Video conferencing can be quite a challenge for many, especially for those who are  more familiar with in-person meetings. It gets even more difficult for participants who struggle with technology. Apart from that, participants can create quite a mess when too many people start talking to each other and also sometimes don’t know how to act, where to look, what to wear, and so forth.

To save you from embarrassing yourself in front of your colleagues and to establish yourself as a pro at video conferencing, I, Mysha, from the Circle team have summarized a few points of video conferencing-

Always have a written agenda

There’s nothing more irritating (and frustrating and  unproductive) than a meeting in which everyone languidly checks-in, and then the person who scheduled the meeting has no plan either. If you are scheduling a meeting, prepare and share the agenda with your teammates. By sharing an agenda, attendees know what to expect, can guesstimate how long it will run, and, if there is an element of participation, will give them an opportunity to prepare talking points. Do not hesitate to ask for an agenda if you are attending any such online meeting. 

Be prepared

It’s bad conference etiquette to be called on and be unprepared. It’s also a missed opportunity to showcase your worth and calibre. Go through the agenda and prepare yourself accordingly. Have notes on your phone (or on a notepad) next to you, and bookmark anything you need for reference.  Since you may not have a lot of time to share your thoughts, try to be clear and concise. Now, if you’re uncomfortable with speaking to a group, we recommend you to practice beforehand. And also, if you are unable to join the meeting, always report it.

Test your hardware and internet connection beforehand

One of the most important things to do before joining a call or hosting one is to make sure that your hardware works (microphone, speakers, headphones) and that your internet speed is fast enough to support a decent level of quality for a video call. Fortunately, there are a number of quick online internet speed tests you can use to check your internet connection. If you are having some difficulty, please keep your colleagues informed. 

Blur or change your background

Maybe you don’t have an office at home or your room might be distractingly messy. But, you can still hide the appearance of your chosen space via background features offered in some video conferencing clients for example –zoom, Microsoft, skype etc. It’s better to go for a subtle background compared to other colorful and flashy ones. 

Find a quiet, private space or use a white noise machine

It’s important to find a quiet space for your video calls so that you can hear your colleagues better. Besides, this will facilitate the meeting by removing avoidable noises while your mic has to be on. Please do not go for a place where it echoes. Also, keep your family members informed that you will be in a video meeting. Otherwise, don’t blame them if they barge in unknowingly. 

Other etiquettes

There are some more dos and don’ts. For instance –

  • Don’t keep your mic on if you’re not speaking,
  •  Don’t talk over each other and use the chat function to ask questions,
  •  Don’t let yourself get distracted during the meeting, 
  • Don’t look sloppy: Dress for your audience
  • Frame the camera correctly.
  • Look into the camera and have the right light.
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