When engaging over video conferencing tools and conference calls in lieu of face-to-face meetings, here are tips to maintain professionalism and courtesy:
Location, Location, Location
- Choose a quiet place to join your video or conference call. When you have several attendees in distracting locations or noisy backgrounds, it disrupts the entire group.
- Reduce background activities such as children, pets, or coworkers.
- Log on early before each video or conference call to confirm that all your tools are working properly. It is unprofessional to join a meeting late, but especially due to a lack of foresight to test your equipment.
- Equipment to test: internet connection and WI-FI, conferencing tool, camera, speakers, microphone, desktop sharing
- As a presenter, strategize your presentation method – standing, sitting, camera centered. Consider if you will be sharing slides or desktops. *If sharing your desktop, make sure to exit other programs or browsers and silence alerts.
- As a presenter, come prepared with an agenda and tasks to accomplish. Skip the small talk and get to the business at hand to hold all attendee’s attention.
- As an attendee, come prepared with your insights to share and questions.
- All attendees, place the business phone in “Do Not Disturb”, silence smartphone and other devices.
- Remember your pre-school etiquette. Even though the conversation is not face-to-face, be aware of others talking before speaking.
- Mute your microphone, unless asked to speak or contribute to the dialogue. 10 people talking at once does not benefit anyone.
- Raise your hand – depending on the conference tool being utilized, type a comment or “virtually” raise your hand so the moderator knows you wish to add to the conversation.
- As a presenter, manage the group by muting all microphones (this is an admin feature), and monitor comments as the conversation progresses.
Say Your Name
- Before speaking, state your name. With attendance being on video or just voice, it can be difficult to follow who is speaking.