the meeting, as you may miss out on any important information shared as well as come across as rude or inconsiderate.
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