There may not be any hard and fast rules as it relates to how a person should conduct themselves on a video call, but there are common courtesies we should all respect.
With that in mind, let’s roll through what we believe to be the top 10 video call no-nos. This list is not based on any scientific studies, rather it is based on virtual meeting situations we’ve experienced personally or heard about from others.
10. Booking Meetings Too Close Together
Being busy enough at work to warrant multiple meetings a day is a good thing – it means business is booming. However, scheduling meetings back-to-back-back is a recipe for disaster, as so many factors could lead to one video conference running long and derailing your calendar.
On a professional level, it is a very bad look to leave a client or associate waiting. It gives the impression that you don’t value their time and they are not a priority for you. This is not the message you want to send out.
Instead of playing a game of chicken with a packed meeting schedule, give yourself at least 10-15 minutes of wiggle room between calls.
9. Scheduling Video Calls for the End of the Day
Of course, there are circumstances that make scheduling end-of-day meetings unavoidable. That said, randomly booking a meeting for 4:30pm when someone gets off of work at 5pm, is not advisable.
Knowing how to host a meeting involves understanding when you will get the best out of your invitees. When a call takes place later in the day, odds are you will be speaking to someone with a tired mind and an eye on the clock.
Thus, it is advisable to book meetings as early in the day as possible. At this point, everyone’s minds will be fresher and ready to contribute in a more thoughtful, energetic manner.
8. Sending Too Many Invites to One Person
We understand that it is exciting to have access to great video conferencing technology, but this does not mean you should inundate someone with video call invites.
Unless absolutely necessary, try not to request a large number of online meetings a day with the same person. While it is important to have open and regular communication regarding projects and happenings within the company, scheduling too many calls can divert a staff member’s overall productivity. Not everyone can get out of a meeting and quickly re-focus on the work in front of them.
If you can, try to book just one, maybe two virtual meetings a day with a given staff member.
7. Focusing Your Attention Elsewhere
What not to do in a meeting is stop paying full attention to those participating in it. If your phone rings, let it go to voicemail. If you have paperwork on your desk that needs to be sorted through, put it off to the side so you are not tempted to focus on it while someone else is speaking.
All staff meetings should be taken seriously and a proper first step is to not allow yourself to get distracted by anything else.
6. Not Charging Your Laptop or Mobile Device
Whether you are joining a meeting through a video call app or a website on your laptop, see that you are plugged in or fully charged. Video conferencing technology can easily drain batteries and knock you out of a meeting.
While a good-natured person on the other end of the meeting may be able to initially laugh off such an occurrence, they won’t be as understanding if it becomes a pattern.
5. Leaving a Meeting Prematurely
Technology issues aside, it is inadvisable to prematurely exit a virtual meeting before it is time to do so. Now, this can happen for a number of reasons, like a heated discussion, running off to answer the phone, or feeling as though you do not have time to sit through the entire gathering.
Leaving a meeting unannounced due to such reasons is highly unprofessional and will leave other appointment attendees with a bad taste in their mouth.
If something comes up over the course of a meeting, simply interject at an appropriate time, explain why you need to leave, and see that you are given the green light to do so.
4. Not Dressing Appropriately for Your Crowd
When you show up to a formal business meeting, the fact that it is a video call shouldn’t change how you would typically dress for it.
Yes, it could feel strange to put on a suit while sitting in your home office, but not going this route could play a role in whether or not a business deal is consummated.
Proper meeting etiquette has taught us over time to dress for success. If you know your audience is going to be dressed to the nines, it is your responsibility to dress that way as well.
3. Having Bad Lighting
Even if you dress well enough for your important video call, it won’t make a difference if people are unable to see you. Ensuring that you are properly lit for each virtual meeting you participate in is unbelievably crucial.
Natural light by a window is helpful, as long as the sun isn’t blaring into the camera, or on to your face. A strategically placed lamp is also an easy option that can keep you from looking shadowed during a call.
To see that you’ve discovered the right lighting solution, test it out on a casual call with a friend or associate ahead of a major meeting.
2. Being in a Loud Room
If you are on a video call and the room you are in is loud, this will distract both you and others in the meeting. What’s more, it’ll become too difficult to have meaningful conversation, as people will likely ask others to repeat themselves on more than one occasion.
Headphones are widely available and a great resource for those who participate in many video chats. They allow you to hear everything clearly, while models with built-in microphones help you communicate more clearly with the group.
1. Acting Rude Toward Others
By far the worst thing you can do in a video call is act rude toward others. Now, rudeness can be interpreted in many different ways. In this instance, however, let’s focus on how you speak and listen to others in a meeting.
When you disagree with someone’s point-of-view, don’t yell at them, chastise them, or make fun of them. This will hurt and embarrass the person, plus make others in the meeting uncomfortable. Additionally, it’ll reflect poorly on your character.
Also, do not intentionally talk over or interrupt someone when they are speaking. Everyone should have the opportunity to convey their perspective.
Banty is an easy and secure online meeting platform where proper meeting etiquette can always take place.
Click here to discover which video call solution would work best for you. In the meantime, here are some of our highlighted virtual meeting features:
Custom URL: You can create a permanent, unique URL for your online staff meeting space (i.e., Banty.com/MyMeetings). This is the link you will forward everyone invited to one of your meetings.
Heightened Security: All Banty meeting rooms are protected by end-to-end encryption technology. This keeps all gatherings private and secure.
No More Dropped Calls: You are able to manually adjust the quality of your video call feed. This is ideal if someone on the call has a bad Internet connection.
Active Speaker Mode: Enable this feature to see that everyone in the meeting is focused on the person leading it.
Productivity Tools: Every Banty virtual meeting room comes with screen share capabilities, a digital whiteboard, polling, as well as YouTube video sharing.