There has never been a better moment to learn the video conferencing etiquette since virtual meetings are likely to happen more and more due to their efficiency and power to eliminate the risk of virus infection. Hence, it’s crucial for everybody, from students to businessmen, to learn how to impress on their next video conference calls and not come out as a disturbing presence.
Frankly, many things can go wrong during a video conference, especially if you are not prepared, from an aesthetic, technical, and conversational point of view. But don’t worry because we put together a checklist that you can easily follow to ensure you make a good impression during every video conference you participate in.
Video conference aesthetics: 4 steps to impress your audience
Before you even get to speak in a video meeting, the other participants will look at your face, your room, and even the way you’re dressed up. Essentially, if you want to impress in a video conference, you want to treat it as an in-person gathering.
Anyway, there are a few differences, but if you follow the advice below you’ll be on the right track.
1. Pick a nice environment for the video conference
First, you need to find a proper background for your video conference. Don’t pick dark places or over-exposed ones. Nobody likes to talk with a black screen and, certainly, no one wants to be blinded by the sunbeams flashing into your camera.
BONUS TIP: Try to bring a little life to your background by investing in some art pieces. If you are not into art buying, check our 9 reasons to buy art – you may just change your mind.
Second, you should put your face in good lighting. To do this, try to find a source of light – preferably natural – that will hit your face from your sides – e.g. sit near a window. Either way, avoid light coming straight from upfront or from the back.
Finally, make sure you steer clear of disturbing noises in the chosen room for your video conference. That means no pets or noisy people around. Oh, and make sure your neighbors are not planning to do some refurbishing around their homes. The sound of a drill machine is never welcomed in a call.
2. Dress to impress
Do not keep your pajamas on just because you work from home. This is a big no-no that, if not respected, will certainly make you fail to impress the other video conference participants. Dress like you would do if you had to meet with the other participants in real-life – even put your tie on.
BONUS TIP: Don’t forget to always show your best accessory, your smile.
3. Stay in the center of the webcam
Not much explanation needed here. Make sure you are positioned in the center of the webcam by looking at the preview shown by video-conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Meet. It’s a rule, don’t break it.
BONUS TIP: Don’t leave too much place above your head. You have to be the center of attention, not your ceiling or the painting on the wall behind yourself.
4. Keep movement to a minimum
Try to stand away from constantly fixing your hair, moving things around on your desk, or changing your position. I strongly recommend you to find a comfortable position before you join the video conference, so you won’t be attracting attention with your never-ending fidgeting.
Avoid technical problems
If you want to impress during a video conference, you don’t want to be that guy whose image always freezes or who always has to be reminded to mute his microphone. It’s unprofessional and denotes poor preparation.
Test your connection before joining the video conference
It’s a best practice to arrive early at the meeting and test whether your image shows up well, it’s not glitchy and whether you hear the other participants and vice-versa.
Don’t forget to mute your microphone
I know I’m repeating myself, but if you are always pointed out and asked to mute your microphone, you are a burden for the others. Not only that you would interrupt the conversation, but you will come out as an inattentive participant.
Moreover, when you start speaking, make sure you turn up the mic, so you won’t end looking funny and, again, unprofessional.
7 conversational guidelines to impress on a video conference
Only because you are standing behind the screen of your device, it doesn’t mean you need to put aside your social manners. Remember, you need to behave the same way as you would if you were to meet the attendees in-person.
Here are 7 guidelines that will help you become a great virtual interlocutor and impress during your next video conferences.
1. Involve the other people in conversation
Don’t satisfy yourself with holding a monologue in front of your webcam. Instead, involve others in the discussion, ask them questions, and ultimately make them feel comfortable in your presence. Also, don’t forget to present yourself because sometimes in a video conference it is hard to identify the speaker.
2. Quit multitasking
Isn’t it annoying when you grab lunch with somebody and all they do is scrolling through their phone while you are talking? It’s the same feeling when somebody does multitasking on a video conference.
The difference is that everybody can see their lack of awareness. Hence, what you need to do is to pay attention only to the video conference: no working at another project, no surfing on social media, no talking with other people in your room.
If you want to impress, keep eye-contact with the speaker and don’t even think of getting a snack during your video conference, unless you are on a call with your friends, of course.
BONUS TIP: If you plan on taking notes during a video conference, choose the pen and paper instead of keyboard typing. Pressing keys while the mic is on will annoy the other participants.
3. Don’t leave your seat
It’s rude to suddenly get up from your seat and leave the video conference. Instead, let others know that you must do something urgently – e.g. quick bathroom break, your baby started crying, etc. – and that you are sorry about that.
4. Speak clearly and avoid shouting
Not everybody has a top-notch microphone, so the quality and the clarity of participants’ voices during a video conference is oftentimes poor. Therefore, don’t mumble or speak too fast because you will risk to not get your message understood. Speak naturally but slowly and with good diction and you’ll be alright.
Also, don’t shout during a video conference because you may hurt listeners’ ears. Remember, most of them wear a headset, so there’s no need to raise your voice.
5. Don’t interrupt other speakers
Just like in a real-life conversation, it’s very impolite to interrupt the speaker. If you wish to impress during a video conference, show your manners and only intervene when you know it’s the right time.
6. Plan the meeting ahead
If you are the host of an upcoming video conference, make an agenda beforehand. Having people waiting for you to come up with a subject to cover is not professional and very unproductive.
The same goes for every participant. Given the host shared the meeting’s agenda, you should inform yourself on the topics that will be discussed.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”Benjamin Franklin
7. Always be yourself
Video conferences don’t have to be boring and you don’t have to fake being someone else. Slide a joke every now or then if you feel like. After all, that’s how real-life meetings go as well. So, be yourself and you’ll go a long way.
TIP: If feel anxious before a video conference, try one of our 11 guaranteed ways to improve your mood. Thus, you’ll make sure you enter the next video conference with an energetic and positive aura.
In the end, all you need to do to impress during a video conference is to apply some simple tactics that will make you look great on camera, have great conversations, and steer you clear of any technical problems.