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Video Conferencing Etiquette

Video Conferencing Etiquette is expected by most professionals who communicate with professional in their chosen field.

Etiquette is described by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as, "the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life."

So in other words, Video Conferencing Etiquette is knowing how to act during a video conference.

The Difference

There is a difference between Video conferencing and Video Chat and knowing when to use it.

Video Chat is usually for informal social gatherings when friends or family members "chat" with each other.

Video Conferencing is exactly what it is . . . having a conference by video.

A conference usually involves a group of people having a meeting who are working on a common goal, usually pertaining to business. If you are having a conference with a group of people you want to appear as though you were physically present in the room.

Why Video Conferencing Etiquette is Necessary

There was a story about a young man that had a video conference with a group of his business partners. He appeared to be professional in every way, including a neutral professional background.

As the meeting came to a close, he thanked his business partners for the opportunity to meet. He disconnected the video (or so he thought). As he got up from the table, his partners on the other end noticed he was dressed from the waist up, but naked from the waist down.

Top Ten Tips for Video Conferencing Etiquette

Video Conferencing Etiquette goes far beyond a dress code. It involves personal appearance, background, speech, etc.

The following are a list of simple but most important things to pay attention to while video conferencing. It could mean the difference between a successful video conference and a failure.

  1. When you speak, look into a camera - If you've ever had a video conference with someone you know how disconnected you feel when they don't appear to give you eye contact.

  2. Pay attention to background noise - It wouldn't be pleasing if someone had to stare at an unmade bed or a glaring sun through a window behind you.

  3. Try not to yawn, bite nails put head down, play on the cell phone etc. - While video conferencing, your non-verbal communication are magnified.

  4. Don't wear striped clothing, or bright colors - this may cause a glaring effect in the camera

  5. No Eating - this is very distracting visually and by audio as well . . . Especially if your listeners have a professional audio system

  6. Stay a good distance from the camera if you are using a PC - it is also distracting to see your face taking up the whole screen space

  7. Be fully clothed as you would dress for a meeting face to face

  8. Speak loudly enough and articulately - so every one at the same time can hear your voice. Others may also be experiencing some background noise

  9. Cancel Background Noise - It can be frustrating trying to talk over noise (music, yelling, children) for someone to hear you or for you to hear them

  10. Learn how to familiarize yourself with the system - It is not good while you're speaking for the system to lose audio or video capabilities or obtain static because of a faulty setup.

If you take heed to those video conferencing etiquette tips your overall experience will be improved tremendously.