Video conferences have become an integral part of the ‘New Normal’. With the increasing trend of working from home, virtual meetings are the only way to remain professionally connected to your workplace. Having the required video conferencing tools/software and knowing how to use them effectively is not enough. One should be well aware of the video conferencing etiquettes.
Here are some suggestions on how to attend virtual sessions and make the most out of them:
Mute yourself when required:
Muting yourself when needed is one of the basics of video conferencing etiquettes. Microphones can pick most of the background sounds and noises. These sounds might distract the speaker and damage your professional image too. So, muting yourself is always better than creating uncomfortable situations for yourself and others.
Change/blur the background:
Always change or blur your background before the meeting starts. While some video conferencing platforms let you blur the background completely, with others you can change the background and set it to a picture or video of your choice. However, avoid backgrounds that are even more distracting than your original background.
Wear appropriate clothing:
No matter how much you might prefer to work wearing casual clothes, try donning your professional attire when attending video conferences. Pick up simple yet presentable clothing. Avoid fancy clothes and do not overdress. Wearing work-friendly attire not only improves others’ perceptions of you but also boosts your self-confidence and productivity.
Check your technology:
Having the right set of hardware and software is undoubtedly beneficial. However, you need to make sure that all your computer or laptop-related equipment is in proper shape and is functioning well. Do not forget to check your internet connection, computer’s camera, speakers, microphone, etc. Test both your audio and video before starting the call.
Choose a good spot with proper lighting:
Select a quiet place with ample natural light before you start with your video conference. Poor lighting conditions are bound to damage the video quality and in turn, tarnish your professional reputation. Make sure that you have the right lights that make your face look visible and bright. Avoid sitting in front of a direct light source; for example, a window.
Use chat to ask questions:
Almost all video conferencing software comes with a messaging feature. Use private and public chats when you need to share or pass a message while the meeting is on. You can also use chat to ask questions or make comments on the presentations made by your colleagues. This minimizes distractions for others and also does not create any interference within the meeting.
Plan the flow of the meeting:
Just like a face-to-face meeting, have a detailed agenda determining the course of your virtual meeting. Make a note of all the things you would like to speak or discuss. Prepared some handy notes so that you know what you would be focusing on for the entire duration of the meeting. This would help you to better utilize the time available to you.