On the radio yesterday, it was unveiled that the number of people using Zoom, a video-conferencing service, has exploded from 10 million daily users in December 2019 to 200 million users in March 2020. All of a sudden, people are working, studying and socializing on Zoom.
For many people, video-conferencing (whether on Zoom, Skype or Google Meet) is a new experience. And let me tell you now, it’s not going anywhere but up! Not knowing how to act, where to look, what to wear, what to do, what not to do may be questions that you suddenly have, so read along for all things video conferencing etiquette for business meetings.
The way we present ourselves for work-related video conferencing should always portray a professional image. Remember that when you are on camera, everything is magnified. If you are an office employee, this is not the time for sweats or labelled t-shirts. I often talk about owning your ‘brand’ – the outward expression of who you are. Your video presence should always remain true to your brand.
Dress to Impress: Your clients and colleagues still expect you to have a professional image, dress as if you were meeting in person (top and bottom!) you may suddenly need to get up from your seat!
Quality Control: If possible, invest in a good camera and microphone. At the very least, hold meeting in a quiet and well-lit room - indoors.
Consider your Background: Keep your audience in mind. They will not only be looking at you but everything behind you as well – the TV, the dirty dishes you left in the sink, your hanging laundry. A nice, plain wall is your best background option.
Look at the Camera, not the Screen: This will take practise but makes for great eye contact and an authentic connection.
Have an Agenda: As with any meeting, come prepared with an agenda of items that will be discussed. There is nothing more irritating than being in a meeting with no direction that carries on unnecessarily.
Mute your microphone as needed. Again, every tiny sound becomes magnified to other participants.
Chat Function: Chances are that during a meeting you’ll have questions or comments, interrupting whilst someone is speaking or talking over them is considered rude and disrupts the flow of the presentation. Use the apps ‘chat’ function and let the speaker moderate the q’s and a’s.
People are watching: Don’t forget that all eyes are on you. If you yawn, cover your mouth, be careful with facial expressions that may convey the wrong message, avoid too much movement, walking around and eating during meetings. If you have pets that require a lot of attention, temporarily move them to another room.
Lastly, (whether you are or aren’t) look interested!
Stay safe my friends.