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First and Foremost, everyone can see you, all the time. This is not an audio conference, just because you are not speaking does not mean others in the conference can’t still see you.

Be punctual and courteous. Introduce yourself and take note of other attendees’ names so you can address them by name. Turn off ringers for your other phones. Treat this just like you would an on-site meeting.

No multi-tasking, we can see you. Look at your screen, pay attention to others and when speaking make sure to look at your camera.

If it is improper for a face-to-face meeting, then it doesn’t work for video either. Don’t click your pen, tap on your desk or anything else annoying or distracting. Avoid yawning, gum chewing, etc.

Make sure you have good light. Adjust lighting or use a portable light source to make sure you have good light shining at you from the front. You can overdo it too, so experiment until you find a good balance. Try pointing a strong desk lamp at the wall you’re facing. You get good front light without having to look directly into a harsh light.

NO Eating!!! Glass of water or coffee, ok. Glass of wine, bottle of beer, NOT ok. NO Smoking!!!

Video allows us to do face-to-face meetings right from our virtual office. We all know the joy of virtual office work, shorts and a t-shirt anyone? Maybe a ball cap? Virtual office-appropriate dress rules are hanging to reflect the fact that we may, at any time be called upon to join a video conference. Business casual at all times is the new rule. If you have a planned customer call you should consider dressing the same as you would for an on-site meeting. You might relax that one step, maybe no tie for a meeting you would have worn one too, but remember, they can still see you!

Do video calls from your desk or other appropriate location. Lying on the couch (or anywhere) with your pc on your chest or stomach doesn’t present a flattering view.

Not only can everyone see you but they see what’s around and behind you too. Yes, your pool and patio (stainless kitchen, bathroom, etc.) are lovely but not appropriate for a business call. If you have a cluttered work space, make sure it’s not showing up on camera. Consider award plaques from other (competitor) companies on your wall -we can see them too.

Make sure to have current client version loaded before scheduled calls. Test your audio and/or video before a scheduled call.

No high traffic areas. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid but do not position yourself where your children, spouse, pets, etc. will be parading through the view of the camera on a regular basis.

Close unused applications, video can be CPU/memory intensive.

Avoid creating pixilation! Do not wear stripes, or anything with a heavy pattern. If you have vertical mini-blinds do not have them in the background. Minimize your hand gestures and body/head movements as well.

Consider posting your comment/question in the chat window.

Picture in Picture is your best reference, you can see yourself and your surroundings just as others on the call can. Pay close attention to what you see there, and make adjustments as necessary.

DO NOT video while driving! To be clear, don’t do it!

Video Conferencing Guidelines for Proper Use
Author Unknown | 2014

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