Video etiquette: preparing for your next video conference

Johannesburg, 15 Dec 2016
Read time 3min 10sec

As the use of real-time and on-demand visual communication increases, standards for video etiquette are developing, and you can't afford to be uninformed much longer.

The standard for an acceptable video conferencing environment has also been raised, and your surroundings can leave an immediate impression on the other attendees of a video conference.

Luckily, Galdon Data has you covered, to make sure that your next video experience is a great one.

Before the Meeting

* Check your equipment.
Using a Webcam or a headset? Make sure it's plugged in and operational before your meeting starts. An operational environment will save you having to call IT at the 11th hour for support.

A good video conference is also subject to a suitable network environment, that's been properly configured. Bandwidth and quality constraints can be set and monitored at various levels, from the network right down the devices themselves.

* Check your surroundings.
Make sure you are in a neat and tidy environment, with minimal background noise. If you are working from home, it's a good idea to keep the frame free from items of a personal nature. If you have family members hanging around (human or otherwise), it's better that they are neither seen nor heard.

Ensure that you have light in front of you, and not behind you. Picture yourself as an anchor delivering the news, in your own personal studio.

Many businesses use dedicated boardrooms for video conferencing, where an ideal environment is easier to setup and maintain. These rooms can also be treated acoustically for a better audio experience.

* Dress appropriately.
Nobody is going to take you seriously if you're still in your pyjamas. You are a professional, and should dress appropriately, no matter where you are or what time it is.

Complicated patterns (e.g. pinstripes or check) are also a no no, as they transmit badly over video. Plain colours are best, and actually help with the video encoding process.

* Have your content ready.
Closing Facebook and scrolling past your holiday photos is not the best way to get to your PowerPoint presentation. Clear your desktop and have your content at the ready.

During the call

* Pay attention.
Remember that people can see you, and so you don't want to be caught reading text messages, rolling your eyes or falling asleep. Engage with the other attendees, and make sure the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting is not going to waste.

* Don't be a distraction.
If you are not speaking, put yourself on mute. Ensure that your phone is on silent, as a ringing or buzzing phone can quickly derail a meeting.

Food and drink can also draw attention away from the meeting, so give it some thought before tearing open that packet of crisps.

* Make eye contact.
Visual cues can lead to stronger communication. Make sure the added value of video conferencing is not going to waste.

* Be heard.
Speak confidently and clearly. The best equipment in the world won't help if you mumble and hide away from the microphone. You don't need to shout by any means, but making sure the other attendees can hear and understand you is paramount.

Want more information on how video conferencing can transform your business? Looking for ways to optimise your network for superior quality? Contact Sales at Galdon Data.
Office: 011 805 4420

Editorial contacts
Galdondata Graeme Roux
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