Video collaboration has changed the face of the modern boardroom for good. It eliminates unnecessary travel, saves money and makes meetings more spontaneous and collaborative. While many understand just how it can benefit their business, it can be difficult to navigate the etiquette of the virtual meeting. What’s ok to do and what’s verboten?
Luckily, there isn’t an awful lot of difference between the virtual and physical meeting, and all that’s needed is a slight change in behaviour while you’re online. If you have wanted to try video conferencing out but have been too worried about how to use it, this is your chance to learn just how it works. With Blue Jeans bringing video collaboration AU to fruition, there’s never been a better time to try it out.
Introduce everybody in the meeting:
Just as you would in a physical meeting, make sure you introduce everybody who meets up online. It’s easy to forget when the software may tell you who’s in the room, but actually introducing everybody will break the ice and make the meeting feel much more personable.
Wear appropriate clothing:
If you’re online, it can feel as though your clothing is less important than it normally would be. However, everybody can still see you, so how you dress will reflect how serious you are about the meeting. Also, remember that certain clothing will interfere with the camera. Advanced Etiquette recommends avoiding busy patterns and bright colors, and instead wearing muted solid or pastel colors.
Avoid excessive noise:
It’s wise to remember that any noise that happen around you will be amplified to your fellow attendees. Emily Post recommends that you avoid tapping at your keyboard, or rustling papers, while engaged in the meeting. Also, try to avoid loud jewelry such as large bracelets that can clank against a desk, or necklaces that can rattle while on a call. Just before you start, remove any of these potential distractions to avoid these problems.
Check your equipment:
About 30 – 45 minutes before the meeting, take the time to check that all of your equipment is working, including your software, microphone, and webcam. It’s better to take the time to fix any faults now, rather than fiddling with them when the meeting was due to begin.
Tidy your space:
Remember, as it’s a video call fellow attendees can not only see you, but the room behind you. Take the time to tidy away any papers, coffee cups or other desk detritus that can accumulate while you’re working, and make your space look more professional. Additionally, make sure the space is well lit, or no one will be able to see you or your hard work in making it tidy and neat.
Arrive on time:
Just as you would for a physical meeting, make sure you set a time to meet and stick to it. You may be meeting virtually, but everybody’s time is still precious and so you shouldn’t keep anybody waiting. Be prompt, and you get to work quickly and efficiently.
When you’re meeting online, it can feel as though you can multitask when you’re not speaking. It’s tempting to check your emails or texts while you’re waiting, but avoid doing so. Entrepreneur points out that if you’re checking your emails, your eyes will wander across the screen and show you’re not paying attention. The sound you tapping away at your keyboard is also a dead giveaway. Pay full attention to your fellow attendees until the end of the call, your messages can wait.
Remember that manners still matter, even online. Greet everybody as they arrive, listen carefully to what they have to say, and keep eye contact by looking into the camera. Treat everybody with the same respect as you would expect for yourself.
It can feel very strange to be video conferencing, especially if you’re new to it. Remember though, there really is little difference between physical and video meetings. Speak to others as though they’re with you. Try not to shout into the microphone, as using your normal speaking tone will translate fine to your fellow attendees. Also remember not interrupt others when they’re speaking, and that when you’re not speaking, others will still be able to see you on the video feed. Treat it like a normal meeting, and you’ll be ok.
The brave new world of video conferencing can feel rather intimidating, but it’s a lot simpler to use than you may think. The software is easy to use, and once you see that video calls really are the closest thing to a physical meeting online, you’ll never look back. Save your company time, money and effort, and try out video conferencing today. You’ll certainly be glad you did.